Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2004
For many of us, change can be a scary thing. When we are children, there is nothing better than meeting new friends and going to new places. But, when we become adults, change can be something that is less than appealing.
From finishing school and going on to college or university to getting married and having children, our lives are nothing but life changing moments.
Sometimes the one change that is the hardest to deal with is the change in our employment status, and one of the biggest career changes is the decision to go from being an “employee” to being your own “boss”, becoming a self-employed entrepreneur.
For those that have that overwhelming desire to be a small business owner, the entire journey to success is something that creates a sense of energy and fulfilment. The roads that are followed bring an abundance of information, continually adding to the entrepreneurial process and spirit.
Visits to local small business centers can provide a wealth of support and encouragement. There is always flyers, newsletters and experienced staff to assist you with any questions or concerns.
Another avenue that can be taken to contribute to your business’ success is becoming involved in networking groups. Most groups conduct weekly or monthly meetings, some more formal than others, which allow small business owners to share with each other their stories and experiences. It can create alliances that will benefit each business owner.
For myself, a small business owner in Southern Ontario, Canada, the road to being an entrepreneur included the participation in the SEA (Self Employment Assistance) Program sponsored by Human Resources Development Canada.
The SEA program offered, and is still offering, myself and my company a wealth of information and support. This program is available all across Canada. In Southern Ontario it is available in Brampton, Orangeville, and Toronto, as well as numerous other communities. The program consists of 10 weeks of in-class instruction which is performed by successful small business owners. The support then continues for one year with monthly networking meetings with the rest of the participants and one-on-one appointments with an instructor.
Although this program is only offered in Canada, there are similar programs offered in most other areas, whether you are in the United States or anywhere else in the world. Check your local phone book or small business magazines for more information.
For myself, the decision to become self-employed was something that just felt right at the time. I had spent a number of years running my father’s lawn care company from my home. During that time, I had helped friends, family and acquaintances with everything from typing projects for them to designing their marketing material. So when the time came for my dad to retire, it just seemed natural to do what I had been doing for many years....providing word processing and desktop publishing services. Then, with the increase in the use of the Internet, I learned to design websites.
So, if you are thinking of starting your own business, it is recommended that you do plenty of research. You have to see if the type of business you want to start is viable in your area. Is there a need for your product or service by the people or businesses in your community? Whether you will be looking for funding or not, you need to do a business plan. In the process of putting it together, you will have a better understanding of what you are doing and where you are going.
If you need help with certain aspects when building your business, such as promotion or putting together influential marketing material, there are many companies that specialize in taking some of the pressure off of your shoulders. Not all will be listed in the phone books yet, so you need to keep your eyes and ears open for mention of these companies.
Remember that not all small businesses are overnight successes. It takes plenty of work. Long hours with very little reward in the beginning. But, each time a new client or customer comes on board, you will feel butterflies in your stomach and a smile on your face. Use that feeling of exhilaration as your energy source and combine it with other relevant information that you acquire. Knowledge isn’t power...Action is!
About the Author
Janice Byer is a certified Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net). Visit her website to read more of her articles, sign up for her award-winning newsletter, and browse her various services, testimonials and resources.