So, you’ve made the choice. You are embarking on the challenging yet rewarding journey of becoming an entrepreneur at this stage in your life.This section can be used as a guide to fill your ‘toolbox’ with the necessary skills on “how’ to start a business. Discover how your set of circumstances history and skill-set can help lead you to success. Here you will find tips on test driving a new career before committing, time management, finance, the types of business you may want to consider and how to ultimately measure your success.
Finding the Best Entrepreneurial Path and Making Considerations:
- Try the SCAMPER technique: A creative thinking exercise designed by educator,
Bob Eberle, SCAMPER is designed to help people solve a wide range of problems.
- SCAMPER can be used to plot a story, design a computer, play a better game of chess, or win a war.
- It can definitely be used by people who are searching a new vocation
and/or who wish to fine-tune their new business once they discover it.
Doing Things Better than the Competition:
- Ask yourself: What underserved markets can I tap into?
Consider especially growing and expanding underserved markets.
- Think: What local products and services frustrate me most when I use them?
- Does the local dry cleaner do a careless job of cleaning my sweaters?
- Does the town wine merchant offer a puny selection of white wines?
- Does the hardware store on Main Street cater too much to tradesman and not enough to homeowners?
- Does the town pizza taste like an old shoe?
- What local goods and services- or more ambitiously, what state or national business- need improvement?
Taking a Potential Career for a Test Drive:
Leslie Krasner had worked as a literary agent in New York City for almost 30 years.
Extremely successful, she thought she could work on the other side of the desk, as a writer.
At fifty-two she gave up a six-figure salary and began writing at home. The problem was becoming a writer was little more than a romantic idea in Leslie’s head. She had done almost no writing in her spare time . She had never taken creative writing courses, never submitted articles for publication and never done much in the field except sell the work of other authors. Within two years, Leslie discovered the painful fact she was a writer neither by temperament nor by talent. When she tried to get her job back at the agency the doors were closed.
Before you take the plunge, get your feet wet. For example, do an internship with a company within your field of interest.
Managing Your Time:
- A venture can be planned so that the involvement of the entrepreneur can very over time.
- If you plan correctly it could be possible to start your entrepreneurship efforts as a part time venture
and increase the amount of involvement upon retirement.
- Chose a business in which you can hire a manager as the main service deliverer.
This strategy gets you off the work hook to the extent that you want to get off.
- Take a seasonal job, such as running a nursery. Keep the remaining months of the year for yourself.
What do I need? The Ball Park List:
- Ask yourself: How much money can I afford to spend on a new business?
Think about your basic needs: office , files, computers, printers, advertising, furniture, water coolers,business stationery, payroll, benefits, and erasers, whatever.
- Make a preliminary list, then do a ballpark estimate of how much it will all cost.
At this point, these figures are not final.
They’re just a seat-of-the pants way of figuring out what you can and cannot afford.
How to Finance Your Venture:
- Approximately ninety percent of businesses start with financial investments from entrepreneurs themselves.
- Most invest by providing collateral, using credit cards, and/or taking out personal loans.
Other options include:
- Venture Capital :
In most cases, venture capital firms are most comfortable investing
several million dollars or more in large private companies
that have strong probabilities for growth
Not all banks are the same. Some maintain harsh, unbendable lending policies.
Others are more willing to negotiate.
Types of Business Models to Consider:
- Outsourcing was once considered a bad word, but today it is recognized as an efficient way to do business.
This change is a boon for later-life entrepreneurs who can now use their skills, knowledge,
and education to become independent contractors or to set up their own consulting operations.
- In the Information Age, knowledge is as sale-able a commodity as cars and houses.
People over fifty have a particularly large stockpile of goods.
Build A Business to Sell it:
- Building equity value. Unlike regular employment, entrepreneurial ventures can create business value that can benefit the owner.
- If successful, a business can be sold when he wants to fully retire, potentially creating a significant lump-sum payment.
- Say, for example, that you and your middle-aged sister start an accounting firm together.
She’s worked as a bookkeeper for several small companies, and seems to know her stuff.
After working side by side for a year, however, it becomes devastatingly clear that sis
would have been more of an asset to the family name if she’d kept her day job.
- Take time to carefully consider which family members to go into business with.
You will have difficulty cutting professional ties with incompetent family members.
At the present time, there are approximately 1,500 companies in the United States that sell franchises and 750,000 chain businesses that operate them. This number is growing every year.
- Perhaps not seen by some as an entrepreneurial venture, direct marketing organizations such as Avon, Mary Kay, or Pampered Chef, are, in essence, small and flexible entrepreneurial endeavors.
- Like a franchise, the entrepreneur makes an alliance with a company that has products, a strong brand name, and a operations manual.
The entrepreneur can then work full-time or part-time on a flexible basis.
Except for those who recruit many others in the company,
the benefits tend to be modest and usually represent an income that supplements other family income.
- The US government is the largest purchaser of goods and services.
It awards $ 500 billion dollars a year in government contracts.
23 percent of all prime government contracts go to small businesses.
Common cost reimbursement contracts appear in the field of research and development.
Other contracts include material contracts and letter contracts.
How to Measure Success:
- Knowing how to measure you success is important for knowing where you stand and where you are going.
There are different ways to measure the success of a business: survival, sales, employment creation and profitability are all common measures.
How to Find out more Information:
- Do the necessary research. Attend trade shows, visit showrooms,
talk to people involved in the careers in which you’re interested.
- Read business-oriented newspapers like Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal.
- Check out government records such as patent information and agency reports.
- Read trade magazines, brochures, reports, and advertising materials in the fields of business that interest you.
- Sometimes simply being in the vicinity of opportunity creates opportunity.