Friday, March 11, 2016

Getting Started: Why?

You've got a great idea to start your own business.  You run ahead and grab your domain name to get your company website up and running, even though you haven't yet decided what you're going to be offering.  You snap up the Twitter handle and start work on your Facebook page before you have a plan of attack.  You're excited - and you should be!  

The benefits of working for yourself are many.  You control your time.  You set your prices.  You choose where you work - at home, in an office or in a shop.  If you want to take a day off, you just take the day off.  You can be home when the kids are home.  You get paid for your work, not some other company.

The drawbacks of working for yourself are also many, not the least of which is that you're the whole company, so what you do or do not do has a direct impact on how successful your company is.

Despite the drawbacks, working for yourself has become the go-to option for many who have gotten tired of working for others.  By 2020, it's estimated the majority of American workers will be freelancers or contractors.  So congratulations!  You're ahead of the crowd!

Starting and running a business is hard work; you'll work as hard or harder as you did working for someone else.  Clients will not necessarily come just because you start working for yourself.  The first step is to figure out the "why."

"Why?" is the most important question you can ask yourself when you're getting started. Matthew Pollard, one of the world's leading business coaches, spoke before the Texas Freelance Association and said, "Before you even start, you have to ask yourself 'Why.'  If you can't answer that question, go back to the drawing board."  Ask yourself why you want to work for yourself?  Why do you think your idea will make money?  Why would people hire you?  Why are you unique?

Yes, asking "why?" can put the brakes on getting your business up and running for a little bit.  It makes you sit back and analyze the reason behind getting started, and "I want to run my own business" can be one of the answers, but not the only answer.  

A business coach can help you get to the "why."  They'll ask  you the hard questions and help you work out your own answers.  They won't do your research for you, but they'll guide you to where you can find the answers for yourself.  Then, they'll work with you as you sculpt what your business will look like, cheer you on as you formulate your business plan and then get started on a solid foundation, built on hard work and knowledge, not on a wish and a prayer.

There are lots of things that go into starting your own business, but finding the "why" is the most important and something you should keep asking yourself.