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Take Charge Of Your Own Economy: Start A Business

Rhine-stoning crafters, web-designers, therapists, nutritionists and archery instructors are just some examples of businesses that some of my clients have launched.  In almost all these cases, there was a hard-working woman who wanted to change her work situation so that she could have more control over her own schedule, more flexibility to care for her family and more choices about how to generate income.

I am also an example of a woman who turned her career into a business.  In my case, I went from being an underpaid and overworked non-profit counseling center therapist to a therapist and business coach in private practice.  When I opened my private practice I faced the challenge of learning how to wear all the different hats (marketing, accountant, CEO, etc,) in addition to providing therapy and coaching for my clients.  However, I also began to reap the rewards of being able to set my own schedule so I could attend my sons’ soccer games and piano recitals, set my own fees, and determine what kind of clients I could best help.

Another inspiring story is that of a woman I met years back who had always loved outdoor activities (hiking, kayaking, riding horses).  She felt so stifled in her job which kept her cooped up working in a tiny cubicle doing tasks she did not enjoy.  With the encouragement from some her friends she decided to launch her own outdoor adventure business.  She began it on the weekends – she offered outdoor adventure tours for small groups of people who needed a guide.  She provided packed lunches, water and all the outdoor fun you could imagine.  Soon, she was giving these outdoor adventure tours for so many groups she was able to quit her job and focus on growing the business she loved.

There are so many of these wonderful examples of women starting unique, creative businesses out of their unique passions and purpose.  I hope to encourage you to get creative, think outside the box and know that you can create a business that will use your best gifts and traits while putting your interests to good use as well.  While running your own business involves a lot of learning, growing and decision-making – it can also mean you get to do the things that mean the most to you.

To inspire hope in you, here are 5 steps to take before you decide what kind of business to start.

1.  Get to know yourself really well.  Doing the self-discovery work is an important first step.  This means knowing your personality type, unearthing your childhood dreams, learning about your weaknesses, and understanding how your psyche handles things like risk-taking and self-motivating.

2.  Choose two or three business ideas and research the competition.  Look up existing businesses that already provide what you are hoping to provide.  Use Google (search engine) to type in keywords (an example of a keyword for a nature adventure business might be “outdoor adventures in San Diego”) to find out what already exists.  Scope out their website, call their company and find out how a customer would utilize their services and what they would pay for these services or products.

3.  Pick the business idea that combines a unique twist on a service or product that is in fairly high demand and write a business plan.  A business plan will help you really begin to define how you will take your idea and generate actual profit from your service or product while serving your customer base most effectively.  If you need help writing your business plan you can visit   http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/starting-managing-business/starting-business/how-write-business-plan/e

4.  Be willing to evolve and change your business model as needed.  Here is an example of changing a business model.  As a therapist in private practice the only way profit can be generated is trading dollars for hours (if you provide sessions, your earn income).  This can become an exhausting business model because as a therapist, you can only see a certain amount of clients while maintaining excellent service and your own sanity.  A therapist could change their business model by providing educational classes or groups, writing books, workshops and programs, and creating a Group Practice by taking on other therapists (as independent contractors) from whom you receive compensation for group marketing and other benefits.

5.  Before you actually launch your business, research the best way to advertise or market your business.  Different marketing methods work better for service-based businesses than product-based businesses (for example).  Make sure you have a pretty good idea which marketing method will best suit your unique business so you don’t waste time and money creating the most amazing website only to find out no one cares about your website.

There are a number of different factors to consider that I do not have the time or space to cover in this article but there is a lot of wonderful, free information available to you on the internet.

In addition, if you want to cut down on your learning curve, and possibly avoid costly mistakes – seriously consider hiring a business coach who can guide you through the process, ask you the right questions, help you understand your information gaps and how to find the right resources, while supporting you with encouragement and accountability.

When you hit that point where you know you want to start  your own business, create meaningful work that can fit into your schedule and provide for your needs, call me to schedule a complimentary consultation where we can discuss your unique needs, ideas and how to help you start your own business.  My phone number is 760-445-3415, or email Sherry at sherrymft@yahoo.com

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