Let’s face it. Some of us just aren’t cut out to do the 9-5. We can’t be satisfied with punching the clock and lining some corporate entity’s deep pockets with our worker bee contributions to the hive. We find ourselves often frustrated in the workplace or going from industry to industry trying to find that perfect fit, but never quite get there.
We have ambition, a burning desire to be more, to be successful on our own merits, and some of us have the seed of a potential million dollar idea that just won’t go away.
So we go to school, we educate ourselves and dream of a day when we can be our own boss. We dream of building our own company where we answer only to ourselves If you’re one of those with the entrepreneurial spirit, you understand exactly what I’m talking about. What’s your dream, and how do you go about achieving it?
The success of your company depends on many factors. Your unique and original idea, the financial and economic climate and your ability to navigate the marketplace. Branding and marketing are other keys to success in addition to your unique ability to translate your idea into a viable product or service. The best ideas fill a need or a void in the marketplace. Choose wisely.
A coffee shop won’t necessarily be successful if there is a Starbucks on every corner in the city. On the other hand, make that coffee shop a neighborhood hang-out with an anti-corporate feel, live music and community events and you may be able to make a go of it. If you’ve got a brilliant idea that you can’t stop thinking about, you owe it to yourself to give it a shot.
Finances also play an important role in being a successful entrepreneur. You have to have the seed capital to start your company, and to survive while you build your business. You may need investors or a small business loan so that you can devote yourself full-time to making a go of your new company while still being able to pay the bills. You’ll want to reinvest in your idea as your company grows, and a portion of your profits will go right back into the business and another percentage will go right out the door in the form of taxes, permits, licence fees and rent. Smart strategic business planning is crucial to your success. Don’t jump into anything without fully exploring the financial side. We can get carried away by the creative process of reinventing ourselves, but the financial reality must be acknowledged.
If you’ve decided you just can’t work for someone else and you’re not sure how to be your own boss, you might consider purchasing a franchise. Many franchises already have name recognition and some advertising behind them. The true “turnkey” operations are businesses that have already been established and just need someone to walk in and take over operations. Be aware that many of the larger franchises require fees and kickbacks to the umbrella corporation from the franchise profits. If you’ve got some available capital, a franchise can be a great way to get into business without having to do all the ground work and lay the foundation. It’s all been done for you.
Franchise opportunities come in all industries. Entrepreneurs can start (or take over) companies in computer repair, education, food service, vending machines, or finance. Whatever your skillset might be, there’s probably an available franchise you can buy into. Sites like Franchisegator.com Franchiseopportunities.com or Franchising.com are a great place to start looking for the type of business you’d like to have. Search for the geographic region you’re in and the type of industry you’d like to work in.
The International Franchise Association is another excellent resource. Look at opportunities by investment level, industry and more. Becoming your own boss comes with its share of challenges, there’s no question about it. Still, if you’re one of the many with the entrepreneurial spirit, you wouldn’t have it any other way.