Is Owning Your Own Business Right For You?

Jun 12, 2013, Written by Sue Miley

You have a passion for your craft.  The work itself gives you energy and when you engage in it you feel it is a calling.

The question is “where do you do it?”  Having a job in society can be challenging.  You work for others who may or may not have the same passion or vision for your creative genius.

It feels like it is always something:

They don’t want to pay for my talent or hard work.

The environment is smothering….it’s all about the bottom-line and that is it!

It’s boring…task after task after task.

You feel you can do it better on your own.  You can start freelancing or start your own business.  You aren’t sure.  Maybe you should just start on the side while you keep your day job and see what happens.  Or, since you are between jobs anyway, just try the freelance route and maybe it will take off.

Hold on a minute!

Everyone Isn’t Called to Small Business Ownership

I agree that if you are completely passionate about a craft it is probably something that God is calling you to.  (Assuming it is legal and moral and all!)  But just because you are called to a craft doesn’t mean you are necessarily called to own your own business.

You may be, but you may not.

Here is the deal.  If you want to run your own business, if you want to turn your hobby into a career, and if you want to take your enthusiasm and love of your craft and share it with the world, then it only makes sense to do it the right way.

How To Go Into Your Own Business The Right Way

What does doing it right look like?

First, you need a plan.  And yes, the plan includes all of the boring stuff like:

  • Who is your customer?  The ideal one that you were born to do work for.
  • How do you reach this client with your gifts?  Do you have to have a retail outlet?  Can you do this on line?
  • What exactly is your product or service?
  • How will you package it and price it?

Second, you need an infrastructure.  You may be a one-person show to start, but you will still need:

  • An oh so boring accounting system to track your sales and expenses and see if this venture is profitable.
  • A way to bill people.  Whether that is hand-written invoices or an automated billing system, if you aren’t invoicing you aren’t making money.
  • A website – today no matter what kind of business you have, you need a website presence.
  • A budget – plans and projections about what you expect to happen to measure if you are achieving your goals.  This could just be a financial budget, but it could include non-monetary metrics.  (See my article on Kingdom Metrics.)

This is just the tip of the iceberg….you really need a whole plan for your infrastructure including what position would be your first hire when you are big enough to add your first employee.

And lastly, but almost most importantly, you need a marketing and sales plan.  A plan that will bring you clients or customers.  You need a disciplined approach to sales, whether you like the strategy of going out and selling your services yourself, or if you plan to use online tools such as blogging, social media, and speaking engagements to make your target market aware of you.

These are just a couple of the fundamentals to owning and running your own business.  I know they aren’t your craft itself, but regardless of the craft, these are all imperative to creating and growing a successful business.

Does Running a Business, Working ON Your Business Excite You

Did this stuff excite you?  Are you ready to jump in and learn more about starting and running your own business?

If just reading about it is daunting, and your eyes glazed over half way through, you may want to take a stab at finding that perfect job working for someone else.  Because this business stuff is part of freelancing and going out on your own.  It’s a big part!

Just because God is calling you to use your gifts and talents, doesn’t mean He is necessarily calling all of you to own your own business.

Think about the steps above.  They are foundational and imperative.  If these steps, as part of your overall plan, all drive your energy and creativity, then starting your own business may be the perfect strategy for sharing your God-given gifts with the world.

Small Business Owners Get Stuck Quickly Without Working ON The Business

Yes, I am trying to scare you a little.  I see too many people start their own business because of a false ideal of what owning your own business really entails.  It’s much more than this, but most small business owners skip these minimal foundational elements and soon they plateau in their business.  They get stuck before they find their true success.

But in the end, it is just business.  It’s been done before and if you are good at your craft, you too can be successful in your own business.

But you have to want it.  You have to be willing to go after it.  And you have to use a disciplined approach to get there!

Food for thought….is owning your own business really for you?

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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