R Management Consulting Firm Strategic Planning Group Or Finance Firm Entrepreneurship As a Career Choice?

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Entrepreneurship As a Career Choice?

Before you take the leap to start your own business, ask yourself these four questions:

o Is it really a good personal career choice?

o What do I need to know to make a decision?

o How can I prepare myself?

o How do I get started?

In this article, I’ll help you find answers to those key questions by drawing on my own experience as both a corporate manager and an entrepreneur, along with what I’ve learned from more than 15 years of consulting with owner-managers.

Do you really want to own your own business? The advantages are attractive, but don’t forget the disadvantages that are an inevitable part of the choice.

advantage

o Unlimited opportunities

o Freedom, liberty

o Constant challenge, variety

o Choosing your management style

o Responsible and involved for the entire business

o If the business does well, you do well

Disadvantages

o Still limited in what you can do or control

o Many people are depending on you now

o Requires skills and knowledge that you do not have

o Higher risk, less secure financial future

o Cannot be left at the office

The next step is to assess whether you are the entrepreneurial type:

o Personal expectations and preferences – lifestyle, work environment, rewards, compensation methods?

o Personal strengths and weaknesses?

o Education, training, networking?

o Characteristics of an entrepreneur?

o Independent, confident, persistent, task-oriented, risk-taker. Passionate, leader, achiever, communicator.

o Solid foundation – family, physical, financial health?

o Are additional resources available – partners, suppliers, key customers, employees?

If you’re still determined to move forward, consider which business option best meets your entrepreneurial ambitions:

o Home based business, multi-level marketing

o Independent contractor – trade or professional

o Sales Agents – Insurance, Real Estate, Financial Services

o Franchise – Retail, Fast Food, Business Services

o Free trade – local, national, global

o Retailers, Hospitality, Food Services, Consumer Services

o Manufacturer, distributor, service business

o Internet or technology business

o The role of entrepreneurship in the corporate environment

Once those choices are made, the next question is: What is my business opportunity?

Your selection will be based on your personal knowledge, experience, and contacts:

o Opportunities that match my abilities?

o Need a market?

o Are current solutions available?

o What is my proposed solution?

o Market tested, confirmed by customer feedback?

o How can I make it profitable?

Now you are ready to document the business plan.

Why do I need a business plan?

o To develop and document your business concept, strategies, action plans and projected financial results as a guide for management.

o To provide necessary information for potential sources of financing.

o To attract new investors, strategic partners or key personnel.

When do I need a business plan?

o New business start-up

o Launch a new product/service

o Enter new markets

o Strategic review and performance diagnosis of existing business

o Prepare the business for sale, merger, acquisition or succession

Business Planning Process and Checklist:

o Assess personal objectives

o Identify business opportunities

o Define your business concept and model

o Conduct adequate market research

o Develop a strategic plan

o Define operational plans

o Prepare financial projections.

Business Plan – Recommended Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. Concept and business opportunity

3. Mission, Vision, Values

4. Market analysis

5. Competition

6. Strategic planning

7. Management team and organization plan

8. Product and Service Offerings

9. Marketing and Sales Planning

10. Operation Plan

11. Risk analysis

12. Financial Planning

13. Appendices

After all that preparation and analysis is complete, you will be ready to finance your business plan. There are many options available, but as you move forward with your plan you will likely go through these financing sources:

o Personal investment, cold cash

o “Sweat equity” – time and effort, not paid

o “Love money” – interested friends and family

o Bank financing – term loan, line of credit

o Angel Investors – Passive, Active, Value Added

o Government funds, special loans, grants

o Venture capital – private equity

o IPO – Initial Public Offering

Is entrepreneurship the right career choice for you? These questions and perspectives should help you make decisions and develop a plan to succeed. Good luck! That helps too.

Dale Chatterson

DirectTech Solutions c 2007

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