Steps to Success

Forced into #Entrepreneurship

Sometimes I feel that self-employment is the biggest scam perpetrated by our society/governments. There are so many incentives and programs, small business centers and promotion about starting your own business. We even have programs to entice our youth into entrepreneurship.

What we don’t have is a system of solid start-up for the average entrepreneur. With the dissolution of the Self Employment Benefit and its required training program, this will worsen.

I was reading my CBC news app on my iPad today and came across an article that really exposes an additional issue – people that start a business, not because they want to run a business, but because they feel they have not other choice:

Here is a quick excerpt – the link is below.

“Self-employment rises with joblessness, StatsCan study shows

1.5 million Canadians are self-employed, many of them workers over age 45

More half a million Canadians enter the ranks of the self-employed every year, with even more opting for self-employment when joblessness is high, a new study by Statistics Canada shows.”

Read the full article

This article goes into some detail about how it seems many people start a business out of desperation then abandon it as soon as a job comes along.

This raises a few questions.

Do any of these desperation businesses actually result in a positive financial outcome?
It costs a lot to start a business – marketing materials, signage, product, clothing, driving and more add up very fast. And so many of these people have no business background so looking at cash flow is not a natural instinct. Cost of Sales is also not something that even successful entrepreneurs have a firm grasp on.

Could these people be turned into happy, successful entrepreneurs if given the right support?
Help them identify their core business opportunity that could lead to profit and life quality. Provide training in marketing, networking, cash flow and niche identification. Help them find where there customers are and what they actually want. Assist in pricing that includes cost of sales and value pricing.

What services should municipal, provincial and federal government provide to support the new business?
Incubators, financial assistance, mentors, reduced paperwork and taxes.

I truly believe that entrepreneurs are made – not born. You can learn to create a business you love, and learn to run it without destroying your quality of life. But it does not just happen. Just because you have a skill, does not mean you can run a business around it. You need training and support – even just an impartial sounding board to help you focus.

When I was a web designer for small business, I would tell the start up entrepreneur in their first year, “When the night comes that you are lying awake at 1 in the morning just devastated and wondering why on earth you started this stupid business, call me the next morning. We will do coffee. You need to know everyone goes through this.” This opened them up to share their fears and dreams and doubts and hopes.

As entrepreneurs we spend more time performing than seeking help. This sets us up for true failure…. not getting help for the smaller failures along the way. Having a mentor or network can allow us to discover what is not working and fix it. Working alone and in silence, pretending everything is great so that people have confidence in working with us leads to problems.

Even a successful business could be more profitable, more enjoyable if given that extra sounding board and support.

This should happen at the municipal level and pull in support from provincial and federal governments.

And it should start with an interview to find out if this person wants to run a business – given those supports.

Cher Cunningham

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