There are many reasons to start a business. Back in 2001, I was a fan of online radio. At one point I got the idea to join them, so I gathered a bunch of music, a media player, a hosting account, and went to work.
Back then, it was quite easy to establish a small internet broadcasting business. There were only a few rules, and there was little or no overhead. I started Toon Radio due to my love of cartoons and soundtrack music, and the low cost of entry, in the autumn of 2003.
With my inexperience in both radio and business, I spent half my time running the business, and the other taking online business management and marketing courses. Once things got going, everything started falling into place. The business is nowhere I like it to be, but it is still fun and enjoyable, and the people I have met have made the whole venture worth it. I keep it going today off of donations from these listeners, and the friendships I gained. I only wish that I had more money when I started, and this is my tip to anyone who wants to start their own business.
Do not quit your day job. That’s it. There is no greater tip for anyone starting out in business. It takes a lot of time, work, and resources to run a business, and you may not see a return of your investments for months if not years. I had the misfortune to be laid off from my previous job about the same time I started Toon Radio, and began my venture without funding. I am still suffering from that. All businesses need money to operate, and banks rarely give loans to small businesses. Therefore, I say that you should stay at your current job as long as you can; at least until you can comfortably live off your business revenues. Your paycheck is free seed money with no strings attached, and that is what you need you startup. You don’t need formal business training, but without a source of money you will never succeed.
Running your own business can be a very enjoyable experience, but don’t let the romance of being your own boss fool you. Self-employment is not a job. It’s a lifestyle. Before you begin, make sure you can live with the decisions you make. Once you can do that, everything else will fall into place.