Starting a BusinessMany people were downsized this year or last and dream of not returning to corporate America. They fantasize of starting a business but are afraid of failure and the current economic situation can make a person even more shaky when it comes to taking risks. However, where there is a troubled economy there is also opportunity and you can take that severance package (or part of it) and invest it in your own business. How do you know if it is a risk worth taking?

If you are going to take a financial risk, you must have a true passion for what you want to do. Life is too short to invest the time and money a new business takes if you don’t really care about what you’ll be doing. You must have a solid idea, one that solves a problem, provides value and has a market that you can serve. If there are similar businesses, you must really investigate what is going to make yours unique. Why will customers want to come to YOU and not your competitor?

How much time are you willing to invest? This is a really important question, but not just for you. Is your family willing to give you up for the time necessary to start a new business? Make the expectations really clear up front so that there are no hard feelings and, if it makes sense, involve them in the process.

Be prepared to market, market, market in every way possible. There are many marketing doorways to make available to your potential customers. Create as many as possible so they can find you and what you offer.

Start small, keep debt low, continue to refine your processes, build a team of cheerleaders, reach out to your customers where they live and breathe and ask for guidance when you encouter problems. Don’t let the fear prevent you from taking that next step to creating a business that can support you, your family and your dreams!


by Steven Schlagel