Thursday, July 10, 2008

Be Honest with Yourself

Don't let others dictate your personal definition of small business and entrepreneurship. Given the range of paths out there, it is easy to get tunnel-visioned on one version to your detriment. The traps depend on a variety of factors including ego, experience, finances, your network, and many others. In the end, this path is successful and rewarding if you define it for yourself and remain true to the key pillars.

On a high level, I'd suggest that the options can be categorized into starting a business, buying a business, franchising, and working for a small business in a senior role. Within each of these, there is also a broad range of options when you consider the future prospects of the businesses themselves. Is the company a startup (high growth), sustaining success, a turnaround, or a realignment? These categories come from the book The First 90 Days(also in Amazon links on right). Many people will narrowly define (and sensationalize) the startup with explosive potential as the "true" entrepreneurship. This is far too narrow, for the answer is more personal than general.

Consider your desires (work and beyond), your goals, your financial plan, and more in determining the key characteristics in taking your steps forward. The input of others is a helpful factor--especially if the world is foreign to you, but the output of that process needs to be personal. Small business infiltrates your life. It is important that it can exist there.

3 comments:

Alicia Allen said...

I plan on running my own business soon, so I'll have to bookmark this post. It'll be tough and challenging (though hopefully rewarding in the end), and I can use all the help and advice I can get. Lately I've been thinking about buying a business instead of starting one from scratch. Maybe a franchise? Home based? I'm not entirely sure yet. Do you have any other advice or suggestions? Thanks so much.

Matthew Markee said...

Buying a business certainly has its advantages, but it can also be easier said than done. There is much to look out for when doing the due diligence. There are good resources available (i.e. Entrepreneur's Source) in the franchising space as well.

L. Edwards said...

@Alicia -- If you're thinking about buying a business, I know there are websites you could browse for more info. There's one called BizTrader.com, which is an online global marketplace where you can buy or sell a business. It has a lot of helpful advice and tips, and you can also use it find a lender, broker, etc.

You can also check out small business groups in your area. They can also be very helpful, and it's always good to network.

Good luck!