Is a bootstrap business a mistake?
At a point that most people refer to as ‘mid-life crisis’, I find that I’m actually in a crisis. A career crisis and a self-employment crisis. Plain and simple, I hate my legal assistant job, and I want to work for myself in the worst way. I don’t have the money for a storefront, large equipment, help or advertising, but I’m determined to start my cake decorating business right now. Any suggestions for someone in my situation?
Bootstrap business is entrepreneurship on steroids – get with it!
First, you don’t have a problem. You have the opportunity of a lifetime that can probably catapult you better and further than a person who can afford a franchise opportunity, but is not on fire as they go forward.
While most people only dream of being self-employed and spend years attending business opportunity shows, reading magazines and searching the internet, you’ve stated exactly what you want to do: start a design business. Think about it. Knowing what we want in life is the biggest struggle of all. Once focused on an objective all we need is a plan, and money is only a piece (actually a very small piece) of that plan. The bootstrap business is as old as entrepreneurship, and that is very, very old. You’ve heard the terms garage business, shoestring business, and bootstrap business, so pick the term you like best and draft a plan on your laptop or a pad of paper from your kitchen table.
Nothing is as simple as simplicity and you have already stated your objective … simply: “I want to decorate cakes.” It’s safe to assume that you want to be in this business because, to some extent, you’re already doing it, for yourself, for friends, etc. So why do you need a storefront or any of the other things you mentioned? You don’t. You’re the perfect candidate for a bootstrap business and it’s going to be so easy for you. First, we know you have the passion. Second, it’s probably very safe to assume you have a talent to decorate. Third, you must have a space to do it, probably from your home. Fourth, it’s also safe to assume that others besides you have seen and enjoyed your work. There you have it. No money required and no need to quit a good paying job.
Get going NOW. Ask your friends for referrals, get business cards and a ‘professional’ sample book of photos together for marketing. Add some business cards and you’re in business. In time, as your business grows, you can stop the office job, but you won’t even mind doing that job while growing the business. You’ll be too excited to hate the job, as it will provide sustenance for your passion.