So much of what’s written for entrepreneurs – women and men both – talks about how to incorporate, how to manage the bookkeeping, how to write a business plan. But what if you’re on the fence, not sure when, whether or how to jump into the entrepreneurial moshpit in the first place?
Some people say: you have to have six months’ salary in the bank. Other people say you have to have your first client. Still others say you have to have your business plan written and edited before making the leap.
But it’s not that easy. There are a wide range of new-business-launch strategies. Many women go into “expert” businesses, turning what was a salaried corporate job into an outside consulting role, maybe in PR, new product development, or web design. In that mode, you can keep your day job and build your consulting practice at night. At a certain point – when your nighttime-and-weekend revenue stream is giving you confidence OR when working two jobs is about to kill you – you take the plunge, and quit the day job.
Other sorts of businesses don’t make a slide-into-entrepreneurism approach easy. You may decide to open a retail store. You can keep your day job just until opening day, but then you have to cut over. Or you can decide to launch a business that competes with your employer’s – in which case, of course, you can’t merge into traffic so easily.
If you are on the fence about launching your business, why don’t you leave a comment (including plenty of details about your situation) and we’ll take up your issue specifically.
But as a general rule, what holds women back? I hear about three big obstacles:
1) FEAR OF FAILURE (in front of friends, family, kids, former colleagues…)
2) FINANCIAL CONCERNS (what if I go broke? what if I have to sell my house?)
3) GOOD OL’ TRADITIONAL PROCRASTINATION (maybe next year will be the right time. Maybe when Melody and Sam graduate high school. Maybe my company will be sold in two years and I’ll get a big windfall. Maybe maybe maybe…..)
Why not now? Why not April of 2006, when the business climate is steadily improving and you’re at the top of your game? What’s stopping you?