5 Steps to Successful Self-Employment

A free business training program to support successful self-employment/small business development.

1. Self-Assessment
2. Business Idea
3. Cost & Income
4. Business Proposal
5. Monitor Progress
Buy the Five Steps Book

What If?

What if I could start my own retail business?
What if I could be a communication consultant?
What if I could launch my own computer service company?
What if I could succeed at running my own franchise venture?
What if I could make money running a fitness center?
What if I could talk to someone about my business ideas?

What if there were no limits to your ideas and dreams? What if there was a way for you to participate in an innovative program where you could test out your ideas for being your own boss and making money selling your own products, services, talents or inventions? What if you could connect with an experienced business advisor along the way who could respond to your questions and help guide your business development efforts?

Why Not?

Read on to discover how this free course provides a thorough, step-by-step framework for developing business skills, knowledge and a support network for successfully launching your own self-employment/small business venture.

By the end of the course you will have put together most of the components that you'll need to actually start your own business!

Get Started Now

Welcome. . .
Getting Started

By utilizing this program, you are already taking the first step of what is an exciting and rewarding adventure for many. For others, starting and running their own venture is a bad choice. The reality is that most businesses will be out of business in less than 5 years after they get started - and most of these because they failed. The sad truth of the matter is that most of these business failures can be avoided. That is the purpose of this program - to help you avoid the pitfalls that can limit a business's success or even make it fail, and reinforce the strengths and decisions that can lead to success.

Using the Program

The program will lead you through 5 separate steps to help you evaluate your business readiness and suitability for either part-time or full-time self-employment, take a hard look at your business idea to determine whether and how it will work, understand how you will market your idea to potential customers and determine what resources and training you may need. A final check-list is provided of what you need to have covered to get started.

The program is designed for you to work with a mentor / counselor, either directly face-to-face, or virtually (through an email loop), or both. The important purpose is to get your ideas down in writing so that you and your mentor/advisors can determine if the project is likely to succeed. It is never possible to guarantee success - but it is certainly possible to reduce the reasons why a new venture or project will not succeed.

Each component of the program introduces a critical aspect of the entrepreneurial process and provides instructional and background material followed by self-testing tools to allow you to assess your own skills relative to the key issues of that step. This interactive feature will productively lead you through the venture planning and preparation process.

Each step of the program builds on the prior step. At every stage, we introduce the issues that need to be addressed, the questions that need to be answered, and the additional resources that are available to assist with supporting a successful business venture.

The program is self-paced - you proceed to the next session when you are ready.

It is critical to spend time with the exercises. They are designed to provoke your thinking and the answers may not be immediately evident. We encourage you to read the materials presented thoughtfully.

For once, there are no predetermined right or wrong answers - the right answers are the ones that work for you.

The worksheets are in an interactive format. You can complete the worksheet and then e-mail it to yourself (and anyone else you feel might be interested - your friend, counselor/consultant, or spouse for example). You may want to print out the results. We encourage you to set up a folder so that you can store these forms once you have them completed. In this manner, you will have a hard copy of your hard work throughout the program, and a valuable source of reference as you move forward.

The completed exercises will provide a score. The score is useful as it shows how you compare with others who have succeeded in their own venture. It is not a right or wrong result - There is really no right or wrong answer for any of the worksheet questions - instead, the right answer is the one that makes most sense for you. That is why explaining your ideas to someone else as a sounding board can help determine whether it all really makes good sense.

If you are not already working with a mentor / counselor, you may want to locate a local business counselor or adviser such as a Small Business Development Center, Women's Business Center, or SCORE. Visit www.BUZGate.org to find an experienced virtual business mentor. The BUZGate website will also provide you with a range of additional free resources based on your own interests, including young entrepreneurs, veterans, women, minorities, and manufacturers.

In addition to encouraging you to work with an experienced business mentor, this program will introduce you to a variety of other local business assistance agencies that offer free and low-cost help in practically all areas of business management including import/export, funding, marketing, site location, workforce development and government contracting. These are listed in BUZGate as well. Contact these resource providers to not only gain more insight and skills based on your own particular entrepreneurial needs and interests, but to also begin building your support network for the longer term.

The Program

5 Steps to Part-Time Self-employment takes you through a series of exercises that will help you to evaluate your readiness and suitability for this form of part-time self-employment. It is comprised of 5 Sessions, each designed to support you in productively addressing the following entrepreneurial components:

Step 1: Self-Assessment
Am I suited for running my own business?

Step 2: Business Idea & Market Analysis
Do I have a viable business idea? Is there a market for my business idea?

Step 3: Cost & Income Forecasting
Do I have a realistic forecast of revenues and costs?

Step 4: Business Proposal
Can I explain my business idea so that it makes sense to others?

Step 5: Monitor Progress
Am I prepared to monitor and control operations once started?

By following the program systematically and completely, a great deal of confusion about what to do next will be eliminated and the chances of your business success will be greatly increased.

Good Luck as you start on this exciting adventure!!

Now - on to Step 1: Self-Assessment

Click here to start