Do you have a burning desire to be your own boss? Do you want to put your talents and skills to use by engaging in soul-satisfying work? If you do, you’re the perfect candidate for starting your own business. Keri Chapin, author of The Handmade Marketplace and the newly published, Grow Your Handmade Business: How to Envision Develop, and Sustain a Successful Creative Business, tells you how to give your business ideas wings.
Mapping Your Dream
Diana Scharf Hunt said, “Goals are dreams with deadlines.” Without a clear action plan, many budding entrepreneurs don’t what direction to take their businesses in. Chapin notes that “Imagining the life of someone you admire is a great way to get your dream juices flowing, but think really carefully about what you’re envisioning.” There are advantages and disadvantages of being a business owner so you need to be prepared for whatever life throws at you.
Chapin suggests answering the following questions before committing yourself to business ownership:
- How many hours weekly do you want to work on your business?
- Where will you do this work?
- How much money will this business need to get off the ground/grow?
- What makes THIS your dream business?
- If you were applying for a job at your own business, what qualities and qualifications do you possess that make you a good match for what this business needs?
- What motivates you? What really gets you going?
- If you didn’t make this business happen successfully, how would you feel?
By understanding what inspired you to consider opening a business in the first place, you build a foundation for your dreams to grow and develop. You are better able to come up with a plan of action which leads us to the next subject Chapin writes about-deciding which direction to take your business ideas.
Choosing a Direction for Your Dream Business to Take
With so many avenues to choose from, it can be very overwhelming to decide what to throw your time and money into when it comes to starting your own business. If you’re an aspiring chef, you may want to open a small restaurant and teach cooking classes on the weekend for extra income. You may want to have a column in your local newspaper or write about your experience for magazines and food-related websites. In your spare time, you’ll surely want to try your hand at writing your own cookbook. Last but not least, you may want to learn how to photograph your cuisine so that others can see and experience it globally.
Multiple streams of income can help your handmade business grow quickly. It can be the one thing that sets you apart from other small business owners offering the same type of products and services as you. Side income can help see you through difficult times. If one source of revenue fails you, you have others to use as backup.
Chapin also addresses how to write a useful mission statement, keeping track of goals and intentions, creating an effective business plan, managing your time wisely, and taking care of taxes. Grow Your Handmade Business is easy-to-read and chock full of helpful advice. If you have ever dreamed of starting your own business but you don’t want to go bust doing it, pick up a copy of this book and read it from cover to cover. There’s a lot of knowledge to be gained from this gem.
Charissa is into frugal living and saving money.