Christine Syquia's Blog

Learn How to Create Your Own Income

Challenges of Launching a Start-Up While Working a Full-Time Gig by Cherod Webber

Launching your own company requires great sacrifice and commitment. When these endeavors are driven by a passion, you will increase your chances for success. You will need to possess the skill of time management as you will be called upon to balance your corporate job (Day-job), your company AND your personal life. Great care must be taken not to “burn-out”. I have often put in a full 50 hour week at the corporate job, then work every evening and every weekend for my own company (I have previously worked 40 days in a row).

I am passionate about making my company a success, however, as an entrepreneur, you must find a healthy balance between work and personal time. I don’t recommend working both jobs indefinitely. Set targets for a time when you want to walk away from that day-job. Establish tangible “enabler” targets that will place you in a position to leave the day-job (i.e. sustainable income replacement, monthly sales targets). In order to set those goals for leaving the day-job, you will need to completely understand what it will take to make you company successful. I recommend completing a business plan prior to officially launching a new company, no matter the scale.

Below are some of the challenges that should be considered as well as a few guidelines that may support you in your pursuit. By no means is this list intended to be comprehensive. It’s simply a short list of challenges encountered and principles that have supported me on my journey.

Challenges (things to consider):

1) Ensure that there are no conflict of interests or “moonlighting” policies with your endeavors and your day job. Protect yourself from litigation or at a minimum, thoroughly understand the associated risk. Be prepared in the event that your corporate job becomes aware of your activities.

2) In my particular situation, one of the larger challenges is the lack of available resources. The critical resources are, for our company, time and money. The financial issue can possibly be resolved through loans, angel investment or grants. Even in a financial downturn, there are still opportunities to obtain financing. And, you may consider accessing a 401 K or second mortgage. This is a personal decision for each individual. The lack of time, can prove to be equally challenging. You can’t create more hours in a day. This hurdle of time becomes even more difficult as your company hits milestones and targets. As your company’s activities increase, you will be required to dedicate more effort to sustain and build success.

3) Consider the structure of your day job and will it grant you the flexibility to invest time and energy into your own company. Is your day job a 9 – 5 position? Does the corporate position allow for you to dedicate evenings and weekends to your company? How many hours will be needed during “working hours” for your company? Does your day job leave you enough time to be effective for your business? Possibly consider support in the form of part time employees. (College interns can also be a viable option).

4) You will need to sustain your performance at day job since you, obviously, rely currently on that salary. If you did not need the salary / benefits from the corporate job, then you could leave now, right? You need to ensure that your performance at the day job is sufficient to maintain that position and the associate income as long as it is required.

Stay tuned…Next week we will focus on TIPS for managing the two jobs and how to successfully transition over to your start-up permanently.


January 27, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Emerging Business Owners-Avoid These Common Mistakes

Setting up a business and making it profitable is often a difficult task. There are many aspects to consider and deal with before you can actually run your business in an efficient way. Reaching your objectives depends a great deal on the way you devise and implement a series of strategic plans, which can ensure the profitability of your business and increase its performance. However, this is not all it takes for your emerging business to be successful. In order to maximize efficiency, you also need to give a great deal of thought to the execution of such plans. Furthermore, as an emerging business owner, you also need to focus a series of common mistakes that usually prevent businesses from reaching the desired status.

First of all, you should make sure that the company is set up properly. There are a multitude of issues to arrange such as the structure of the business (LLC, S-corp, etc), partnership rules if applicable and in some cases which state the company is established. You have to make a number of small decisions which will not only affect your business in a critical way, but will certainly make a big difference in terms of productivity and efficiency.

Second of all, do everything you can to ensure a correct setup for your financials. When it comes to bookkeeping, you can go wrong in many ways. It is never a good idea to do the bookkeeping by yourself, even if you have the necessary skills and knowledge. You can easily overlook important aspects such the registration for taxable sales, making a backup for your data or updating your books. Each of these can have a negative impact on the growth of your business. You may some doubts towards spending your money on the best bookkeeping software or bartering with an excellent bookkeeper, but this money would be very well spent.

Additionally, speaking of money well spent, you should make sure that all your money is spent wisely, especially if we’re talking about your start-up cash. There are more important things to invest in, i.e. a good marketing campaign, than whims such as a downtown office space or expensive furniture. You should not make unnecessary purchases and expenditures until you have ensured a steady cash flow. You may end up using debt for further financing of your business and a positive cashflow will be all the more difficult to attain.

Furthermore, set a budget and stick to it. The amount of cash required to start a business varies from case to case, but a good budget plan is very important irrespective of the size and scope of your business. Always keep in mind that your business should be generating cash for you, and not the other way around.

There are many things to consider when starting a business. In the beginning, there are many challenges which may affect a small business owner, but the benefits of being your own boss are second to none.  With small businesses being the lifeblood of this country, if you have a good idea and the drive to operate your own business, I urge you to follow your dreams.

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Profit By Following Internet Marketing Trends

 Just like physical advertising has trends, there are internet marketing trends that can, if taken advantage of, make you hundreds of dollars and really up your customer base. But just like real world trends, if you don’t jump on these online trends quickly enough, you’ll find yourself left behind.

One of the biggest marketing trends going on right now involved social networks like Twitter, Friendster, and Facebook. These networks are all fairly similar; users sign up for a free profile and can post information about themselves, their likes, what they do for a living, etc. Most let users also post pictures and videos. Once they’ve made their profile, they can search for other people and add them as their friends.

The whole point of these networking sites is to get in contact with friends, family, and, sometimes, total strangers. It’s the total stranger’s part that really interests us. By creating a profile for your business and adding people as your friends, you can get the word out there to millions.

Some of these sites, like MySpace, even include special profiles for bands, authors, and filmmakers. This makes it even easier for people to find your profile and add you as their friend. It’s great when people add you, but when you invite people to be your friend, beware of looking like spam. There are enough fake spam profiles on these sites that they’ve all cracked down on people sending out mass invites. Be sure the people you invite want to see what you have to offer.

 Another of the internet marketing trends is the use of keywords. Search engine optimization, or SEO, is something everyone wants these days. It involves using keywords, or words that describe your site and your products/services, a certain number of times on your website and in your site’s titles and metadata.

By using these keywords so often, your site will be much more appealing to search engines like Google and Yahoo. The theory here is that if your site is listed on the first page of search results, you’ll get more views and more business than if your page was listed on the third or fourth page. Of course, this isn’t always true. If your page doesn’t include what the user is looking for, they aren’t going to buy anything from you. Still, there is merit to the part of the theory that says you’ll get more traffic.

You can optimize your website yourself after studying a bit about SEO, but there are many companies out there ready to do it for you. Be careful here: you don’t want someone writing text for your page that is nothing but keywords. If your page doesn’t sound natural to a human reader, chances are they will pass it by in favor of one that does.

Taking advantage of both social networks and SEO practices can result in your website getting many more hits. While, as stated earlier, hits don’t always convert over to dollars, it is important to get people to your website. Following these internet marketing trends is one way to up your hits which, in turn, often does result in more business.

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January 1, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment