Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To the Core of the Matter

This is one of those questions I get all the time:
  • I've had this job for years and now I want a change. I've always dreampt of X business, am I crazy to try it?
This question has everything to do with "core skills". Those are the skills that you already have a firm grasp on. Skills that you have acquired in some way or other, in your life, that give you an understanding of the business that you want to start.

For instance, if you want to start a retail store, some of the skills that would be important would be:
  • Sales experience
  • Outgoing personality
  • Organized
  • Knowing a bit about the product that you want to sell
  • Having connections with people who want to buy this kind of product if it is "niche"
  • A grasp of basic bookkeeping
  • Physical ability to lift and carry merchandise
  • Ability to negotiate!
A retail business if a physical thing. It requires long hours, hauling of merchandise, moving things constantly. As muchtime as one spends talking to customers, one is also dealing with vendors, if the product is bought wholesale. It's a taxing thing! Take that same business online and you may have taken our the customer contact and the physical environment of a store, but you still need all the other skills.

What are your core skills?

Folks who work in one industry and find a "void" somewhere that they want to fill as a business person have a good way to enter self-employment. They already understand the industry from the inside out! Sure, there are still going to be lots for them to learn, but knowing the key players, what the industry requires and the "lay of the land" are huge benefits.

This is not to say that if you want to retire into something entirely different than what you did for your life's work, you won't succeed. What I would say is this, though: Talk to people who have stores if you want to open a store. Talk to people who offer a service to a niche market if that's your dream.

We all have "core skills" and your chance of success lies directly in the path of those skills. You can develop those other skills you may need to expand your business to the dream that you have. Start out with the ones you already have to build a firm platform or base in which to work from.

Having the business of your dreams may very well be a series of steps, instead of one giant leap from where you are to where you want to be

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