How to be your own boss

How to Start Working for Yourself


It’s becoming more and more difficult these days to make ends meet with just one source of income, and many people are looking into the possibily of starting their own small business, either working at home or working from their home.

Many of those who have tried have built their business into a profitable part-time or full-time enterprose. Others may not have been so fortunate, but the experience of at least trying may have given them some hope for the future. The fact is, to be your own boss you need to have a certain amount of determination and drive to succeed.

There are many possibilities for starting your own business. Mail order selling, multi-level marketing, selling on ebay and party plan sales have always been very popular.
If any of these extra income ideas appeal to you, then you owe it to yourself to check them out. You never know what it might lead to. But these aren’t the only business ideas you can start and operate from home, there are many more other possibilities. Many of which you can start with little or no investment.

For example, If you’re good at typing, you could start a home-based typing service. If you have a van or have access to a trailer, you can start a house clearance or light haulage service. If you like gardening you could start a lawn or garden maintenance service. If you’re artistic you could paint childrens portraits. Many enterprising housewives have built successful businesses by providing a regular cleaning services for domestic and commercial clients. If you like growing flowers and you have a decent size garden or allotment you could quite easily make extra money by supplying fresh cut flowers to restaurants, hotels and offices in your area on a regular basis.

You might even be able to turn your hobby into a business. For example, if you like ceramics you could offer a service for personalised coffee mugs. If you like sewing you could provide a sewing and alteration service. If you like craftwork you could make and sell your items at a crafts fair or market stall. Just starting on a small scale to test out your products or service could quite easily lead to a part-time or full time business. At the very least you could make yourself an occasional extra income.

What I’m saying is, there’s countless ways that you could start and operate a profitable extra income business from your home. The first thing you must do, however, is some basic market research. It’s important to find out just how many people in your area would be interested in your product or service. And would they be willing to part with their money to pay you for your services? This is known as ‘defining your market’ and your customers. If after checking around and talking about your idea with a wide range of people over a period of a few weeks or months, you’ll get a better idea if there will be a constant demand, and your efforts can then be directed toward the setting out a detailed business plan. The more precise and detailed your business plan the easier it will be be for you to build a successful business that will last.

A good business plan should provide details of your start-up investment requirements, your advertising plan, your production costs and procedures, your sales program, and how your time will be allocated. Too often, enthusiastic and ambitious entrepreneurs jump into a business or extra income project without planning ahead and suddenly find that start-up and running costs are beyond their means, and the time requirement to run and maintain the business is more than they can handle. So it pays to plan everything out before you get too involved. The clearer you can visualise and plan everything before you start, the better your chances of success.

Assuming you’ve defined your target market, and you know who your customers are going to be and how you’re going to reach them, the next step will be to set your plan in motion and start making some money.

One very important rule you should abide by is this…

Regardless of the type of business you start, whether it’s a service business or selling goods, you must have the capital and enough time available to sustain your business through the first six months of it’s operation. In particular, you must not count on spending any money coming in from your business on yourself or for your own personal bills during those first six months. All the income coming in from your business should only be reinvested in your business in order for it to grow and reach the target income you set for your first year’s target income.

After passing the first six months milestone you can set up a small monthly salary for yourself, as long as it won’t be detrimental to the survival of the business. If after twelve months of operation, targets are not being met, then you may want to seriously consider if you want to continue developing the business, particularly if costs are seriously over budget. Some types of business however require up to two or three years of operation before showing a profit. But this requires very careful planning.

With most small business start ups, if everything goes according plan, by the end of your first year you should be able to start thinking about outsourcing some of the work or hiring other people to alleviate your work-load. Remember, starting a business does not need to be a means of replacing your current job, or a way to keep yourself busy. A business should be regarded as an enterprise that will grow and prosper, and eventually provide you with an ongoing income without all the effort.

By becoming your own boss and planning your business correctly, eventually you can have other people doing all the work for you, even running the entire operation. This means you could be in the enviable position of having all the time you need to spend with your family, go on holidays, or pursue other leisure pursuits, while still receiving a regular income from your business and the initial efforts you put into building it. Heck, you might even be able to sell the business for a small fortune and retire completely!

Further reading:

Is a Franchise Business right for you?

Tips on buying a business

Turning a hobby into a business