Start a business someday --
Are you ready to start a business?
If the answer is "yes," check out my and .
If your answer is "not sure," take the on this page.
Don't get discouraged! A "no" answer to any of the
questions will identify an area for development -- not a roadblock.
I am if you would
like to discuss your options in greater detail.
(1) Do you offer a clear, unambiguous benefit that your target
market can't live without?
Ideally you can learn whether demand exists for your service.
Otherwise, don't dive in. Dip a toe into the water to see if
(2) Can you demonstrate expertise?
Collect testimonials, references, products and awards. Credentials
help only if clients believe they make a difference.
(3) Do you have evidence that
people will pay for your services? For instance, you may have achieved expertise
in a certain type of healing where the going rate is $15 an hour.
(4) Is your market crowded
If it's hard to stand out, you need a network of personal contacts
to get started. And if the quality of your competitors varies,
much of your business will depend on referrals.
(5) Do you have networks of
people who can become clients or referral sources?
For instance, are you a CPA whose clients pick your brain for
career change and business start-ups? Do you belong to professional
groups that will give you access to a mailing list?
If so, you may have a straightforward transition to your new
(6) Have you ever
(a) been self-employed or
(b) been successful at a straight-commission sales job?
If you dropped out of a sales job because you couldn't handle
the uncertainty, you need an exceptionally generous safety net
before you embark on your own solo venture.
(7) Are you at home on the
Do you understand the principles of web design, so you can do-it-yourself
or work intelligently with a designer?
A website is a commitment, especially for service businesses.
You have to be your own designer, marry a designer, or have a
big maintenance budget.
(8) Are you active in a community that is large enough to include potential
clients and referrers?
It is possible to have a lucrative distance business, but it
takes longer and requires unique marketing skills.
(9) Are you comfortable in
a sales role? When someone
calls to inquire about your services, are you willing to view
your task as selling as well as helping, analyzing or troubleshooting?
(10 ) How much continuity exists between your former career
and your new business?
Professions have norms and values. The greater the distance,
the more challenging will be your journey, and the greater the
risk and time to achieve. You may have to learn a new way of
thinking about the world.
And you truly may not be able to go home again.
Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D.
Author, Career Consultant, Speaker
*Fast Track to Career Freedom*