Is it worthwhile to start something of your own?

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English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...
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The odds are heavily stacked against you starting something successful from scratch. The failure rate for small business, according to experts, is something in the region of 90% in the first year.

Why on earth would you want to start your own venture whether it be based on a product or service when the omens don’t look that good?

In anything in life you also need to look at the flipside. Despite the massive odds, people of all walks of life and ages come up with new small ventures and make them successful.

A woman in corporate sales for 40 years started a business that combined her love for fitness and dogs where she conducts exercise classes and yoga classes with people bringing their dogs. Owners and their dogs work out together.
An advertising executive has repurposed himself and runs a website to help retired people find jobs and start businesses.

A woman it has started a concierge business where she runs errands for her clients such as buying groceries, shopping for gifts, arranging parties, making holiday plans and taking care of the pits while they are on holiday.

A husband and wife team sells cookies based on a grandmother’s recipe. They sell about 1,000 cookies a day.

One reason for starting something new is to reinvent yourself. Many people are  “repurposing or recycling their skill” a recent article says, by becoming consultants, using their crafts, hobbies or best business ideas to come up with products and services. Mature workers who lost their wage and salary positions in the recession and haven’t been able to find another one still need income so they have started something of their own.

The motivation for other people may be that they are interested in acquiring business skills. They may have always worked in a specialised area and feel hamstrung. By starting something of their own they are able to know and learn all facets of running a business for themselves.

Others may have a larger vision and start one small business with the long-term aim of franchising. Once they have one  store or branch operating well, they can sell the concept to franchisees in other locations and leverage their original idea. It’s a hard act to pull off but there are those who have done it in beauty care treatment centres, computer stores and even biltong (dried meat) bars.

One can’t forget about those people who have their backs against the wall and without any other prospects are almost forced into starting something of their own. These are the people who don’t fit into neat categories that companies are searching for. They have bills to pay, children to put through college, elders to look after. They have to find a way to make income whereever they are using their experience, skills, talents and passion.

Then there are the highflyers. The self actualisers. The peak performers. They are the handful of people in society who will start something new, build and grow it rapidly and which will one day become a large company. They may also have an excellent strategy so that they can realise their wealth on retirement.

What is your motivation for starting something on your own?

Whatever it is, you probably going to need help.

Practical, hands-on help is here.

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