Recently an acquaintance confided in me that he had lost his job and was having difficulty catching on in a new position. It got me to thinking about when I took the big leap from employee to entrepreneur. Now, I made my move voluntarily, but what I learned from that move can help others who may have been forced into considering starting their own business due to the current economy. In effect, if you find yourself without a job and with little chance of getting one even close to your prior income or skills level, you are going to be faced with one of two choices: 1. You can still struggle in vain to get a job. 2. You become an entrepreneur.
Use your mental or physical skills to produce a business income, whether it is from your home or an office.
It cost me $25,000 in cash to start my business in 1992 when I quit my day job at a San Diego Bank. That was a chunk of change but got me to the break even point and beyond. And 1992 was in the middle of the last big economic rough patch. So as you see, it can be done, if you plan your steps carefully.
First, lay out a plan for the business that most suits your skills. Find people who want your services. Hire yourself as the first employee of your new business. Use your mental or physical skills to produce a business income, whether it is from your home or an office. (I have been a home-based SBA loan brokerage since I started in 1992.) Don’t think that you don’t have skills. Someone had a reason to employ you before you got laid off. Calculate what your time is worth and make that the business income basis for your company. Start simple but work that simple business day to day until someone says “yes” to your business.
If it takes 14 hours a day to get there, you must invest the time. Every business, whether it is a handy man or a doctor, is one and only one thing – first and foremost it is a marketing company. And success selling is a numbers game. The more people you meet, call, email or know, the better chance you have to get that first sale. One important note, do not sell yourself short on the income you expect to gain from your business. You can always do the work or business job for less, if that is what it takes to get the business. But you will never be able to increase your work value if you price your work too low. Find out what others charge for their work and price accordingly.
There is one thing I am absolutely certain of, dear reader: Your skills are marketable even if your former employer and present businesses didn’t see that. That is their loss. But I assure you that there are people and businesses out there who will hire you because you bring first-rate skills to the table. People respect the business owner and entrepreneur because they know that a business owner has the guts to go for it. They salute the entrepreneur because they know how hard it is to make a go of it. So even if you are The Accidental Entrepreneur, all they know is that you took the risk. Don’t take no for an answer and never give up. If you are able to draw breath your are able to start and build a business. It may be scary, even terrifying, to go out on your own, but isn’t just sitting idly by with no hope scarier?
Craig G. Francis is the owner of Francis Financial and The SBA Loan Store. He has been a top producer of SBA Loans since 1981, and has worked with Dun & Bradstreet and Bank of Commerce. Craig Francis has the expertise to steer clients through the often confusing rules and regulations associated with SBA Loans, having helped over 2,000 businesses acquire over a billion dollars in loans. He can be contacted through CraigGFrancis.com,SBALoanStore.com, on LinkedIn, or at 888-666-9722.
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