Monday, April 20, 2015

Starting decisions

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     Deciding what business to go into is a perplexing problem for many. It need not be. If you are sorting through several possibilities, you need to step back and take a fresh look at yourself.

     You have several interests that you are passionate about. For some, it's physical fitness. For others, it's gardening or video games or music or dozens of other pursuits.

     So you begin with yourself. Among your interests, is there one that can be made into a business? The answer is yes. Any interest can be turned into a business. 

     Next question. Can the business be grown into a size that I will be comfortable managing? Now, this is when the difficulty begins. Be honest with yourself. Do you want to work alone as a one-person business? Or do you want to grow into a multi-employee business?

     These questions must be answered before you begin your new business.

     Example: Jesse began playing guitar as a youngster. In high school he was a member of a band. That was 10 years ago. He decided to turn his interest in guitar into a small business built around music. He began teaching guitar to others and built up a following. He decided to open a small music shop where he sells and repairs guitars. Today, he is still a one-person business, supporting his family. He still plays in local bands. 

     Example: Matt loved sailing. Whenever he had time away from his corporate position, he was at the local lake. Deciding he would make a transition, Matt began offering informal sailing lessons to others. His reputation spread. He got himself certified as an instructor in water safety. He began giving group as well as private lessons. When he was ready, he quit his corporate job and set up a small sail shop at the lake. Today, he sells sailing gear and supplies and sailboats. It took several years to make the transition, but today Matt is happy. 

     Example: The arts and crafts field offers many opportunities to establish a small business. Artists and artisans today offer painting and pottery, fibers and wools, beads and beading, wood turning, basketry, quilting, glass, metal work and many others. They can work alone or ban together to work with others--the choice is theirs. They set up websites and are on social media, attracting widespread attention. Some are members of co-ops which attract more attention from the buying public than single studios. Others offer their creations through gift shops--or they establish a high end gift shop themselves. But all of them turn their passion into a business. 

     Deciding where to start can be frustrating. The answers to starting decisions are inside you. Start with what you know and what you are interested in. Then you build. 

     Deciding what business to go into is similar to the young person's complaint--I don't have the experience to get the job I want, but I can't get the experience without having the job. This is a lame excuse at best. Just do it. 

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