Thursday, October 30, 2008

Before You Put Up Your Business Sign, Read This

During the day I like to listen to this local talk radio program that shares financial and business start-up advice. On today's show, the host was discussing the pros and cons of being an entrepreneur. Being your own boss sounds great in theory, but there are some very real issues that should be considered before taking that big step.

No guarantee of steady pay
I guess you could say that's the good news and bad news of being an entrepreneur. Getting paid is completely up to you. That's likely to be bad news if you're a slacker, or great news if you're a go getter. The reality of being your own boss is that some months will be better than others – especially in the beginning as you establish your business.

You will work hard
And that's an understatement. Count on putting in long days and maybe even pulling a few all nighters. If you are a solo business owner, you will wear all of the company hats. That's why your business should be something you love doing. The radio program host said it best: "It should be something you would get out of bed at three AM in the morning to do for free."

Build Trust
Whether you're dealing with clients or vendors, people do business with people they trust. The talk show host talked about how he has been trying to get a large order of t-shirts printed. He's talked to three different companies, and in two months not one has delivered on their promise to provide a sample product. Just think, all it would have taken is for one company to come through as promised and they would have gotten the business by default.

If you say you will do something, be professional and deliver as promised. If something comes up, don't just hide your head in the sand and pretend you don't have an obligation to meet. Deal with things head on.

Being an entrepreneur isn't for everyone. Think carefully about what you can and cannot deal with before taking the plunge.

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