Not happy with your job, or past experiences?
Not happy with your job, been retrenched, need to readjust your business to suit your lifestyle? Like to move out of the city for a quieter country lifestyle? Well, stop majoring in minor decisions and get moving. There has never been a better time to start your own lifestyle business, where opportunities abound.
Once you’ve had your ‘moment of brilliance’ and come up with an idea you believe will make a great business, it’s time to act. It can be hard to know how to take it from the start-up stage to a successful, profitable and sustainable business that will suit your lifestyle. But you need to make a start sometimes so the sooner the better.
If like many others, your background is not in business, the prospect of starting any type of business can be daunting and so can the planning you, your supporters and investors will need to do.
Don’t start without a written plan
In fact, going into business without a structured plan is similar to setting off on a journey without clearly knowing what route you’re going to take, just hoping for the best. Are you looking to maximise your enjoyment while having the freedom and security that comes with knowing you have full control of your life? Then a well planned and executed lifestyle business may be exactly what you need.
But while you may be aware of the benefits of creating a good lifestyle business, getting it right can be a challenge. What information should you gather; how can you come up with accurate forecasts; is there a particular business model which works best for you; where should you start the business? These are all the questions that will arise and need answers.
You’ve heard the hype about starting a lifestyle business but you haven’t made the leap yet. Maybe you think it sounds too good to be true or that only a lucky few are born with some kind of mythical entrepreneurial secret. Even if it’s just something you do on the side whilst working full-time, there are a multitude of reasons why starting a lifestyle business is easy for anyone. Anyone who has genuinely desire for more freedom in their life to do what they love doing and are good at doing. If your lifestyle plan isn’t working change the plan, but never your goal.
Lifestyle business defined
A lifestyle business is a business that is set up primarily with the aim of sustaining a particular level of income and no more, whilst providing a foundation to enjoy a particular lifestyle. Some types of businesses are more suitable than others to the would-be lifestyle business person. Traditional businesses usually require extensive capital and are difficult to launch and sustain on a lifestyle basis. Others such as small creative businesses are more practical for sole practitioners or small groups such as husband-and-wife teams.
In conventional business terms, a lifestyle business typically has limited scalability and potential for growth because such growth would destroy the lifestyle which their owners sort to achieve. The lifestyle business concept is sometimes that can be compared with that of the start-up, which is intended to grow rapidly and create significant profit. On that basis, a start-up may attract capital, whereas a lifestyle business may not.
A lot of people market the idea that you can have a business that makes money while you sleep. And then they show pictures of gorgeous beaches in perfect locations and fancy expensive cars. It’s a very attractive prospect. But running a business isn’t all lazing around on the beach.
Because it is not intended to generate significant growth or revenue, you usually have to provide all the funding themselves, which is usually quite within most people’s financial capacity. Beware of the concept of passive income, because there’s very little that’s actually passive about passive income. There will always be work that needs to be carried out.
Lifestyle businesses are often considered an alternative to retirement. A funded start-up, on the other hand, has the primary responsibility of becoming big at the expense of the lives of the founders and employees.
The goal of a lifestyle business
The primary goal of a lifestyle business is to grow to a size that supports the owner’s aspirations, with a bit of extra income to provide for the unexpected. It’s not about running a business as an alternative to having a job. A lifestyle business doesn’t have to be small, either in revenue or employees.
A lifestyle business is one that is geared toward the sort of work the owners like doing while supporting their income and personal requirements rather than maximising revenue and profits. The goal is to create a sustainable and desirable work/life balance. If you’re completely new to building a lifestyle business, identify your passion and strengths. This will be a good basis to crank-start your feelings and thinking around your ‘why’ and how you would make a start.
The business should be lucrative enough to allow the owners the lifestyle they desire without having to sacrifice any personal life, in fact, it should enhance it. The type of business is also selected on the basis of personal interest; so the time spent working is really enjoyable. A good place to start is planning your desired lifestyle the changes you need to make. The One-Page Business Plan is a quick way to capture your initial thoughts, http://goo.gl/1IZKsv.
While it’s fun to start up running on nothing but adrenaline and coffee, the excitement wanes and the monotony can set in after a few months. Many start-up lifestyle businesses can turn into really bad 9-to-5 jobs if you are not passionate about the type of lifestyle business you want. Don’t become emersed in day-to-day details and miss out on the many benefits of a lifestyle business.
Advantages of a lifestyle business
Many people have been working all their working life for other people, but yearn to start their own business. It starts with daydreams and then it’s time for action. Following is a summary of some of the advantages that come with a lifestyle business:
- Freedom at last – You feel trapped in an office. No more putting up with someone else’s rules and regulations, no more cranky bosses, no more commuting, no more office politics and no more 9 to 5; freedom at last.
- Fulfil your potential – Running your own business would let you aim as high as you want and be in charge of achieving it. You would start to see satisfying outcomes for your efforts.
- More family time – At last your, work/balance starts to make sense, you can achieve job satisfaction and still have plenty of time for family and friends. You can even take time off to attend family events, without a guilty conscience.
- Set your own hours – When you work for yourself, you decide when you come and go and how much time you will spend on various tasks. It is this freedom that delivers a great lifestyle.
- Make your own decisions – Freedom to succeed or fail on your own efforts without limitations on the way you like to operate. No more unnecessary rules and regulations, you don’t have to comply anymore.
- Choose the people you work with – Office politics and dealing with difficult and negative people, becomes a thing of the past. You have a choice when you work for yourself, you choose customers, colleagues and suppliers you want to work with.
- Live where you want – Location freedom is having the ability to choose where to work. Mobile business is gaining momentum with internet technologies and global communication, so it’s no longer the problem it was.
Starting a Lifestyle Business
We are always hearing from people who want to start building a lifestyle business for themselves but simply don’t know where to start. “I would love to have a business like yours” is a statement often made. The good news is, it doesn’t take as much drastic action as you think it does to start building a lifestyle business.
Even if you have no ideas or you are in a job you can’t leave for some time, you can make a start. It can be daunting, especially if you’ve spent years working for other people. A big stopper is when you start thinking about family responsibilities and maintaining your existing social life. The thought of actually doing more work in your spare time seems so ridiculous you don’t do anything about it.
In fact, many of the most beneficial steps to building a business are probably things you either are doing or have been considering doing anyway. Here are some simple steps to get you thinking:
Decide on the type of lifestyle business you want
Make an exhaustive list of all the types of business you would like to start. Now make a list of all the characteristics you would like the business to have. Have brainstorming sessions to bring out ideas and opportunities.
Create a clear description of the problem you are seeking to solve
This will include your problems as well as the potential customer’s you wish to attract, outlining their problems, frustrations, wants and needs .
Get a business name and a domain name
You don’t have to form a company right now, but these two things will give you an identity for your new lifestyle business.
Set attainable goals and action steps
Do this as a prelude to doing a Business Plan. Perhaps use the one-page Business Plan concept, this will motivate action, http://goo.gl/IrgOjw
Allocate time for the project
When you’re working for yourself, building good habits are more important than ever. Allocation of your time should be at the top of your list. No actions, no outcomes.
Contact some people who are operating a lifestyle business you would like
Who is better to build a relationship with than people who have already successfully done what you have in mind?
Will you need to move to a new locality
If you do, find someone in the locality(s) you would like to move to. More often than not people want to move to their favourite place. Make a sea change, or a tree change.
Join local organisations where you want to establish your lifestyle business
There is nothing like having some local knowledge about who is doing what and where the opportunities are.
Find someone who also has aspirations about a lifestyle business
Find someone who is going through the same exercise. It is always better to have someone external to your family to discuss ideas with and do give each other some accountability.
Regardless of what you do in your lifestyle business, you’re going to be creating. So you might as well start now, you’ll be amazed at how quickly things can progress.
Do things to delight the customers you will need
Do things to attract and delight your first few customers. Don’t waste time building complex systems to handle huge volumes before you need them if you ever need them.
Seek out a mentor or a coach
Making the decisions to move forward can be too hard doing it by yourself. Find someone you can relate to and has some practical experience in starting a lifestyle business. This could save you countless problems, frustrations as well as save you money.
You will find, that once you start taking a few small actions, it will be very motivating. Your progress will speed up and it will be very hard for you to stop.
Just do it
All successful people share one secret, the ability to take action and do what they want to do. They don’t sit around telling everyone what a great idea they have, or how much money they will make if they could only get started. They know they won’t create a lifestyle business just having an idea, so they act on that idea with all the passion, strengths and vigour they can muster. If you are struggling to make things work out, this might help, http://goo.gl/F3gAQF. If you’re overwhelmed with all the activities that are involved with a lifestyle business , don’t give up, seek immediate help. It will be worth it.
“The happiest people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything”. Buddha
“The truth is, no matter what your lifestyle or occupation, nothing can really stop you when you’re allowing yourself to be exactly who you want to be”. Hayley Williams