Key Considerations — Whatever You Do, Don’t Overlook This!
There are plenty of ways to make money, but only a few are viable long term and enjoyable along the way. Here are the most important points I believe you should consider when looking at a new business or new income stream.
1. Consider the market. Is there much room for growth? Are you meeting a real, tangible need? Is the need short term or will it continue over the long haul?
2. What kind of money can you make? Is it enough to justify the energy, time and effort you’ll dedicate to your new business? How soon can expect to be profitable? Is it tied solely to the hours you log or is at least part of the income residual or leveraged?
3. What costs are involved? Are there initial fees or start-up costs associated with this business? What ongoing costs will you encounter?
4. What kind of background, skill set and education are required? Is the business plan a good match for your skill set and interests? Is it overly complicated? Let me assure you of a fact I’ve learned over the years: Simple solutions are generally the best solutions. I’d stay away from anything that stretches your logic or leaves you with piles of books to read before you can get moving.
5. How much time is required weekly in order to succeed? Ideally, you’d find a way to begin your new venture while still drawing today’s employee pay check. But also make sure that the long-term time required won’t leave you working around the clock. That’s fine in the short term, but it generally is not sustainable.
6. Will success create the life you want? There are plenty of high-paying corporate jobs with fancy titles and other trappings, but most of those require you to become a hostage to your success. If you’re like me, you’re not content sitting in some building behind some desk staring at some computer day in and day out. In those jobs, you miss too many moments in life that really are important and you don’t have control of your schedule or life. To me, that’s not success. Make sure the venture you select has the potential to create success as you define it.
7. How will you market your business? Can you leverage automated tools (such as Internet tools) to help spread the word or is it up to your word-of-mouth alone? Are you limited to marketing in a specific geographic region or are your possibilities broad? Are there economical ways to attract customers or will you sink all your profits into marketing costs?
8. What kind of liability will you assume? Can you limit your risks through a corporate entity or insurance? Make sure you only assume the liability that you and your family can withstand.
9. Are partners sufficiently funded ? Virtually all businesses rely on partners such as manufacturers, corporate headquarters, suppliers, etc. Make sure the entities with which you’ll partner are sufficiently funded. I’ve seen too many folks get a new business up and running only then to fail because a key partner in their supply chain went belly up.
10. What kind of training and support is available? Are you truly going it alone? Are you blazing a new trail? Or, is there some sort of proven path from which you can learn? Look for ways to be in business for yourself without being out there by yourself.