The visions and the reality of running your own business.
I have been in business for over 15 years. When I talk to people about their dreams I applaud them for their vision and then often try to make sure that they know it is not the dream world that they envision. Entering into self employment is not like a job change. It is an elimination of a lot of other people making decisions for you. This can be both good an bad
The Vision: You want to escape the rat race and spend more time with your family, a hobby. Running your own business online you can stop the commute, and even help cut pollution..
Reality: Initially you need to be prepared to spend more time with your new business than you may have spent on your job. A new business is like a new child. It will need your nurturing and effort for success. If your immediate goal is to replace a full time income you should have a nest egg prepared for the startup phase.
The vision: I will be able to keep more of what I make.
The Reality: The reality is that you will need to make more money to make as much money. Why? As a self employed person you will be paying the normal income taxes that you are used to paying as well as the matching portions that you employer paid. In addition, if you need medical insurance and worked for a company that paid part of the insurance or had a group plan you may find you will be paying more for insurance too.
As your business grows and you add employees you will quicky find that you have a while new set of expenses. Depending upon where you live there will be new expenses to consider. For example, Workmans Compensation insurance.
Reality: The fact is that this one is pretty exact. Again, be prepared to sacrifice some of that personal time while building the business.
The Vision: A online can be started with very little investment. Web hosting is cheaper than a storefront and you already own a computer.
Reality: While you do not have the cost of a storefront you still have many business related cost. Advertising, insurance, taxes, and the cost of doing business are all considerations for any business. A quality website created nd marketed by a company such as the author listed below is a good start.
The Vision: You can choose your own hours. If you have an appointment to keep in the morning, start your online work in the afternoon. No one can tell you that you can't take off.
Reality: You are the boss. You can choose your own hours and vacation. That is as long as someone can do everything you can do while you are gone. You will need to be prepared to make the decisions on how much to work and how much business to pass up for that time off.
The Vision: A website works 24 hours a day without complaining. Even if you're on holiday your online business website can be working online for you bringing in money.
Reality: This one is true providing that your online business can complete all orders without your help.
Reality: This is true for within the United States and much of the world. For International Markets you will need to be aware of what can be exported, exchange rates, and fraud protection when dealing with overseas vendors. In other words do your homework when looking at global markets.
Reality: This is true. Also keep in mind that more and more competitors are coming online everyday. You will need to stay on top of your website and work with an experienced webmaster to stay on top.
Reality: 100% true as long as you are 100% online. When meeting with customers you still need to take dress into account. Your appearance is a statement of your success and should receive as must attention as your company logo.