Skills & Talents
Facts & Trends
There are many routes to becoming an entrepreneur which include:
- Start a New Business Concept
- You come up with a new idea for an innovative business be it a new type of hamburger restaurant, waste hauling service
or web site. You figure out what resources are needed to launch it -- money, retail space, equipment, employees -- and get started.
- Buy a Franchise
- Some who have a strong desire to own their own business and be their own boss choose to buy a franchise. A franchise
is defined as an agreement between a small business owner, the franchisee, and the parent company, the franchiser. The parent
company gives the franchisee the right to sell the company's products and often provides support services like advertising and
supplier relationships, in return for a franchise fee and percent of the profits.
Franchising is a very common -- for example, many of the largest fast food chains are franchisers -- and it can
offer an entrepreneur the advantage of starting out with a well-known brand and business model. But that can come at the cost
of sharing your profits and losing some of the independence and control entrepreneurs value. Some find the franchise system works
so well for them that they end up operating multiple stores for a single franchiser.
- Buy an Existing Business
- If there's no one innovative idea of your own that you think would make a good business, you might consider buying an
existing business. This offers the chance to start out with an established small business that already has an income stream
and a core set of customers. You can run your
own show without having to go through the initial start-up phase. But it's critically important to do a thorough job of
evaluating the business before you buy it, to have a clear contract with the seller about what you can each expect after the sale
(for example, do you want a non-compete agreement?), and to understand that existing customers are yours to lose if you don't
manage the business at least as well as the outgoing owner.
- Copy an Existing Concept
- Find a great local business started by someone else. If there's nothing like it in your own community, you can study it
and transfer it to your community or to a place you want
to live. You need to thoroughly do your research and be sure that a "match" exists between the concept and demographics of
where you choose to locate the business. And of course, while you can copy a general idea, don't run the risk of a
lawsuit -- or worse -- by infringing
on someone else's trademarks, copyrights, or other protected intellectual property.
- Become a One Person Firm
- You can subcontract your skills and become a one person consulting or services firm. You have the advantage of being highly
focused and can offer your clients lower costs, specialized services, and greater flexibility than they would have if they
tried to hire full-time employees with the same skills. A great many professional,
technical, and clerical specialists have chosen this career path. Companies find it easier and cheaper to subcontract out work
rather than hiring folks that they may have just laid off in their last round of cost-cutting -- or may have to lay off next week
or next year. It allows them to stay lean and flexible.
- Start a "Work at Home" Business
- This is one of the hottest areas in the economy today. Many small business ideas can be launched from home.
This can involve everything from stuffing
envelopes to running an Ebay business or starting your own web site.