Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Day 7: all nice and warm.

(c) 2016 P. Lynne Designs
Well, Columbus had its first major snowstorm of the season, and I would not call it a major snowstorm yet. The reason why I call it a major snowstorm because people around here do not know how to drive in snow. I am serious. Folks around Columbus believe that ice is the natural norm around here, and decide to drive like it is springtime weather. They forget rules when stopping, they forget that they do not have snow tires (which is not a requirement in Ohio), and it is like a three-ring circus on the highways. Another plus for working at home.
So yesterday, I covered how you can apply to work from home if your employer allows it, and how to do it effectively. Today, I am going to briefly show you how to start the process of becoming an entrepreneur. It is not as easy as it looks, and you have to make sacrifices. I am going to show you what I did wrong, as well as what I am doing right.  Keep in mind that I am not an expert on the subject of all things owning your own business from A-Z because I am still learning.  I am learning what a business owner can and cannot do and I have been learning for almost 15 years (14 as an independent direct seller and 5 as an entrepreneur, and 4 as a freelance writer).  There are differences between the three, and since my other blogs are currently down because of an upgrade (this is the last blog to get the upgrade), I will address it here.

Preparation steps:

  •          Make sure you have 6 months to a year’s worth of money saved before taking on this task.  It goes hand in hand with the next one I will mention in a moment.  This should be common sense anyway because you will never know what will happen.  You may get sick to the point of not being able to work, or laid off either in a company closing, downsizing, or fired for whatever reason the boss cooks up.  Now, this was my mistake, and the reason was shopping.  I had to have it now, instead of waiting on that item.  I had 3 months saved, and I had bills.  I will address bills in a moment as well. 
  •          Keep your job, for now.  You cannot go to work, and announce that you quit because you have your own business.  Wait until profits increase before you make that announcement.  It shows three things:  You are loyal to your job (even if you hate it to pieces), You have a backup in case things fail, and it looks good on your credit report.  Not only that but if things do go bad down the road (say in 2-3 years) when your business has a lean year (not making enough profits), you can go back to your former employer and work a while.  Once your business picks up again, you can always leave.  Do not bite the hand that feeds you and do not talk bad about the company when you leave.  Tip:  Do not take their clients either if you are still in the same industry.  There is a reason why they have you sign that waiver when they first hired you.  My company changed its employee handbook to read that I could not open a business of any kind, so they forced my hand in signing it, but then I quit. You can always work your business on the weekends and days off for a while.
  •          Bills, bills, and more bills.  We all have them.  Credit Card, utility, even magazine subscriptions.  Continue to pay them on a regular basis.  What it looks like to the creditors:  money in your pocket to pay them, and there are no breaks in the payment.
  •          Try not to get a loan.  Enough said.  If you do, wait until you need equipment or some other major tool or property, not when you first start the business.
  •          Benefits.  Another reason why you should not quit work right away.  The moment you quit, you have to pay your own health insurance, and you do not get that bonus or that vacation pay if you do not take one.  You also do not get unemployment benefits. (Not one dime of it).  When you are ready (see “Keep your job, for now.”), you can negotiate your back pay (if they are a fair company), and bid a proper goodbye.  Even if you are bitter about it, do not leave in anger, you may need a favor down the road.

I hope this helps you to decide if owning your own business is right for you.  You can always read further, and research for yourself, but I love it, and I may not get it right all the time, but tomorrow I will show you how to get things in line BEFORE you yell “Open for business”.

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