The birth of a business (and a business owner) Part 1

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I was moaning to Ryan (aka The Lioness) the other day about the challenges of launching a small business. It’s painful, exhilarating, and – at times – overwhelming.

Yes, she said. Why not do something about it? Document the process, each step of the road to becoming your own boss. Blog about it. Start a conversation with other people doing the same thing.

So here I am. Step one of my story:

I’m a writer. I toyed with the idea of going into business in the past – a couple of times, actually. But I’d decide it was too risky or too much work and I’d drop the idea. Then recently something happened to give me a nudge.

Out of nowhere, I was laid off. It’s kind of funny from this distance. My employer had just given me a significant raise for outstanding work – an incentive, said the Vice President, for me to stay with the company. Nine days later, the severance letter arrived. I don’t blame the decision makers. It was purely a business decision: The funding for my project unexpectedly went poof! and so did I. (For the record, I plan to frame the memo about my raise and my severance letter side-by-side. The irony makes me smile.)

The bigger lesson was, the event upended my ideas about risk. This was the third layoff of my career. I was finally convinced that I’d have more security – more control – working for myself than I did laboring for someone else. The days of steady, secure staff jobs were over. I had known that in my brain for a while; I now knew it in my gut.

So that’s why I’m on the brink of becoming my own boss. This time, the decision to start a company was easy. It’s the execution that at times drives me batty.

In the next couple of weeks, my goal is to prioritize the bucket load of decisions required to start a small business and take on the top one or two:

·Identifying my target market

·Selecting a business entity (sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership?)

·Deciding on a business name (and making sure it and the associated domain name(s) are available)

·Registering the business

·Developing a website

·Designing a social media strategy

·Choosing my supporting “team”: accountant, attorney, others?

·Financing the business

·Getting a business license

·Establishing a business checking account

·Selecting liability insurance

·And a whole lot of things I haven’t even thought of yet

I hope you join in the conversation. Comment on or share this post. Submit your story. And expect to hear from me again in about two weeks.