According to an extensive survey by the Gallup Poll/USA Today/CNN, the majority of American want to start their own business. The survey showed that 57% of all Americans would prefer to be running their own business rather than working for someone else. Yet only about 10% of the adult American population are actually self-employed. This means that 47% of the population is working for someone else but would prefer to be self-employed.
Why does almost half of the population wish that they were self-employed but are still working for someone else? Many people consider starting a business but they hesitate and never pull the trigger.
What holds people back? For one, some people never find a business idea that both excites them and seems comfortable to them. Often people feel they lack the skills to start a particular business. Or they feel that a particular business idea would require a larger investment that they are comfortable making. This is unfortunate, because there are many exciting businesses that are easy to start, require little money and that often don’t require highly specialized skills.
I can testify to this myself as I have started many businesses. Most of these businesses I started with an investment under $10,000. And most of these businesses I had no experience in before I started them. What kind of businesses did I start you may be wondering? Businesses I started included: a house painting business, a bicycle rental business, a tourist map business, a boat brokerage business, an employment agency, a phone directory, a newspaper business, a job fair business and more.
People also are held back because they think they lack the basic business skills necessary to run any business. When I started my first businesses I was still in college. I had very little business skills. But it’s easy to pick up the business skills that you need. The most important skill about business is to develop a business idea that is different from your competitors in a way that matters to your customers. This way you will not spend your entire business life engage in a dogfight or price war with direct competitors.
What other business skills do you need? Marketing is important. Let me tell you the big secret about marketing that they don’t teach you at business school. Marketing is wicked hard! It’s difficult to find the right marketing vehicle, the right ad copy and the right offer to lure customers to your business. Eventually you will find some marketing that works. But it will likely take time. There is no magic solution for find that silver bullet marketing solution. So what do you do? You test. Test! Test! Test. You spend a little on marketing here and little there. But you don’t start spending much of anything until you are sure that you have found a marketing solution that works.
What about accounting? Isn’t that hard. The key to accounting is being organized and meticulous. Very meticulous. You need to record each and every sale and each and every expense. Then you categorize your expenses. Once you have done that you that you have basically created an income statement. Sure, there are fancier things to learn about accounting like how to project cash flow but you can learn that as you go.
Beyond being comfortable with the basics of running a business and finding a good idea what holds people back from starting a business? It’s fear! Fear they won’t succeed. Fear of the unknown.
You can get past the fear of the unknown by reading everything possible on how to start a business. On my website for example, BusinessTown.com, we offer 700 free short videos that can help jump-start your business knowledge.
You can also mitigate the fear that you won’t succeed in business. You can carefully choose a business idea that you are more likely to succeed in. You can develop a strategy that makes your business different than your competitors. And you can carefully develop a business plan before you start your business. You can do all this studying and planning about starting a business before you quit your day job.
And if you still want to decrease your fears and reduce your risk in starting a business, you can select a business idea that is feasible to run part-time, such as on the weekends. Perhaps if the business does extremely well then someday you may want to quit your day job. If the business does OK but not great then you will have some extra income coming in. And in the worst case with a part-time business, if the business doesn’t work at all you can still keep your day job.
The bottom-line is that starting a business doesn’t have be as risky or as fearful a process as you might have thought! So, what’s holding you back! Why not start planning your own new venture and start building your dream life today!