Making the decision to become self-employed and owning your own business can be tough and intimidating. Leaving the security of a regular day job may sound like a crazy idea, but as long as careful thought and planning goes into your new form of employment it shouldn’t be too stressful. Plan ahead and know what self-employment and starting your own business will entail. To ensure you are going through all the steps, here is a list of the things we think will get you moving forward toward self-employment.
1. Personal Evaluation
Before making any sudden decisions, take a step back and evaluate the reasons why you want to become self-employed. In addition, take an assessment of your skills. Ask yourself these questions:
Answering these questions and more will help you narrow your focus and make starting the process much easier.
2. Create a Business Plan
This is essential for success when becoming self-employed. Even if you don’t need a traditional plan or model, you need to know how much money you will need to initially finance your business. Having a basic plan will help you get from Point A to Point B.
3. Make Your Business Official
There are a few types of businesses that you can establish.
This is an entirely individual decision. The tax and liabilities are different for each business model, so you have to sit down with an accountant and a lawyer to see what’s best for you.
4. Finance, Market, and Network
Initially, your finances will probably come from savings accounts, personal loans, credit cards, and possibly generous family and friends. Small business loans from your bank can also help a great deal.
Marketing your business is important for obvious reasons. Talk about your new business and your self-employment whenever you get a chance. Make business cards so you can spread the word about your service or product.
Networking is one of the fastest ways to broaden your professional Rolodex. The success of your business will greatly depend on your network of contacts. As the saying goes, "your network determines your net-worth".
5. Be Realistic
Most importantly, be realistic about becoming your own boss. Working for yourself and starting a small business is a lot of work and often isn’t very lucrative for the first couple years. You need to really love what you do in order to make your business work. Also, keep in mind that any business will involve a lot of trial and error. You will make mistakes; learn from them and be flexible. If something isn’t working, try another route. Remember that even highly successful business women were once beginners. We all start from somewhere.
Have you just decided to become self-employed or open your own business? Sign up for the annual MACs Women Summit, held on the first Saturday in October, in White Plains, Westchester, New York! An empowering, one-day conference with interactive, business-building workshops and general session presentations created to help you grow and operate a profitable business. Register now to attend this year! MACsWomen - where women in business succeed!