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Pink slip recovery option

By Farrah Gray
NNPA Columnist

The field of self-employment and entrepreneurship is a viable career option during sub prime meltdown causalities to keep their chin up. The basic difference between self-employment and entrepreneurship is that, self-employment is usually a one person venture operating from home, like consultants, programmers, graphic designers, freelance content writers, web designers and copywriters.

Enterprising men and women have done quite well for themselves working right from their home. Though self-employment might sound appealing it requires tremendous amount of discipline, confidence, and effective time management.

First and foremost you will have to inquire about any required business permits. Then buy or lease and set up the equipment you need for the venture. Most importantly since you are working from home you have to establish a very good networking system to get in touch with people who may offer you assignments.

Can anybody start a small business?

Yes, provided you know what you are getting into and provided you feel comfortable with your state of knowledge about the business you have chosen. A logical first step for the undecided is to list potential areas of personal background, special training, educational and job experience, and special interests that could be developed into a business.

You should also have a strong drive to succeed even when the hours get long and the decisions difficult. All types of people make it in small businesses and all types sometimes fail. It is a choice that should be made only after serious study, self- examination, and counseling. Detailed preparation and a long term planning is your key to success.

Self-employment Basics:

The Perfect Idea

Often the simplest of ideas which when realistically developed can be converted into profits. From gourmet popcorn and designer T-shirts to a bar-b-que sauce recipe to software programming, it all depends on the ingeniousness of the entrepreneur. Consider service-oriented ventures ranging from providing house-help, gardening services, and pet care are fields that have not yet been fully explored.

Finances

You will need to maintain two different capitals. One to pay for the things you need just to get your new business started the other to pay your operating costs until your business breaks even. Make an estimate of all the things you will need to just get started.

Writing the Business Plan

The business plan is nothing but organizing your dream scheme into a blueprint for easy execution.

The finished written plan is an operational tool which, when properly used, will help you manage your business and work toward its success.

Firm Eye on Competition

No business, big or small operates in a vacuum. Get to know and respect the competition. Target your marketing plans. Identify direct competitors (both in terms of geography and product lines), and those who are similar or marginally comparative.

Market Analysis

For a small business to be successful the owner must know the market. Analyzing the market is a way to gather facts about potential customers and to determine the demand for your product or service. The more information you gather the greater your chances of capturing a segment of the market.

Execution

After writing the business plan then follows the stage of execution. Detailed planning can sometimes be severely upset by practical problems, which can plague the project. A day to day schedule, listing the tasks to be completed and pending jobs, which need follow-ups, will help in completing the process for accounts payables and receivables.

Time Management

During the first year of operation, continue to chart post and check off tasks on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. It is important to keep both a planning and an operating log. These tools will help avoid oversights and provide vital information when memory fails.

Promotion and Advertising

With the marketing strategy and clear objectives outlined, use advertising to get the message out to customers. Try to reach the largest number of people with the money allocated to advertising and promotion via the Internet or several different methods of advertising. Remember to be creative and implement ideas.

A razor sharp mind, a visionary outlook, and a knack to weather stormy situations go a long way in making any business venture a resounding success.

Self-employment is a career alternative for people who are mentally and physically strong, who can effectively implement the same skills and talents on their last job to become budding pink slip millionaires.

Farrah Gray is the author of the international best-seller Reallionaire:

Nine Steps to Becoming Rich from the Inside Out. He is chairman of the Farrah Gray Foundation. Dr. Gray can be reached via email at fg@farrahgrayfoundation.org or his web site at www.farrahgrayfoundation.org

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