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The Advantages and Pitfalls of Self Employment

Thousands make the plunge only a few can swim.

Every day, thousands of people across the United States decide to make the plunge into self-employment. There are as many reasons why people become convinced that going into business is right for them as there are occupations. Even though the failure rate is extremely high, self-employment continues to be sought after as an American dream.

The following is some reasons why you might be prompted to start your own business as well as some pitfalls to consider.

You Have Come Up With A Super Business Idea

Sometimes what seems like a good business idea to you may not be so sound when put into practice. Unless you have a revolutionary new invention or a new product or service, or an original idea or solution that deals with an everyday problem you probably will be repeating what thousands have done before you. Something to consider doing:

  • Filling a gap in the market that big business can’t or won’t concentrate on
  • Stay within a field of business you are already familiar with
  • Follow a passion by turning an interest or hobby into a business

No matter what your great idea is, you need to be sure that it is not only a viable business venture but it is something you will also be comfortable with.

Before doing anything be honest and ask yourself these Questions

  • Why would anyone want to do business with me?
  • Do I have enough relevant experience and expertise?
  • Is there a need for my product or service?
  • How will I reach out or market to my customer base?
  • Are there others in the same business and who will be my main competitors?
  • What sets my product or service apart from similar offerings?
  • Do I have or can I get enough funding?

Remember, what can go wrong probably will?

The tried and tested business

Some self-employed people choose to stay within tried and proven businesses such as buying a turn-key package an established business or licensing rights to a franchise – which may be higher cost at first but carry fewer risks than developing your own idea.


  • More attractive for investors.
  • A market for the product or service has a track record.
  • A proven business plan and marketing plan is in place.
  • Training and consulting are provided.
  • Problems have already been discovered and ironed out.
  • Financial support is included in some franchises.


  • Some businesses for sale may be because they are experiencing difficulties. Look into the background of the business and make sure you fully understand the reasons for selling. You don’t want to purchase a white elephant that will need more investment than it’s worth. You also don’t want to have to overcome a negative management reputation.
  • Buying the rights to a franchise or a license to sell a particular product or service not only ties you to the product or service but may be expensive also. With a franchise, there is a franchise conduct that depicts a particular way to run the business that you have to stick with.

A business opportunity

Sometimes the opportunity of owning your own business comes with or without warning. You may be offered the opportunity to buy out your employer, or take over a family business.

Opportunities like these may require lots of personal commitment and you may need to put your own money on the line. Just because you are familiar with the business, you still need to carefully examine the business to make sure it is worth becoming involved in.


  • All aspects of the business including a marketing plan should already be active.
  • An established customers base , reliable revenue, an established name to capitalize and build on, and a list of useful contacts.
  • You probably already know a lot about the product or service and have a good understanding of the business.


  • You may be taking on a failing business. Ask if there are any problems with the business, and if so, how can you best solve them?
  • Stepping into your employer’s shoes does not mean you automatically retain his/her support services. Remember, you are the responsible party. It’s up to you to provide everything such as accounting, staff management, suppliers, business location and payroll.

This has only been a sampling of business ideas and their possibilities. Stay focused, be diligent and most of all proceed with caution.

Happy Trails

A Secret Weapon For Growing Your Small Business

Big business has known for a long time that employees who take time out of their day for exercise, who are actively seeking a healthier lifestyle are more productive and do a better job at work. As a self-employed entrepreneur what makes you think you are different than the employees at IBM or Johnson & Johnson when it comes to your health? If the CEO’s of those corporations give their employees time off to exercise and to attend classes on wellness, don’t you think there is a payoff to the business? Why on earth would they foot the bill for services such as these if they weren’t of benefit to the company?

Don’t you think you could reap the same benefits in your company if you took some time for exercise, took some time to eat right and learn about how to incorporate health into your life? What would it look like if you were feeling fit, clear headed and in a good mood more often, how would feeling this way affect what you do in your business? Do you think you would work smarter, not harder? Don’t you think your head would be clearer, sharpening your decision-making skills?

What about your medical insurance? What effect would a healthier life have on those hefty premiums you pay out each month? At the very least you would have fewer sick days or days when you just do not feel up to giving your business your best effort.

See where I am going with this? As small business owners we have unique issues when it comes to our diets. Yes, I too am a home based solo-preneur so I know how difficult it can become to run a business and have a healthy lifestyle, however a little time investment, even when you think you don’t have the time, can actually free up more time in your business because of the increased efficiency with which you will be able to work.

And then there is the issue for most of us with home offices, food is in such close proximity to us and nobody knows if we make only one trip to the fridge each day or we make 20. We tend to fill up on whatever is available, and unless we make a conscious effort to buy nutritious foods and keep our freezers and pantries stocked with them, we’ll feed ourselves with whatever is on hand, usually reaching for things that taste good but maybe aren’t the best choice for our health.

Come on now, fess up…at least to yourself, no need to tell any one else. Haven’t you run to the chips and dip when you have a big, pressure filled deadline coming up? Or maybe when you are working to get an article written, you are under a deadline but you have a bad case of writer’s block. Don’t you usually think that a bag of M&M’s and a big bowl of ice cream will get those creative juices flowing again? Relax you so you can think to write?

Let me suggest to you that the same things could be accomplished in a different way, with more positive consequences. Instead of reaching for that Ben & Jerry’s, what if you took a walk around the block and got some fresh air in your lungs. Just enjoying the outdoors, getting your mind off of your work problems has wonderful restorative powers. The problem is, most of us small business owners are over-achievers with a tendency to work and work and then work more. Taking time out for ourselves seems selfish, because we are taking our efforts away from our businesses, when in actuality its just the opposite.

Take time for yourself and your health and watch the health of your business improve, too.

Home-Based Business – What’s Holding YOU Back?

Let’s just cut to the chase here. F-E-A-R. The number one reason you haven’t already taken the leap into your own business, Internet or otherwise. There are so many things to worry about, right? Do you have enough money, do you have the time to get started, what will your family think, what will your friends say, do you really have what it takes and, of course, what if you FAIL?

So, why is it that it’s easier to worry about the possible negatives, but difficult to really envision the potential success? What if you concentrated, not on worry, but on excitement and inspiration? Let’s step through some ideas here:

1. Do you have enough money? Why not change that to “I don’t need a lot of money to get started.” The Internet abounds with opportunities that cost little or nothing to get started. You absolutely must do your due diligence to find the ones that are real. I’m in a business that has an entry-level of $395. That’s less than the cost of your laptop or your fancy new telephone. It’s just a question of investing in yourself, or buying more things.

2. Do you have the time? How much time do you spend watching TV each day? Or playing video games? Or going to movies or out to the clubs at night? If you aren’t willing to curtail some of your play time in order to create a real life for yourself, then being a home-based entrepreneur is probably not for you. Everyone has the same amount of time. We each choose how to spend it. Creating a home-based business is more entertaining than TV.

3. What will your family think? This is one of the hardest to get past, isn’t it? You want to start an online business, but you are afraid your family will think you’ve been scammed out of your life savings and there is no way you are going to make a living doing THAT! Families aren’t always your best supporters. Get over it. When you are successfully operating your business from home, guess who will be the first at your door asking for help?

4. What will your friends say? Take a lesson from #3 above. But also, its easy to feel embarrassed in front of your friends. You don’t want to feel foolish. You don’t want to be duped. So, go back to #1 where is says “do your due diligence.” Once you have done that, get on with it! You are not being scammed, you are creating wealth that your friends will come to love.

5. What if you don’t have what it takes? All kinds of people succeed brilliantly in this life. They are not cut out of the same mold. They are short, tall, fat, slim, different races, different nationalities, difference religions, different educations, different families, different finances, different skill sets. What is it about you that is so unique that you could not succeed? Trust me on this. If I can do it, you can do it. The key in that sentence is “do.” If you are willing to take action on your dream of a home-based business and willing to keep at it and do whatever it takes, then you definitely do have what it takes.

6. What if you fail? How about, what if you never try? Which would you like to look back upon later in life? Don’t get into the rut of always playing it safe. Risk something to gain something. Be smart about it, but take the risk. Life is about living, not about sitting on the sidelines. Please jump back to #5 where it talks about keeping at it and doing whatever it takes for just a moment. If you can commit to those two ideas — keeping at it and doing whatever it takes — your chances of success are very high.

If you are still wondering what is holding you back, truthfully, it is just you. Each of these six “fears” is just you talking yourself out of leaving your comfort zone and doing something outrageous, courageous and exciting! You may just keep plodding along, accepting the paycheck each week, and wishing for something different. But my hope and wish for you is that you make a decision to start that home-based business you’ve been considering. Nothing changes until you make a move, and there really is nothing holding you back — except you.