The reason I feel it is necessary to start with this first is because once you put it out there: I am THINKING about opening my own business; I am WONDERING about just being self employed; I am TIRED of working for someone else OR however you choose to word it, once spoken there will be many of your friends, co workers and people you hardly know who will start with all of their well intentioned advice. Now before you take any of that advice OR think that they don’t know what they are talking about stop and LISTEN. One of the best things that you can do is learn how to listen. Working for yourself no matter what type of business will require you to learn how to listen, what to retain and what not to retain. I have learned the most valuable lessons from people that have never even owned a business but have either wanted to or have worked for some of the most successful people. You can gain a ton of knowledge by conversations with just about anyone including teens and small kids. Yes there will be times when you will certainly be thinking well yes this is a great and interesting conversation but I just don’t think I am going to learn anything here or the ever famous gee I hope I never have to resort to that when the truth is that sometimes if you are self employed you may have to resort to that and some of that useless information will be the very thing that will keep you afloat.
If you have decided what type of business you are wanting to open, best thing to do is to talk to EVERYONE and I mean an entire range as big as possible to remember who will be your best customers, which ones will be your sometimes customers, and last but not least how you can possibly lure in those who say they would NEVER be your customer. ***When I say lure hopefully that doesn’t sound like you are trying to convert people to buy something they don’t really need or want, what I mean by it is that you will want to actually serve everyone you can so if with your chosen business there is a way to serve them in a comfortable manner then that is what you will want to eventually do.*** You are free of course to take advice and opinions on your chosen business and keep in mind that no matter what business you decided on not everyone will be your type of customer. Yes we all want to win everyone over but don’t concentrate on those that you can’t “lure” in right away. Eventually you will want to plan out how to do that but when you first start out you want to kinda get a guestimate on who WILL be your customers and what better way to do that than to talk to others. Unless you are rubbing elbows with millionaires, I wouldn’t worry too much about someone stealing your business idea just yet but also don’t give away your entire game plan as yes you never know who is listening.
Here is my recommendations to get to a “hmmm I may be on to something stage”:
1. Decide what type of business you have in mind.
2. Can that type of business be branched out later to reach a larger amount of people.
3. Who would be your regular customers in the beginning.
4. Make sure there is not already many variations of this business in your area already.
5. Is it possible to start small and branch out.
6. Did you get alot of negative feedback from your peers/friends/acquaintances
7. Think about what scares you the most about taking this step to owning and running your own business.