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So, You Want to Start Your Own Business...

10 practical tips for starting your own business

by Jen Creer  |  3837 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

But how do you begin? What comes first? Then what? How do you do it? Is it expensive? Is it scary? Is it hard?

Well, you have had the idea and the desire. Believe it or not, there are not a lot of people out there who are up to the challenge of starting and operating their own businesses. So, you are already special.

I can only tell you what I did and what I know. I have been making my living exclusively from being self-employed for two-and-a-half years, so, even though I am not an expert, there's that.

I had the idea for my business about three years before I actually took the plunge. So here are my tips:

1) Write the idea down. Google "business plans" and write one. Your business plan should include what you want to do or sell, who your clientele is, what materials you have already, what materials you will need.

2) Do some research and find out who your competition is. Do you want to start an online boutique? How many other boutiques out there are just like yours? How can you make yours unique or special? Do you think you can compete effectively? Or do you need to re-think your idea a bit? In my case, I was starting a medical writing consultancy, so I googled medical writers, grant writers, medical writing, medical editing, science writing, science writers, science editing, etc. and discovered that, er, nobody was really doing what I was doing. There are some people out there, sure, but I was neither impressed with their websites nor how they were marketing themselves. And in some cases, they were marketing themselves to a vastly different clientele from the one I was aiming at (basic scientists-- biologists and chemists, versus clinical researchers).

3) How great is the need for your business? In my case, I saw the need for my services at conference after conference, and that was what really sparked my idea-- rather than the reverse.

4) Are you doing this because you are going to live off it? That will determine when you can start, how big you need to be to start, and that leads to...

5) How much money do you need to make every month to live? I have had to adjust this, because when I first started out, I didn't pay myself enough to cover my overhead, like my insurance...

6) Can you start your business while you are currently employed? In my case, I started consulting while I was still working at my old job. I started getting more and more projects and did some math and figured out how many more clients I'd have to get to make my living doing this and thought, Hmmmm... So, it was a gradual process. Your business might be too. But by the time I took the plunge, I knew that I could do it full time.

About the Author

Jen Creer is a medical editor who has successfully run her own company, Edit Rx, LLC, for more than two years.

Read more by Jen Creer

1 comment so far...

  • Very solid advice. Your courage is amazing and, hopefully, others can follow it! Thanks for outlining it all so clearly.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Heather C. on 10th September 2007