Friday, April 24, 2009

The "Must-haves" for Building a Sustainable Business

When my friends tell me that they've been downsized or fired from their jobs, my immediate reaction is, "Congratulations - welcome to newfound freedom!" Of course, their mentality hasn't yet grasp the true definition of the kind of freedom I'm speaking of and they're usually still in the victim mentality to prompt them to do anything about it. So...

Here's what you will need to be in business for yourself (I'm skipping the o
bvious, such as a business plan, legal entity, accounting, marketing, sales, etc...because you can find information like that anywhere):

1. A Supportive family: Nothing is more important that this! You could argue that you will need a massive amount of starting capital, or venture capitalist support, but none of these things can build solid foundations
better than the support of your entire family.

2. Persistence and Resilience: There is not a single successful business I know of today that hasn't failed at first. In fact, ALL successful businesses (private and public) have failed many times! Once you've failed and fallen flat on your face, you need to have the resilience to get back up and try again using a different approach. Eventually, it will succeed - trust me.

3. Full-time attention: During my college years, I had established a web hosting business and I charged $1000 a year per account. In 4 years it failed, not because of my technology, or my overhead expenses, but because I had a job. The JOB (which stands of Just Over Broke), sucked the life out of me and gave me a false sense of priority! It consumed the time I had which could have been dedicated to building the business. Instead, I became satisfied with the salary, "perks" and benefits. The sense of comforts a job brings will kill you, slowly.

4. Nay-sayers: A lot of business books tell you to avoid such people, but I say, proceed with caution. You need nay-sayers as much as the praisers and fanatics. I had lunch with the former CFO of the company I used to worked for after I quit and he said to me, "Ace, your company can't compete with Fidelity, and people will choose big companies like these every time. You're better off using your business credit to obtain loans at low rates and re-loan at higher rates..." Needless to say, he was wrong and each time we sign a new account, he's proven
wrong. So, recognize the nay-sayers then prove them wrong. Heck, go into business just to destroy these people and you'll see just how gratifying it is!

5. Trust in your ability to succeed: One of the biggest mistakes I've made when we were starting out was when I did not trust in myself to guide the growth of the business. Instead, I hired it out. We spent thousands for results I could have achieved for FREE! Bad idea when you're just starting out, save your money, and spend it wisely (if at all).

So, there you have it! If you have been wanting/needing to be a stay-at-home-mom or stay-at-home-dad, but need an income stream to support the lifestyle, consider starting your own business.

1 comment:

  1. Ace quitting his FT job and starting his own business is the best thing for our family!! Two careers and two commutes was NOT working out for us. Neither of us wanted to give up work/careers completely, so this is a nice medium. I took a job at a very flexible family friendly firm so I can be home a lot too. It makes allllll the difference in the world having someone at "home base," especially with Bennett not being able to attend day care. And he is SO much more involved with the kids and our home life now. And much less stressed!

    And the satisfaction he gets from running his own show is incalculable! If you have a good idea for a product or service that people would want or could use, I highly suggest that you give a second thought to going into business for yourself! In this day and age its so easy with the internet and there are a LOT of free tools for businesses to use. And you get some nice deductions for using your home for business!!!