What is Your Best Entrepreneurial Option?
The Second Step in Launching Your Own Business

Once you've decided what type of business you want to start and you're clear about why a particular business or industry is the right one for you, then you can move on to the second phase of your business-planning efforts.

This phase - selecting the best entrepreneurial option - is vitally important and will lay the foundation for everything else you do in this new venture. Each of the six options listed below has distinct advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Start your own business from scratch.
    You have total control of your business, work life, and destiny. But you'll also have total responsibility for everything that happens in your business - the good and the bad.

    More and more start-up entrepreneurs are considering the advantages of business partnerships that provide for shared responsibilities between two or more owners.

    Taking it one step further, you might also consider other unique partnership-type relationships such as strategic alliances, joint ventures, co-marketing agreements, and more. These cooperative relationships allow multiple companies to work together to everyone's mutual advantage.

  2. Buy an established business.
    A search on the Internet will reveal countless businesses for sale. Then, if you check your local newspaper, you'll find even more opportunities. Then, contact business brokers to see what companies they currently have for sale.

    When you take this avenue to entrepreneurship, you bypass much of the start-up phase that all new business owners go through when they launch a new venture, and that can be great news for you.

    But acquiring a business requires a capital investment. Be certain to get qualified legal and financial advice as you consider such a significant investment and liability.

  3. Join a direct-sales company.
    These include Avon, Amway, Mary Kay, Shaklee, Tupperware, Pampered Chef, Herbalife, Primerica Financial Services, and Home Interiors.

    There are thousands of such opportunities on the Internet. Start with these two websites, each of which lists hundreds of direct-sales companies:

    Network Marketing Companies
    Direct Selling Association

    Keep in mind that there will be an initial capital investment required to launch your direct-sales venture.

  4. Purchase a franchise
    In essence, here, you're buying a "business-in-a-box" with complete instructions and support for initial set-up and long-term operation. There are thousands of franchise opportunities. For example, McDonald's, MAACO, Curves, Maid Brigade, Cinnabon, Dollar Store, and Geeks on Call.

    The major drawback to this type of venture is the initial capital investment, which can range from under $10,000 to approximately $1 million. In addition, franchises have an ongoing financial obligation to the franchiser, which can equal a large percentage of your annual revenues throughout the life of the franchise.

    If you are considering this option, you need to retain an experienced franchise attorney and accountant who can give you critical information and insights as you mull this over.

    Websites on franchising (see page 35 of the book for the full list) include:


  5. Accept employment with an existing business that's offering you an equity/ownership opportunity.
    This is a great way to begin to take the leadership reins of an organization. Generally, although not always, this type of arrangement offers you the best of all worlds - an annual salary or compensation plan along with an equity interest in the company.

    This type of arrangement is considered to be a lower-risk venture than many other entrepreneurial options. One word of advice: If this is the path you wish to pursue, we strongly recommend that you enter into a business or industry in which you either have some knowledge, skills, and experience, or in which you have a personal drive and passion.

  6. Succeed into a family-owned business.
    If you are in the position of being slated to be the next person to take over a family enterprise, we recommend that you give it intensely serious consideration. There is nothing worse than resigning yourself to 40, 50, or 60 hours a week doing something that you do not enjoy.


SOURCE: Adapted from Wendy S. Enelow, The $100,000+ Entrepreneur (Manassas Park: Impact Publications) pages 31-37. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved. Copying strictly forbidden.