So You Want Your Own Business!
There are many reasons for wanting to start your own business, and most of us get to this point. Which one of the following applies to you?
- Freedom from daily routine.
- Doing what I want when I want.
- Improve my living standard.
- Wanting creative freedom.
- I want to use my skills, knowledge, and education fully.
- Having a product/idea/service that people need.
- I’ll have more time with the family.
- I won’t have a dress code.
- There are good tax breaks for business owners.
- I’m a Type B person and work best alone.
- I want to be my own boss.
- I want to make the decisions.
Now granted, every one of the above is a good reason for wanting your own business. The rub is that not many people think the process through – step by step. There are 7 phases to business planning. They are:
- Investigation Phase
- Planning Phase
- Start-up Phase
- Operating/Monitoring Phase
- Problem/Challenge resolution Phases
- Renewal/Expansion Phase
- Selling, Transferring, Retirement Phase
We’ll cover all of the above in my next few columns as a “Business Basics” refresher, but let’s take number one for today.
In the Investigation Phase, you take a look at yourself and also your business options. Some careers are suited to personality types, so you must first discern “Which personality type am I?”
This introverted personality is serious, quiet, thorough, orderly, matter-of-fact, logical, realistic, and dependable. They take responsibility, are well organized, know what should be accomplished, and work steadily toward it, disregarding distractions. They are careful calculators, and 20% of this group become accountants.
These are also introverts and are cool onlookers. They are quiet, reserved, observing, and analyzing life with a detached curiosity and have unexpected flashes of original humor. They’re usually interested in cause and effect, how and why mechanical things work, and in organizing facts using logical principles. They usually are craftsmen, mechanics, or handymen, with about 10% becoming farmers.
These people are extroverts who are good at on-the-spot problem solving, don’t worry, enjoy whatever comes along, are adaptable, tolerant, and generally conservative in values. They tend to like mechanical things and sports and dislike long explanations. They are best with “real” things that can be worked, handled, taken apart, or put together. About 10% of this type go into marketing or become Impresarios.
These are another extrovert group and are hearty, frank, decisive, leaders in activities and usually good in anything that requires reasoning and intelligent talk, such as public speaking. They’re usually well informed and enjoy adding to their fund of knowledge. They may sometimes appear more positive and confident than their experience in an area warrants. They’re sometimes called “judgers” and “thinkers”, and 21% of this group become legal administrators.
To go into each personality type would be far too complicated, but to give you an idea of the roles that personality types could fall into, look at the following list. Besides the categories we covered in-depth, here are some broken down into Introvert or Extrovert Personality.
Introverts choose careers that satisfy being:
Extroverts are usually:
- The Inspirers
The second part of the Investigating Phase is looking at your business options. When choosing the business you want to start, consider the following:
- Do you like to work with your hands or brain, or both?
- Does working indoors or outdoors matter?
- Are you good at math, writing, puzzles, blueprints, installing things or fixing things?
- What interests you? What are your hobbies?
- If you like to work alone or as part of a team?
- If you enjoy planning things or going to events?
- Are you are a person who likes machines, computers?
- Do you like to drive or operate the equipment?
- Do you like to travel, collect/display things, give/attend shows, or take pictures?
- Are you small, large, strong?
Make a list of your likes and dislikes. Keep a diary of things you do that relate to business and rate each entry from 1 to 5 based on your interest. Then prepare a list of your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and concerns. After doing all that, you should have a list of candidate businesses that are right for you. Then you can make a list of the “candidate businesses” and rate them from 1 to 5 based on your own chosen criteria.
Some Helpful Tricks to Get You Started
OBTAINING FREE ADVERTISING!
1. Advertising Specials:
If a magazine offers a "two for one" deal or a "pay for 3 and get a fourth ad-free", take advantage of it; it's Free Advertising!
2. Free Listings:
Some publications offer to list your name and address. Free if you have something that you offer "free for the asking" to their readers. This can be a "free sample", a free list of customers, or whatever. Tell publishers what you have to offer!
3. Print a Booklet Offering Tips:
List tips or what-have-you, and on the inside pages, or in the back, place some of your own Free ads!!
4. The Piggy-Back Method:
Every time you get ready to mail a letter or fill an order, place other ads in the envelope; it costs you no more, and it's like getting a free ad!!
5. Free "Give-Aways":
These can be pens, rulers, key chains, etc., each with YOUR ad message and address on each one. Give them away, and your Free Ad rides along!
6. Your Own Advertiser/Newsletter:
Issue it regularly; sell ad space in it and subscriptions to it. They pay for the printing and postage, and YOUR ads in it, too, at no cost to you!
7. Trade Products/Services for Ad Space:
If you have something a publisher needs, trade what they want for ad space!
8. Provide Commission Ads to Dealers:
Your dealers place YOUR ads over THEIR name! Free Ads for your products!
9. Columns; Releases, etc.:
Publishers will often print these free if it's NEWS or interesting to their readers! Send notices out to editors and get free ads in exchange!
10. Share Costs With Others:
Get together with other dealers and mailers. Split costs and quantities with others. Your ads go FREE to HIS customers, and he goes free to yours!
11. Offer Your Commission Ads to Publishers:
They insert them as "mailer/distributor" commission ads! They cost you nothing and can get you lots of orders!
12. Your Product as a BONUS Item on Another's Flyer:
This can increase other people's orders, and YOUR product gets advertised on HIS fliers, etc.
13. Place PIM-50 Phrases in your Ads:
This says to Publisher: "Insert my ad in your publication, and I'll help distribute 50" (or more) copies for you. It's another kind of "trade deal" with publishers.
14. Give a Talk or Seminar:
Contact local clubs and organizations. They always seek outside speakers. After you talk about your business or your product, hand out flyers, etc. It's like getting free advertising!
15. Ads on Bulletin Boards:
Put up flyers on grocery, laundry bulletin boards.
16. Make a Rubber Stamp of your Ad:
Stamp it everywhere you can. Stamp it on envelopes, flyers, etc.
17. Be Listed as a Source in Back of Books:
Writers often want to list references and sources in their books. Get the work out to authors! Look for ads offering Free Ads!!
18. Discount to "a Friend":
Tell your customers you will give discounts to anyone they send your way! It's Word of Mouth advertising; the best you can get, and it's free!
Free advertising is any message that goes out to prospective buyers without cost to you! There are lots of ways to get others to spread the word about what you offer! Try these methods, and you'll get many free ads, which mean more responses and more orders!
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