If I am my own boss, can I still get fired?
One of the reasons a person may decide to go into business for themselves is to be independent of a structure imposed by a manager, boss, corporate policies, etc. The autonomy that is gained comes with challenges and more importantly,a high degree of risk. The first question to be addressed is “Do I have a product (goods or services) that a customer would spend money on?” A customer will spend money to solve a problem. What solution do I have to a problem and what value does it have? What is my product? Am I capable of taking on the responsibility of a business that delivers my product to customers?
There are a number of additional questions that must be answered:
* Why do I want to be my own boss
* As an entrepreneur, am I capable of functioning outside the structure of an existing business?
* Do I have the organizational skills to manage a business,or do I have the financial position to pay someone else to take on these responsibilities?
* Will anyone else value the product that I want to bring to the market? (This can also include a service.)
* If this activity is something I enjoy doing, will I still want to do it enough to clear a profit?
* Do I have the financial resources to support a fledgling business long enough to become established?
* Do I have the support system in place (family and friends) to meet the physical demands of time, energy and motivation that are necessary when starting and running a business?
* Do I want to start a business that is my own creation, or should I look at a structured business such as a franchise where the format and business structure is already predetermined and there is a support system that I can turn to for assistance?
* Will I be able to take an objective look at my business and business process and make the necessary changes that will lead to a successful business and a profit?
* What is the market for my product and how will I connect with my market?
* Can I generate repeat business from my customers and establish additional revenue flows?
* Can my product (or service) be duplicated by more employees so my business can grow?
* If “I am” the business, what is the maximum capacity of my business?
* Is that enough to generate the desired revenue (profit) to be my only source of income?
* Do I do this part time in addition to my previous job or does the new business become my only job?
* Am I prepared to expand my business and meet the expanding demands of a bigger business model, or do I stay small?
* Is my product something that will become obsolete (such as Beanie Babies) or can I adapt to a changing market?
* Will my customers reject my product at a later date or find there is no longer a need for my goods or services?
* Am I capable of accepting the role my customers play in determining the validity and value of my product?
* If my product is no longer relevant or marketable, will I know when to close the business? Do I have an exit strategy for my business?
* If my business is rejected by my customers do I look fora new market, a new product or additional lines to increase my revenue flow?
* If I close my business, will I be prepared to develop a different business or do I return to the role of employee in another business?
* If I am “fired” by my customers, will I know it and how will I react to that change?
These are just a few of the questions that must be addressed before considering becoming your own boss and going into business for yourself. Once the decision to start a business is made, the actual “mechanics”of the business such as a business plan, the structure of the business,financial plan, etc is the next phase of the planning your start up. There are many resources to turn to for the mechanics of a business. Only you can assess your capacity as an entrepreneur in building and sustaining a business. If you don’t try, you may never know the depth of your skills and capacity as an entrepreneur.
Homepreneurs note: This post was written by good friend, Julie, a former small business entrepreneur and now helps the unemployed. Her sage words should be read by all considering self-employment. Thank you, Julie for sharing your expertise and contributing this very well written piece.