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Start a business: look before you leap


The economy's tough, unemployment is at a record high and growing and you've decided your best option is to start your own business, be your own boss and put yourself in control.

Instead of working for someone who's living their dream, work for yourself and live your American Dream. That was an easy decision; obviously not… but where do you start?

My first suggestion is to take a deep breath. 

Now a second, deeper breath.

Is this really what you want to do?

If the answer is still "Yes" then surely the next decision is just to get out there and get on with it?

Ready, aim, fire

I'm sure you've heard the saying "look before you leap." You've also heard "ready, aim, fire."  Well, these have become good sayings for good reason. 

You'll meet plenty of business consultants and salespeople who say "leap and then look" or "ready, fire, aim", because chances are, they are trying to sell you something… make that anything.

Perhaps you didn't realise that you actually have three choices when it comes to going into business?

However, if you don't have unlimited money and whether you survive or thrive, I think "look before you leap" or "ready, aim, fire" makes much more sense. 

So you've still decided you really want to start your own business. That's great and let's hold onto that dream, as long as it makes sense.

So a good next question is: what are your options? Obviously you have the choice to start your own business, just like you decided.

But perhaps you didn't realise that you actually have three choices? You can start your own business and do everything from scratch. If you're starting your own business you will be responsible for doing everything from scratch.

We'll come back to this but maybe you should consider the other two options. The next option is to buy an existing business. If you have some money you can get together, then maybe that's a better option. 

What's the third option? The third option is to buy the rights to a local franchise.

So there we go. Perhaps you thought there was only one option and that was to start your business from scratch but in fact there are three viable options.

And what's interesting, each option will appeal to a different person based on their previous business and industry experience, risk tolerance and skill set. If business ownership is new to you, chances are you'll choose between buying an existing business or buying the rights to a franchise.

If you've had extensive experience in Corporate America and have specialized in one area such as sales and marketing, tech support or operations, you may feel more comfortable with a franchise where the franchisor brings their clear and defined skill set and responsibilities and you bring your natural skill set you've built over the years.

The final choice is yours. If you're just starting your journey to move into business ownership, read, ask questions and talk to those in business so you find the right fit.

In my opinion, your chances of success are much greater if you find the right fit for your unique blend of skills, experience, finances, risk tolerance and personality. If you bring it all together success is a matter of hard work.

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