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Burned out at 33

DerekNDerekN subscriber Posts: 2
edited December 2007 in New Member Welcome
Hello Everyone!
I`m new to Start-Up, and I`m writing to you from my flourescent-lit cubicle at 8:30 in the morning, drinking a Coke in an effort to get through another Wednesday.
I`m a video editor in Cincinnati, OH and I hate my job.  I`m on the brink of leaving and starting a home-based business offering photo montage videos commemorating the various events of peoples` lives. 
The best thing - I can do this from home and maybe have more time in the day for my family. 
The worst thing - there is so much information about starting a business (even just a home-based business).  It`s all a blur.  I need to find a way of cutting through all the info and finding the key topics that will help me get started.
Any advice?  So far, Start Up Nation seems to be a great resource.  But I really need to target in the information relevant to me.
Nice to be aboard!  And thanks in advance for your replies.


  • sagetroutsagetrout subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi Derek,
    I was about your age when I started my first business.   I also was burned out on my job and when I left I went and did something completely different before starting that business. 
    I`d start with basics.   Like a good newspaper story, you need to know the Who, What, When, and Where. 
    1)   Who are your customers?   You need to define your market because that will dictate how you market to them.
    2)   What can you offer customers in product and services and more importantly......
          What do these customers want?
    3)   When will your business operate?  Hours of operation, etc.
    4)   Where will customers find you?  
    One thing I`d definitely do is see if there is a way to test market your idea on part-time basis before you take the plunge into full-time.   Don`t commit your family`s financial resources until you can prove to yourself and your wife that this is going to work the way you think it will.
    Another thing you need to do is run the numbers for this business.   You need to put together budget projection for the first year in business.   It`s safe to assume you`ll be losing money in the begining and it`s important to get a good feel for your "burn rate" - how quickly you`ll burn through cash before you get to break even. 
    Study your competitors.   I didn`t know anything about photo montage services so I perused a couple of websites to see what they do.   I`d look at all of them and use what will help you - pricing, services offered, marketing method, etc.
    The toughest thing will be to project your sales.   How quickly will they come and in what amount?   This is where test marketing comes in handy.  
    Starting a business isn`t a panacea.  It`s a lot of hard work and lot of long hours.  I don`t want to discourage you but you need to think through your whole business plan and make sure that the market is really there for this service and it`s going to be enough to take the place of the income you got from your job and more.   Don`t start a business just because you hate your job.    
  • TheQueenOfGreenTheQueenOfGreen subscriber Posts: 0
    Great question. Can you tell that most of use have "been there"?
    Unlike your advice-givers so far (all wise and well-reasoned), I quit the job and then figured out how it all works. Not advisable all the time, for certain. But with a procrastination streak, it was a great motivator to know that *I* was now responsible for my own paycheck.
    Don`t overlook your own Small Business Development Association (SBDA) - many offer free counseling that can help you work through the maze and work out the kinds as you go. Same thing with SCORE.
    There was a thread about this not too long ago that many of us try to do it all on our own - get suppurt and it won`t feel quite so overwhelming.
    :) Jennifer
  • DerekNDerekN subscriber Posts: 2
    Thank you all so much for your replies!  I really do appreciate the advice you`ve shared.  I think starting my business will be something like starting a diet - the hardest part will be getting started.  But once I`m rolling and have my momentum, it will be a little easier each day.  My biggest hurdle is just making that first leap - abandoning the safety net of my 9-5 and trusting myself that I can do this.
    Again, thanks for sharing your experiences.
  • TheQueenOfGreenTheQueenOfGreen subscriber Posts: 0
    "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." You were close, Craig (and I`m an annoying perfectionist).
    Keep us posted, Derek!
    :) Jen
    TheQueenOfGreen11/29/2007 7:59 PM
  • TheQueenOfGreenTheQueenOfGreen subscriber Posts: 0
    (laughing) I guess we`re officially off-topic... but when you`re right, you`re right.
  • OnTrayOnTray subscriber Posts: 4
    Welcome!  I`m up in Columbus!  I`m sorry you`re burned out, but how great that you have an idea and a passion?  Go for it.  Leap and the net will appear!
  • proactive1proactive1 subscriber Posts: 1
    Online and off, there are HUGE amounts of information regarding starting a business, much of it contradictory.  Startup Nation here has put together a great resource for getting you started, the 10 Steps to Open for Business.  While it is yet another source of information, what makes it different is that it will help you take action from step to step.  Taking action and making progress is the key to doing something with the overwhelming amount of information one can learn about starting a biz.  I recommend trying not to take it ALL in at once.  Do things in stages.

    Hello Derek,
    I`m in agreement with Steve 100%. The "10 Steps" look like a great one-stop shop for business start-ups. What I might add (and I`m sure you thought of this)... Start with your "warm market". That is of course, being your friends and family. It seems a photo montage would make a great gift especially around the holidays. And, what a great way to introduce your circle of influence to your new business.
    Good luck in your endeavor!
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