Starting your own business?

What questions would come to your mind if you were considering working for yourself? I may be in a corporate job currently, but at one time I had my own small business. I am finding that people, friends and strangers alike, are coming to me with questions about starting their own business. I want to provide them with more than just my insight – I want to gather a collection of questions that people have about starting their own business. That is where you can come into the picture, regardless of whether you are considering your own business. Send me your questions about starting your own business (use the “leave a reply” form below to send me your comments or use the “connect” button above to email me). Make sure to note what kind of business it would be: for example, service or product oriented, food or retail, and so forth. And don’t limit yourself – think big and tell me about what business you would start if you could start any business of your own today, no limitations.

What I find fascinating, is that the best way to answer questions is by asking questions. Ultimately, the really important answers to questions about starting your own business, need to come from yourself (I’m pretty sure that this also applies to most aspects of life). It’s just a matter of asking yourself, or having someone else ask you, questions. There are a lot of different types of questions that need to be asked when starting your own business and the most important ones to start with are what I like to call the “driver” questions. They embody the passion and values that drive someone to have their own business. This is the most important phase of starting a business and it is crucial to keep it as your focus as you move forward. These questions will vary according to each person and there are no right or wrong questions and no right or wrong answers. We can have fun with it. For example, would you want your business to sell a service or product that you are passionate about? Or can the service or product be anything as long as the business supports your quality of life and values that you want to be living? Or perhaps you want your business to embody both? Asking these questions can show a person that you can “earn money doing what you love” and you can also “earn money to do what you love”.

Then there are “building material” questions. The answers to these questions are the practical action steps for starting your own business – they start to bring about life and form to your drivers. These are along the lines of organizational structure, partners or no partners, internet-based or office-based, overhead costs for materials, registering licenses, and on and on…this may seem like the least fun part of starting your own business, yet if you have come to your answers of the “driver” questions, your motivation will make this part entirely worthwhile.

Overall, I recommend that understanding your passions and life-values is the key place to start. That may seem overwhelming for some people since life changes and if you’re like me, you can’t imagine planning for even 1 year down the road, much less 5 years or more. But that’s okay. The best businesses out there are made to adapt and change, whether that is due to economies or due to a shift in your passions and values. Businesses are not set in stone and neither are you. Hmmmm, maybe that’s why some people want to start their own business? There’s a good question.

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