Industries

Easing into your own business

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Starting a business can be scary. Small-business owners are investing excessive time, money and work into creating their companies — and giving up a regular salary to do it. But there are many ways to ease into owning a business that can mitigate your risk. Consider some of the following options:

Work from home: If your type of business permits, you might be able to start your business out of your home. You’ll save money in many ways: you won’t have a commute, and you won’t need to lease space. Technology is making it easier than ever to work from home, but there are some considerations to make.
You still must adhere to local zoning regulations if you are allowed to conduct your business from home. Contact your local government to ensure the type of business you want to start is permitted from home.

Part time: If you aren’t willing to risk it all just quite yet, you can also try to start your business without quitting your current job. The downside is that you could end up working all the time — and neglecting one job over the other. But it will also mitigate your risk and test the marketplace. If business grows, you might be more comfortable making it your full-time job. You can also reverse this by spending most of your time on your startup business, and finding a part-time job to supplement your income.

Small business incubator: Many small business owners thoroughly understand their industry but lack infrastructure knowledge and other management skills necessary to run a business. That’s where small-business incubators can help. These incubators can provide a variety of business facilities, including office suites and manufacturing and warehousing space, with a shared reception area, conference and meeting space, and kitchen facilities. In addition, incubator staff help startups create a business plan and find financing while also providing general business counseling.
This advice can be critical when businesses are trying to get off the ground. Tenants pay a leasing fee for the services and are expected to graduate to allow others to use the space. To find a small business incubator, visit the Virginia Business Incubation Association’s Web site, http://www.vbia.org

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Start a franchise: Starting a franchise can be one of the most risk-adverse methods to starting a company. The business brand, marketing and strategies have already been created. Although less flexible, this typically allows business owners to take significantly less risk than heading out on their own. Click here for more information on franchising.


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