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But Not For Me

Starting your own business can be great… or not

➔ One of the advantages of looking for a job as an older job seeker in today’s job market is that you have many options. Big company or small. Start-up or non-profit. And so on.

And this includes starting your own business. Even within that option, there are options. Should you be a consultant? Should you “pivot” into something entirely different? Should you pursue a franchise?

Lots of options. Lots of choices.

Let’s focus for now on the self-employed track. It can be just what the doctor ordered. There is the possibility of making considerably more money than you made while working for someone else. There is the freedom to work when you want, how much you want, and in whatever manner you want. It all sounds very inviting.

Just like everything else, there are down sides. Irregular income streams. Having to pay suppliers or employees before yourself. Late nights and lots of hours. Irregular hours. Working weekends and/or holidays. Then there are the vagaries of the market. Can I find customers? Will my customers want to patronize my establishment? Can you stay legal within the confines of myriads of government regulations? What if there is a recession?

And, of course, the biggest question of all is: if you’ve never run a business before, do you have any idea of what you’re doing? Can you maintain proper inventory? Do you need and/or can you manage a business line of credit?

Running a business requires a full plate of responsibilities most of which you’ve probably never faced before or had to even concern yourself with. It’s not easy.

We had a friend whose wife once said, “I’d like to open a small florist shop. I don’t care if it didn’t make any money…” At which point, the husband interrupted and said, “OK. Stop. If you don’t care if it makes money, then, rest assured, it won’t.” And if it doesn’t make money, what’s the alternative? You don’t want to go there.

Owning your own business can be an attractive option. But it isn’t for everyone. Make sure you look before you leap.


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