Great! “Now I’ll run by business from a hammock”, you say.
Okay, so running an IT business from your hammock may be a dream for many, but realistically, it’s not the most practical way of doing things. Running a business from a hammock can probably be done, but isn’t the ideal place. You can certainly run an IT support business from home, a shed or a home garage. Of course there are things to think about first, and one main concern is the cost of starting your own business.
Do you have enough money?
There are high costs involved in running a business, and an IT consulting business is no exception. You will need to factor in the price of purchasing supplies, uniforms, legal costs, advertising, the cost to set up the workshop business registration, rent, and utility costs. If you were already working and managed to save up some cash – say $10,000 – (and if you spend around $500 a week in fees like food, phone, rent, internet, utilities etc.) then you can consider running out of money in about 20 weeks. As you can see a decent amount can run out pretty fast.
How long can you afford to build the customer base?
The other quality you need to have is an emotional fortitude. Are you able to cope well under constant pressure? You will have clients who will curse and yell at you and demand a refund if you make a mistake. You will also get the ones who refuse to pay or a professional who absconds with the laptop only to leave you with a feeling of being conned. Are you going to be able to work from paycheck to paycheck not knowing exactly when the next paycheck is coming in? Sometimes people can go a month without getting any payment from clients who are late in paying, or if it’s been a quiet time for the business. At some point, these things will happen to you, and you need to be prepared for them – both physically and emotionally.
Can your family cope with the rollercoaster?
At the end of the day, you go from success to success, then over to failure, only to then coming up with more and more ideas. It can be hard for your family to take it all in and support you through these difficult times. You will need to put in long hours and may have to put in even more time when staff ring in sick, and when unexpected problems arise. If you are your own boss, you need the time and the motivation to be fixing anything that fails, and take responsibility for all outcomes – good and bad.
Some people start their own IT business as they love developing something bigger than themselves. Quite often, it isn’t about the money, but about creating and sharing ideas and the continuous flow of learning. That said, being your boss has its positives as well. Whatever your reason for running an IT business, you need to ensure that it will drive you. You need it to encourage you to have perseverance in everything from the uncertainty to money, stress, bad clients and, ultimately, happy clients. And you need to have excellent business insurance!
Launching your own business can be challenging, but if you are happy to take it all on and accept failure if it doesn’t work out, then go ahead and see what you can develop. Talk to others who have started their business and take a few pages out of their book. Even if you want to start your business off in a hammock, why not? It may just work for you.