In difficult economic times, many people choose to establish their own business, looking for financial security. Some have lost their jobs, while others begin to lay the foundation for their business while they are still working for another company. If that is your situation, you should know how to do it properly so your business will prosper and you can avoid problems.
According to Kurt A. Schindler, Vice President of Financial Education at Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, any potential business person should begin by asking two questions: Why am I doing this? Why do I want to have this business? According to Schindler, these questions are simple “but they will center you.” Once you answer them, be sure that you:
Have clear expectations. Are you looking to add extra income or replace what you are earning today as an employee? This will determine, in large measure, what kind of business you will have.
Manage finances while keeping separate accounts. “It could be something as simple as designating one of your cards for personal expenses and another for business expenses. This gives you peace of mind,” he explained.
Manage your time correctly. “Don’t use your current work time for your new business, for example. You have to be respectful.” Schindler recommended reviewing the company manual where you work to see if it restricts what you can do in your free time.
Rely on a business plan. Ensure that it is viable given the time available.
Postpone establishing an office to reduce costs. You can visit clients in their offices or in public places. When working at home, set aside a space for business. “What is important is that you feel like you are going to work,” the expert said.
Obtain legal advice if you have questions. If the services your new company will offer are similar to those provided by your current employer, it is a good idea to consult the employee manual or get legal advice.
Use social media judiciously. According to Schindler, you can use social media to spread the word about your business if your current employer knows about your plans to start a business.
Make it formal. “It is not enough to have a business plan or a viability study. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it for real, not just see what happens,” said Schindler.
In short, don’t dive in without preparation, but don’t be afraid to explore other possibilities. “People are daring to do things differently, now. Don’t be afraid to look for other opportunities,” Schindler concluded.