Are you seriously thinking of becoming your own boss this year? Is starting a business something that you’ve been thinking about…but haven’t pursued Finally, why are you considering business ownership now?

A Changing Job Market

As of late, unemployment numbers have been improved. Less people are unemployed today than they were a couple of years ago. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that more people than ever have completely given up on their job searches. That “bad” news means that more people are considering career alternatives. People that have been downsized…let go by their employers, are becoming more open to the idea of entrepreneurship or self-employment.

Here’s what my friend, Steve Strauss, who owns, wrote:

“What do you do if you have been out of work for 99 weeks, your unemployment is running out and you have no prospects? What do you do if you are 30-something, have two kids at home, and the thought of not having a flexible schedule bums you out? What do you do if you don’t like working for someone else and long to do be your own boss? You join the ranks of the self-employed, that’s what.”

I Was Downsized

That’s right: I was downsized, myself-back in 2001. It has turned out to be a blessing…although it didn’t feel like one at the time.

I remember reading Harvey Mackay’s book, “Fired Up.” In it, Mackay brings up the fact that lots of very successful people have been fired-downsized, call it what you want, and have been able to reach new heights in their careers because of it. From Harvey Mackay’s website;

“Mark Cuban got a job in a computer store early in his career. Got fired because he yearned to sell and work on computers rather than to sweep the floor of the store as the owner wanted. Today he is an Internet billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks.”

Mackay’s book provides lots of examples of people who were downsized…fired. It’s worth a read.

His book taught me that it’s okay to get fired as long as it leads to something else…something better. Like becoming the owner of a business.

Business Choices

If you’re starting to get fired up about starting your own business, you have a few choices. I’m going to focus on two of them.

  1. You can start your own business from scratch
  2. You can start a franchise business

There are pros and cons to both business types.

A Pure Start-Up Business

If you have an idea for a product or even a service, and you’re willing to take on a lot of risk and use up a lot of time perfecting it in the marketplace, then a pure start-up business is the way to go. The best part of launching a business from scratch is the fact that you own it. All of it. And, you control it, including its growth. Your start-up is going to be your “baby,” and if it turns out to be a winner, the rewards are yours. No sharing necessary.

But, if your start-up business doesn’t generate a profit, you own that part of the business, too.

One more thing: If you don’t like rules, if you’re more comfortable making them, a start-up business is the way to go.

Franchise Business

  • Starting a franchise business is quite different.
  • As a franchise owner, you’ll get:
  • A business system
  • An operations manual
  • A marketing system
  • Technology
  • Training
  • Pre-opening assistance
  • Ongoing support

But, even with all of the things I mentioned that you’ll get if you start a franchise business, there’s still risk involved. There are ways to lower your risk, but don’t buy a franchise thinking it’s going to be an automatic money-maker just because you’re buying into a “proven” system.

Starting a business, any type of business, does carry risk.

But, here’s the thing: The longer you stay employed at the same job, the higher the chances are that you won’t be. Focus on that for a moment.