Starting a business in Winchester, VA

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119
http://actvra.in/tFC

I have a very simple view of the working world.  There are the clock punchers Starting a business in Winchester VAand those that dread the thought of being a clock puncher.  Neither is better than the other.  They just are what they are.

Clock punchers have an innate need to know that on Friday (or whenever) they are going to get paid.  Having a consistent weekly, bi-weekly paycheck gives them comfort and a certain sense of safety and security.  They tend to be more risk averse, and they don't mind the typical 8 - 5 schedule.  Society needs clock punchers.

The non-clock punchers are those that are a little more entrepreneurial.  They love the challenge of taking their vision or passion and turning it into a profitable venture.  They would never settle for a specific weekly paycheck.  Their idea is that they can make as much money as they are willing dedicate their efforts to.  Some weeks, that might mean no check, but in two weeks it might mean a huge check.  They also like the freedom of choosing their own schedule.

If you're a non-clock puncher with a vision and no business, you may dream of being in your own business, but you don't know how to get started.  Let me give you a few ideas that might help create a springboard for you.

  • Define what it is that you want to do as a business.Starting a business in Winchester VA
  • Can you get into the business with little money, equipment or space - or will it need to be well financed, well equipped and housed somewhere?  If you want to do lawn-care you may be able to start part-time with a push mower.  It doesn't take a lot of equipment or money.  Other businesses take a lot of money, equipment and a place to operate from.
  • If your business needs to be financed, have you looked into grants? 
  • Do you have adequate expertise to create the business you envision?  You can own a real estate brokerage and not be an agent or a broker, but you will need a licensed broker to oversee the real estate specific operations.  You can bring people on board with you if you don't have the expertise to launch on your own.
  • Is it something that needs employees before you can launch?
  • What are you bringing to the market that isn't being adequately serviced already?  You only need to be 10% better in your field to take over a huge portion of the business.  Just ask IBM what happened to them when PCs became available to the consumer market. 
  • Do you have a niche product or a niche market?
  • Can you start small and maintain your current source of income while building the business?  A service business, such as lawn-care, house cleaning, consulting, even flipping houses can be done while you're still employed full-time elsewhere. 
  • Do you have a business mission statement that clearly articulates your business?  Your mission statement should be 25 words or less that captures the essence of what you're about and what you're going to do.
  • Have other similar businesses started and closed in your area?  Would you feel comfortable talking to the previous business owners about their experience?  The first frozen yogurt provider in our area failed (TCBY).  Why?  The area wasn't ready for it yet.  When the next company tried it - it was a huge success.  TCBY was just a little too early for this area.  They would be a smash today.
  • Can you ever imagine doing anything else?

Most new businesses fail in the first 5 years.  That makes preparation all Starting a business in Winchester VAthe more important.  The greatest cause of failure is lack of capital or lack of access to capital.  Those two issues can be overcome by starting your business part-time, by yourself and with limited cash outlays.

All money that comes in during that initial start-up phase should be set aside for a future launch into a fulltime business.  Some businesses cannot start this way, but for those that do, it's a great way to protect your current resources while you build equity in your new venture.  At the right time, you'll be ready to go.  

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Rainmaker
2,341,412
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

Mike I have to admit sometimes it would be nice to punch a clock and be done when you leave work for the day. in Real Estate there is no such thing if you are going to be sucessful. In an industry that requires service you need to be available when your clients need you.

Feb 22, 2012 07:34 AM #1
Rainmaker
1,256,576
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

I'm with you, Scott.  I've been offered a few jobs that made me think twice.  8-)

Feb 22, 2012 08:06 AM #2
Rainmaker
648,811
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Mike: these are some great points and I'm totally motivated to pursue one of our dreams! I'm definitely not a clock puncher, never have been, my schedule was always different than an 8-5. I believe I discovered my entrepreneurial spirit at the age of sometime-in-elementary-school. My friend and I went from door to door collecting newspapers and glass bottles which we could trade in at the local recycling center for cash! These were the 80s! We later moved up to selling flowers from her mom's yard (shhhh) and delivering a weekly newspaper with our little handwagon.

Feb 22, 2012 10:05 AM #3
Rainmaker
1,256,576
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Sounds familiar, Andrea.  You've got the spirit, and it sounds like you've got experience.  8-)

Feb 22, 2012 10:11 AM #4
Rainmaker
134,031
Marcia Kramarz
Re/Max Executive Realty - Medway, MA
CDPE,LMC,CBR

A great list for those jumping out of the weekly paycheck model and are considering the life of the self employed -  Can't help but to think one big thing to review is commitment - Commitment when things are not going as you had planned - and recommitting yourself when you stumble and fall - which will clearly happen on the road to success -

Feb 22, 2012 10:51 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,256,576
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Good advice, Marcia.  You better have commitment or you'll be in a world of hurt. 

Feb 22, 2012 10:59 AM #6
Rainer
242,705
Doug Bullwinkel
Academy Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

I haven't been on the clock for over 30 years and I'm better for it.  It's funny because the harder I work, the luckier I seem to get.  Great checklist of things to be aware of when going off the clock.

Feb 22, 2012 12:57 PM #7
Rainmaker
505,581
Cal Yoder
Keller Williams Elite - Lititz, PA
Homes For Sale in Lancaster PA - 717.413.0744

Good stuff Mike. Getting started with little money is important, but I am realizing how important to be funded is and how that impacts my mindset for building my business. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Cal

Feb 22, 2012 02:21 PM #8
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Mike.  There also has to be a competitive streak in the business owner.  A need to succeed.

Feb 22, 2012 07:56 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,256,576
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

Doug, I left the clock in 1980, and I've loved it.  It just wasn't for me.  

Cal, our business is a hard one to get into with little money, but hopefully after those inital outlays we're making a some.  8-)

Absolutely, Conrad.  A big competitive streak.  

Feb 22, 2012 08:01 PM #10
Rainmaker
207,810
Peggy Wester
Realty Executives Integrity - Grafton, WI
Real Estate Agent Ozaukee & Washington County

I'm like my dad was -- prefer setting my own schedule, working for myself, etc. But I have to admit there have been many a weeks in the past few years where I longed for that "regular paycheck."

Feb 22, 2012 10:10 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,256,576
Mike Cooper
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro

I hear you, Peggy.  I thought about it a few times.  

Feb 23, 2012 12:02 AM #12
Rainer
205,020
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h

Fantastic listing and it is clear that you speak from experience. I'd add in that a touch of fear/motivation can go a long ways towards keeping you focused when the odds seem against you. 

Feb 23, 2012 08:04 AM #13
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Rainmaker
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Mike Cooper

Your Winchester, VA Real Estate Sales Pro
Winchester has a place for you! Call me.
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