Starting up your own business can be a daunting task. Sure, you have a great idea, friends and family encouraging you but there can be a huge chasm between the idea of, and actually sitting down and getting started.
I had worked in the corporate world for 20 years. I was tired of my job, unable to find something new and exciting as my CV couldn't compete with the young and educated. I had a portfolio of work, but how to get a foot in the door for the portfolio to speak for me was an impossible task.
Then life took a 180 degree turn. My kids were in high school, I had a new partner who had a good job, which could and wanted to support us, which was a first. It was time!
I knew what I was passionate about, graphic design, web design in particular. I knew there had to be a market out there, but knew nothing about the business of running a business.
I felt totally overwhelmed when I dropped by the local business entrepreneur center, a myriad of classes and help, but it made me feel like I needed a business degree before I even began my graphic design business. Not really what I wanted, I wanted to design!
One of the women there said they had an online business plan I could fill out, and that seemed a good start, so I set that up as my first task. Thankfully it was exactly what I needed to jump start. It was a very simple model, had a series of questions, with the answer fully typed in. All I had to do was re-write it for my business. What got spit out was a well formulated plan, and a To Do list, which I started on right away.
The business took two or more years to even begin to support me in the manner that my previous job did, yet all along there was a sense of growth, and that it was going to viable. This summer marks year 10 of Imaginations Everythin Inc.,
and it's been the most amazing ride.
I know a heck of a lot more now, than I did then about running a business. But most of what I learnt didn’t come from a classroom, it came from where it usually does… on the job training!
The best piece of advice I would have for you if you are considering starting your own business, is to research easy on-line options for creating a business plan. The plan will help you formulate your idea, as well as give you a starting point.
Two resources I've found: BDC Business Plan Template
and Interactive Business Planner.
Both are Canadian, but most of the questions are so generic, they could apply to a US based business easily. If you do a google search on Business Plans, or online business plans, you may find others that are effective as well.