5 Things to Consider Before You Leave Your Day Job to Run Your Business Full-Time
You own a home-based business that you manage during your “spare time,” between juggling your day job, household responsibilities, and volunteer commitments. How do you know when you are ready to take the leap and run your business full-time? Here are 5 things you should consider:
1. You are passionate about starting a business. You enjoy baking cupcakes or consulting, but you thrive on “building the business.” You take pleasure in selling, marketing, working with your lawyer and accountant, and everything else involved in the day to day operations of your company.
2. You have a support network. You have a friend, spouse or WEDC classmate who believes in you and keeps you motivated.
3. You have experience in the industry you are choosing. You understand the market as well as the threats and opportunities in your industry.
4. You have a business plan. Your product or service meets a market need, you have identified your target customers and a way to reach them, and you understand your finances.
5. You have a minimum of six months to one year of living expenses in reserve. You need to be sure you have sufficient funding to take care of yourself and your family so that you can give your company time to grow.
Join us on Thursday, May 10, to hear a panel of WEDC clients tell us about their paths to full-time self-employment, at our workshop entitled, Mind Your Own Business -- Full-time? It will take place from 6:00-8:00pm in the Lobby Board Room at 1133 Westchester Avenue, White Plains. Madeleine Payamps, Women In Transition/Life & Career Coach, will be moderating a discussion between Alice Benedetto of Raw Revolution, Roxanne Ferrance of Cake in a Cup NY, and Laura Ruben of Essential Assists.
The program is free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, please go to http://tinyurl.com/6nfeocs.
WEDC wants us all to become a little Greener
The 42nd annual Earth Day will be held on April 22, 2012. As savvy business people, let’s acknowledge this day by making at least one change that will help fast-forward the green economy. We can buy energy efficient light bulbs, turn off computers and other machines at night, buy recycled products, and turn off lights every time we leave a room. And, as WEDC supporters and advocates, how about buying something from a local small business? It will help reduce the carbon footprint: you'll be burning less gas to shop, and strengthening our community in the process.
Check out the WEDC Business Directory to find out about the green products our local companies are selling (www.wedcbiz.org). You'll be amazed at the variety. You can find organic skincare products, an organic garden designer, home and business cleaning services that use organic products, a green event planner, green business consulting, emergency fire and water damage restoration services using safe cleansers, and more!
Best of all, come to our free April 11 workshop, “Green Values: Leveraging Your Business as a Social Change Agent,” to find out how being environmentally conscious can be good for your
It’s good to be green!
The Top 5 Legal Tips Every Entrepreneur Should Follow
Many small business owners are gung-ho to launch their new businesses without first thinking through any of the legal issues that could lead to litigation. At WEDC, we like to help our clients identify potential legal pitfalls well in advance to help smooth their road to success. The following are on our Top Five List:
1. Put it in writing
Don’t take a friend or colleague’s word for it. When it comes to making an agreement, better to have it all in writing. Friendships go bad and people’s circumstances and priorities change, especially when it comes to money. This is particularly true for partnerships. It’s much safer to commit to paper such matters as responsibilities, ownership arrangements, and financial terms. It will help you avoid some of the accusations and issues that can lead to unpleasant fighting.
2. Don’t rush to sign
Many entrepreneurs tend to sign agreements without considering the consequences of the terms and conditions often embedded in the small print. When it comes to signing a contract, a legal professional’s advice can be invaluable.
3. Choose the right business structure
Though it may cost more to set up a corporation, it is critical to keep your business separate from your personal assets. Regardless of the business structure you choose, a poorly thought-out choice can put your business at risk and lead to painful tax bills, or even expose you to unexpected personal liabilities.
4. Do your research
You don’t want to invest in a brand or product only to learn that someone else has thought of it first. And, quick Internet searches or a speedy look at the US Patent and Trademark office database won’t cut it. Invest the time and money in a proper search, conducted by a legal professional, to avoid disappointment down the road.
5. Keep your new biz on the QT
Your ideas are often your greatest business asset. Regardless of how excited you are to share inside information about your new business with friends, colleagues, and professionals, a signed non-disclosure agreement is essential for maintaining your competitive advantage.