Sheltowee Outpost

Four Ways to Start a Business

Four Ways to Start a Business

Sep 08 2014

So you want to own your own business.  What should you do?  My first piece of advice is don't quit your day job.  Figure out what the opportunities are and work on your new business while you are drawing a steady pay check.  Hard work is an absolute for being an entrepreneur and you might as well get used to the work now. 

There are many options for owning your own business.  Some of these include:

  1. Having an idea and starting a unique business.
  2. Buying into a franchise.
  3. Purchasing an existing business.
  4. Joining a network marketing company.

Each of these different options have unique aspects.  I would say that the hardest is to start your own unique business.  Whether it is a new restaurant or marketing a new widget, it is really tough to get a new concept off the ground.  If it is a unique and really good idea people will love that it is unique.  Investors will ding you because there is nothing like it.  It is a double edged sword. 

Buying into a franchise is something that many people do each year.  The advantage of purchasing a franchise is that you can leverage the experience and game plan of someone else.  They will provide policies and procedures that will help you get the business up and running. The downside is that you will have to do things their way and you will be taking significant money out of your pocket for the franchise fees and putting it in to someone else's.

Another option is to purchase a business that someone has already made successful and they are looking to get out of it.  This lowers the risk somewhat in that it is likely going to need to have the cash flow to support the purchase price.  The downside of this is being able to judge how dependent the success of that business has been on the previous owner.  Are all the customers doing business with the company because of their relationship with the owner?  Will you be able to maintain those relationships?  These are serious questions that need to be addressed.

Network marketing companies get a bad rap from a lot of people.  Often times this is deserved, but I think that they are excellent learning opportunities.  The truth about network marketing companies is that the vast majority of people who are attracted to them as a business opportunity never make any money on them.  If you are not a good sales person, or have the discipline to learn to be a good sales person, this is probably not a route for you. 

If you are seriously considering starting a business, I highly suggest that you start it as a hobby.  Don't go all in until you have done lots of homework.  Be realistic about what it will cost and about the sacrifices that will be required and be sure you are educated about what you are getting into. 

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