Are you, a family member, or a friend thinking of starting a business? Before that happens make sure you’ve considered whether this is actually the right venture for you!
Today’s episode is about what you need to consider before starting a business, and for some of you that may be not starting a business!
If you do proceed, we suggest some help you may want to tap into.
This episode was recorded while sick in mid-2022 before we shut down Season 2 of the podcast early with long Covid. But we’re back baby for Season 3!
Disclaimer – All information provided today is general in nature. We do not know your individual circumstances, so seek advice for your situation from a trusted advisor.
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S3 Ep01 Is starting a business right for you? with Jane Tweedy | FAQ Business Podcast
Welcome back to season 3 of the FAQ Business Podcast. This episode today about starting a business was actually recorded back in mid to late 2022. Unfortunately due to ill health, and you can hear it a little bit in this podcast episode. I unfortunately did have to put the podcast on hold early for season 2. So I do apologise for that, but we are back.
And we are looking forward to getting into season 3. And this season, we will have a lot more guests. And we will also I’ll be operating on a basis of a fortnightly podcast episodes to start, and then we will move hopefully back to weekly. But we look forward to welcoming you back to the FAQ Business Podcast. Without further ado, here’s today’s episode.
00:49 What is your reason for starting a business?
Today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast is about the motivation to start a business, and whether starting a business is right for you. I see people starting businesses all the time. Some for really good reasons, and some for reasons that are probably going to lead them into trouble.
01:08 This episode may be for a family member
So let’s look at some of the reasons why you might consider starting a business, or for those of you that are listening that are already in business, maybe this is for your teenagers or something to listen to.
01:18 Welcome to FAQ Business Podcast
Welcome to the FAQ Business Podcast for business owners covering four pillars, actionable education, inspiring leaders, businesses like you, and thought leadership, where we challenge your thinking. Hosted by myself, Jane Tweedy. I’m founder and lead trainer of FAQ Business Training where we want to avoid you getting ripped off or ripping yourself off.
We’ll feature an amazing diversity of guests with lots to educate and inspire you.
01:54 Are you or a family member thinking of starting a business?
Hi there. I’m Jane Tweedy and I’m the host of the FAQ Business Podcast. Today’s episode is more about motivation for starting a business, so if you’re already in business, this may be an episode more so for your family members or something that may be interested. Maybe they’ve had a rough few years and maybe they’ve thought about changing from a corporate job, into a business themselves. Maybe your child is looking at starting a business.
02:24 School focuses on getting a job not starting a business
Because let’s face it, it’s interesting isn’t it, that when we go to school, there’s very little talk about starting a business. It’s very much you go to school, you do a job. And okay, there’s some good reasons behind doing that.
02:39 Learn from experience not just text books
For instance, you learn on the job. So, you know, you can learn something through school or university, but typically you’re not learning really good on the job skills. So in my view skills are more important than education and theory. Okay, cause you can’t use theory in the real world. You can apply it, test it, change it and adapt it, and then end up with some skills that are useful. But it’s not really great by itself. You think about it. If you were going to learn to do something new. It’s all very well to learn it in a text book. But until you actually go do it, you don’t really know.
03:20 At least hear out the idea of starting a business (even if your teen)
So, okay, maybe there’s a reason why people go into jobs rather than starting a business. But some people definitely I could see starting a business at a young age, and I have had some very young clients that have started businesses young, and they have been very successful. So don’t certainly rule it out if your 15 year old or something comes to you and says, Hey, I want to start a business. At least hear them out, at least hear out that idea.
03:47 Some motivations for starting a business may not be a good idea
But let’s look at some of the motivations of why people want to start a business, and why some of them might need a bit of rethinking.
03:56 Are you over getting made redundant or a toxic workplace culture?
I’ve found, particularly during COVID some people were sick of being made redundant. Some people were redundant multiple times, just before and during COVID. Maybe people are over dealing with workplace issues. They’re over dealing with the pettiness and the infighting and the toxicity of some of those workplaces. And woohh workplace bullying. Yep. Totally get why they’d want to get out.
04:24 Values conflicts with where you work
They may have a values conflict with the business or the industry that they’re in. For instance, I was in banking and investments. And as we all know in Australia, they had a Royal Commission on this. And there were issues that came out that was certainly issues that were apparent in some of the businesses that I worked for. So, you know, there is some values conflict there.
04:47 Running a business you can choose your values
And that’s definitely one of the big benefits of having your own business, is the fact that you can instill your own values in your business. If something’s really important to you. You know, customers come first, money comes second. That is something you can put into practice. Whereas, if you work for a business that does it the other way around, yeah, that might not work so well for you.
05:08 Do you not like being told what to do?
There’s people that just don’t like to be told what to do. Now in those circumstances, I would query you, because obviously your customers are telling you what to do anyway. So, is it really going to get over your problem?
05:24 Have you been micro-managed?
Some people just don’t like to work for others. And, particularly if you’ve had a situation of something like an awful micro-manager, which been there, done that. If you’ve had that type of micro-manager, you might go, oh, I don’t want to work for anyone again. I don’t want someone every single day, every single minute, asking me what I’m doing and why.
05:45 A customer will still tell you what to do, but not all day
So a customer, because they’re not there and in front of you. They may not be asking that question every single moment of the day. So, yes, you might get that benefit by working in a business.
05:57 I can’t get a job, maybe I should start a business
Some people go for starting a business cause they go, oh, I just can’t get a job. Okay I’m gonna start a business. My problem with those people, is that if you can’t get a job, if you can’t sell yourself to an employer, how are you going to sell yourself to clients? How are you going to sell yourself to referral partners? You still need to sell.
06:17 Selling is a vital skill for everyone
So selling is an incredibly vital skill. Regardless of what type of business you are doing, or whether even you’re just a career person. You’ve got to be able to sell yourself, and not in a bad way. We’re just talking about selling yourself for the position, or selling yourself to a client.
06:35 You’ve always wanted to start a business
Another good reason though, for starting a business, is that you’ve always thought about it. It’s been one of those things that’s been pressing on your mind and you’ve always thought, I really would love to start a business. But you just didn’t quite have the money, the time, the courage or whatever to get started.
06:52 A pay out may give you some opportunity
With changes, maybe you got made redundant. Maybe you got a pay out. Maybe that has given you the opportunity to have a little bit of time to explore what’s next for business.
07:03 Can be scary if you’re the main breadwinner in your family
Now for some people, of course, if they have been the main breadwinner in the family, it can really be a big concern over whether to take that plunge to go into their own business. And therefore I see some people that will go okay. I want to go into my own business. But I’m very risk averse. I’m really scared of starting something new and having nothing behind me. No backing.
07:31 Some start a business with a franchise
So those people will often go down the path of something like a franchise. Now you’ve got to look at a franchise realistically. And go is a franchise, truly a business that you’re running? Or are you merely a pawn in the franchise? Are you really managing effectively an outlet in the franchise.
07:55 A franchise is often more like being a branch manager
So you think about McDonald’s right? You go, right. I want to have some new beetroot burger. I’m going to start a beetroot burger for my branch of McDonald’s. That ain’t gonna happen. McDonald’s have a huge requirement to go through certain hurdles to have even a local burger in your establishment. So you’ve got to consider this that you’re not really running the show. You still have management or the franchise above you. So it’s not truly running your own business. So do bear that in mind.
08:30 Some use a franchise as a starting point – so check the exit strategy
You may treat it as a bit of a halfway house though. It’s on your way of getting there. So one of the things I do suggest you do, if you are considering starting a franchise as your first business opportunity. Is to make sure that if you’re buying that franchise, that you are considering all the options, as if you were starting a new business from scratch.
08:52 Just because it may be turnkey doesn’t mean you skip your due diligence
Because a lot of the times people skip some of the due diligence. Thinking that, oh she’ll be right mate! Because it’s already established, it’s already in place. It’s turnkey. I literally just go in and it starts.
That’s actually not what happens all the time. So you think it’s turnkey? But often it’s not. So make sure you know exactly what you’re getting in for if you are going down the franchise route.
09:16 Some franchise businesses can leave people feeling unsupported
But also consider that exit strategy. What happens if I decide after a few years, you know what? I don’t need this franchise. I’m paying a lot of fees for the franchise and not getting a lot of benefit. Or you don’t feel as supported as you thought you were going to be, or the leads that they promised you you’d be getting are just not coming through. All of these things can lead you to go, hmmm franchise is not right for me.
09:44 What are the options to exit or sell a franchise?
Make sure you’re looking at the exit strategy of the franchise. What does that mean? Looking about whether you can sell that franchise to somebody else externally, can you sell the franchise back to the franchisor? Can you just leave the franchise? Can you leave the franchise and keep your existing clients?
There’s lots of options for that exit strategy, but make sure you know, what you can and can’t do, if you choose to exit.
10:11 Make sure your reason for starting a business is robust
So starting a business, having that reason for starting the business. Just be careful if it’s one of these ones I’ve mentioned, things like that you can’t get a job. You didn’t like working with other people. You don’t like being told what to do. Those reasons are not strong enough reasons to start a business.
10:29 Starting a business is HARD work
Starting a business is hard work. There’s a lot of time and energy that goes into starting a business. You need to make sure your why is strong enough to keep you going. So look at the type of business you want to do, make sure you do proper research before you get started. And I certainly do training and business planning and things to try and work out have you got the right demand. Have you worked out what your pricing would be roughly and whether there’d be demand at that price point.
10:59 Make sure you know demand at the price you’ll need to charge
Because it’s all very well saying to someone ‘here’s my free service because I’m trying to build up my portfolio as a photographer’. And then you’ve got to offer them a paid service and then nobody buys. So make sure that you are looking for your demand, at the prices that people will need to pay. That’s really important.
11:17 The external why is your mission or purpose for your website
So your purpose for starting a business needs to be more than some of these reasons I’ve mentioned previously. You really do need a solid why to fall back on. And a solid why you can have two whys in your business. So one can be a personal motivating why? And the second one can be the external, why? So the external why is the one that goes on the website. So for me, that’s things like, I want to avoid people getting ripped off.
11:44 You may have a personal why too
Hugely passionate about that. So that’s something I put on my website. Now I had one client, for instance, that she said to me that she wanted to leave her husband. And clearly that’s not the one you stick on the website, especially if the husband doesn’t know that’s what your motivation is.
12:00 Get some sales skills!
As I said earlier, you’ve got to have sales skills. So if this is something you don’t have, please make sure you get some sales skills and we will cover some basic sales skills in upcoming podcasts and Tea Time Tips because sales skills are just so important.
12:17 Sales skills are good for life too!
And they can be used in your everyday life, even just negotiating what to have for dinner, becomes a sales technique effectively. So sales is so important in life, as well as in business.
12:31 The hard yards may be way harder than you can conceive
You have to be really willing to do the hard yards. And the yards are hard. And it’s actually interesting I’m watching The Block at the moment. Yes, I know there’s issues with watching The Block, but anyway. There’s a couple on The Block at the moment, and they are thinking they’re so hard done by, and feel like everyone’s against them. For instance, everyone was sort of given a bit of a welfare check and they took it personally like it was only them being asked and it was like, no everyone else got asked too.
But the problem with them, is they think they’re working really, really hard. For a start, if they’ve seen any other series of The Block, it’s going to get harder before it finishes. So really they should be at the easier parts at the moment, but also our levels of working hard are different.
13:21 Corporate life sometimes looks cushy!
And I know that, you know, in corporate I used to think I was working really long hours. I’d be working till 10 o’clock at night sometimes. I’d be taking work home. I’d be going oh, you know, so much work. And then in my own business, I’m working to blinkin’ two o’clock in the morning, and not getting paid for it. You know, it’s what hard work is, is very different. The perspective on it is very different. So, what we think is hard may not actually be hard to someone else, but you have to have willingness to do genuinely the hard yards. To really bust your gut at times.
13:57 Do however strive for a good work life integration
I’m not saying you have to do that all the time. And that is not what we should be aiming for. We should be striving for a business, that has the elusive work life balance. Okay. I don’t think you ever have a balance, but you should always be able to position your work in life. So that you have time to enjoy your life. Cause if you don’t enjoy your life, what’s the point?
14:17 Watch out for those taking advantage of new business owners
You need to be able to keep your wits about you. So when you go in and start a business, as soon as you register an ABN or anything like that, you immediately will start getting people, trying to take advantage of you. It’s very much like a wedding. [And before anyone in the wedding industry gets upset, I used to do wedding photography and my clients got a bargain because the work involved as HUGE, so yes I know most of you deserve what you charge, but there are some who do take advantage because they know they can by playing on high emotions!]
14:34 New business owners are easy targets as you don’t know any different
You go into a venue and you say, right, ‘I’m to be having a wedding’. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. The prices go up. Right? We all know this. The problem is when you’re running a business is that people will do the same thing to you. Oh, a new business owner. They may not know anything, I’m going to try and sell them a domain for $99 when they could have bought it online for $20.
14:54 Independently validate anything you’ve received
This is the sort of thing you’ve got to be very careful of. So whenever you’re sold anything, people come at you. Just say, whoa, thank you for the information. And go away and independently look it up yourself. Because often you’ll find sure having a domain in your business is a good idea. Does it mean you need to buy the domain from that person that sent you that letter. Absolutely not. So be very careful of what you’re doing.
15:20 Self-discipline for your business to-do items
Another big issue of moving, particularly from something like a corporate role or a tradie type role, where you’ve had that boss standing over you telling you what to do all day, is you’ve got to have good self-discipline and motivation. You’ve got to be able to still perform even though nobody is telling you that you need to get something done. So you’ll have client deadlines and most people can work to those okay. But what about deadlines for you to grow your business? Deadlines for you to put your website up.
15:50 Can you create self-motivation?
Deadlines for you to do a particular marketing activity, creating a new course. Create a new income stream. What are all those things? So do you have that self-motivation and that discipline to actually get that happening. If you don’t, you’re really going to struggle in business.
16:07 If you can’t get a job, make sure you can sell yourself
So I mentioned before, if you are thinking of starting a business because you can’t get a job. Really think again. If you can’t sell yourself to an employer. You’re probably not using the right messaging. So, how are you going to sell yourself to clients? Because it will be the same issue of not having the right messaging. Not having that confidence to do it. So please make sure that as I said earlier, you get sales skills if you need them.
16:35 Some exercises to do before starting ‘a’ business
If I haven’t put you off so far because you are looking at starting a business for the right reasons, then there’s a couple of exercises that I really think would be a good idea for you to do.
16:45 Reflect on activities and things you love from past roles
The first one is to look at things from your past. To reflect on your past. Always look back on what things you loved doing in former roles or a former business. What did you love doing? What did you love about the people aspects? What did you love about the type of work? What about variety or consistency? Really think about those activities. So go back and do this as an exercise. What did you love? What were your favorite things from past roles and past businesses?
17:21 What do you hate, or dislike, from past roles?
Then, do another exercise. What did you hate or really dislike if you don’t like that word hate, from past roles and businesses. Again, things like the type of work. Was it variety or consistency? Because some people like me love variety. And just can’t stand the same monotonous thing all the time.
Whereas some people oh, my gosh, they love that monotonous consistency. That’s what they seek.
17:51 Could you look into another role or a business?
What about your manager? What type of manager. So the thing is by doing these two little exercises, it will help you, whether you’re going into another work role or going into a business role. So, please make sure you do this. I see too many people jump from job to job without doing this type of thinking.
18:09 Do you like customer-facing roles?
So they go from a job say working at Macca’s. But they didn’t like say working with people at Maccas or working with customers, and then they’re going to a customer service call centre role. Well, they’re going to hate that too, because again, it’s customer facing.
18:23 Do you like admin work?
Whereas, if they’ve decided that, you know, they were doing a job and they don’t like admin, then don’t do another job with heaps of admin work. So really think about the type of work that you’re doing. Whether it’s a business or a job. And make sure that the next role is doing more of what you love, and less of what you hate.
18:42 Do a SWOT analysis
If you are not sure about what to do next at all? Then another good exercise to do is a SWOT analysis. Strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats. And when we’re looking at strengths, what we want to do is break it down to the two areas.
18:57 Break strengths into soft skills and technical skills
First one soft skills. These are the things, the attributes that we have, the things like communication, empathy, that sort of thing. Punctuality. Those types of things. What are you great at? And then secondly, the skills that you are technically good at. Are you good with particular software? Are you good at a particular trade or a particular skillset? What are you good at? So really look at and more so what you’re great at. We want to really emphasise the greatness rather than just, yeah, so, so.
19:32 Tools to help you choose your next opportunity
If you’re really stuck after doing this. Then there are tools available for you.
There’s the 16 personalities test, which you can certainly go and do.
19:42 SWOT weaknesses
After looking at the skills that you’re great at, you can also look at the things that you’re weak at. So what are the soft skills and the technical skills that you’re not great at. Because, we’re all going to have some of those. So that will fill out your strengths and your weaknesses area.
19:59 Look for a role using more of your strengths
The idea then is you want to do a role that has more of your strengths. Or you want to do in your business more things associated with your strengths. But the strengths you love doing.
20:11 What you love and are good at = passion
So we don’t want to market something that we don’t want to do. We don’t want apply for a job, doing something we don’t want to do just because we’re good at it. Really focus on doing what you love, but also what you’re good at. Combine the two together and we’re starting to get into a good zone.
20:27 Ikigai or your reason for being
It’s part of the Ikigai process, which I talked about in another podcast. So reaching Ikigai is when we get to a place where we love what we do, we’re good at it, we can get paid for it, most importantly, and it’s what the world needs from us. These are amazing. If we can get all four areas we have a state of Ikigai, a reason for being.
20:50 16 personalities may give some ideas
You’ve got to think about that. That’s hugely powerful. But if you can’t do this, you can’t find anything then go and look at something like 16 personalities. You can do a free test on that and it will give you some insights in the type of things you want to do.
21:04 HBDI® Profiles Whole Brain Thinking
If you want to do something more robust, then something like the HBDI® profiles that I do. Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument profiles and debriefs, we can give you an assessment through that and that also has an area that is for that type of thing. For career or business ideas. So reach out if you need anything in that space.
21:27 How will you establish credibility when starting a business?
The thing to consider in starting a business from scratch is how you’re going to establish your credibility when you get started. Because you’re going to start a business fresh. You’ve got zero years in business. That’s not going to look great to people right, so, how are you going to build your portfolio? How are you going to build a client base?
21:47 Freebies or test clients in return for a review
Are you going to start by offering some freebies or some test clients first and get them to give you recommendations in return. You can’t demand a five-star recommendation by the way. You can certainly ask for a recommendation and they should be stating in the recommendation that they did receive free services.
22:06 Use for case studies or social proof
But, you know, you can use those as test cases. So we like to see social proof. So get clients to give you testimonials, get clients to leave you reviews. So as you build that up, it will help you. Also consider whether you need to do any studying, or if you need to obtain any credentials.
22:25 Quality certification can help
For instance, there’s so many coaches out there, right. Coaches, business coaches, executive coaches galore. And that was why I decided to get my qualification with the International Coaching Federation, my Professional Certified Coach. The reason I got that is because it gives me that level of credibility. I have an organisation that has tested me, it has made me go through the knowledge test. It’s made me go through 500 hours of coaching. I’ve had to go through 10 hours of mentor coaching. I’ve had to go through 125 hours of training. All that stuff gives some kudos and some credibility to what I do.
23:04 Do you already have formal education?
So really think about whether you need to do that. Have you already got that? Because you are currently a lawyer and you have a law degree and all that sort of stuff.
23:12 Remember you can include industry experience
And remember that past experience counts for something. So when you start on day one, you don’t need to say on your website. We opened today. I have zero experience.
No, you have 10 years worth of legal experience. So make sure you put those years of background experience in there as well. Don’t be afraid of selling that type of message.
23:34 Get permission to use photos from anyone you worked under
If you were doing work for other people, say you’re an interior designer. And you were working for somebody else, or maybe you were a tradie and you were doing construction work for somebody else. Only use those pictures and things of that site, if you have permission to do so.
23:52 Even if a sub-contractor you may not be able to just post photos
I have seen some big disputes with businesses where a business who was the lead contractor, has got very offside by a subcontractor, putting up pictures without taking them and stuff.
24:04 Have permission and give credit, or don’t post
So be very clear. If you are going to put pictures up, they are someone else’s work, if you like. Because it might confuse the client as well. So be very careful about what you’re putting up, and only put stuff up that you have permission to do.
But having those things would give you some credibility. So if you can get some from a previous employer, please do so. But make sure you have permission to do it.
So all that’s going to help you to establish credibility, so that when you get started, you’re ready to go.
24:34 Today’s session is purely about getting the background right
So today’s session is purely about getting that background right. Are you ready to start a business? Are you doing it for the right reasons?
24:47 Small business owners often work longer but have more time flexibility
And the right reasons are really, because you’ve always wanted to be a small business owner. You love the idea of working for yourself, of having a business where your values are important. Where you have flexibility. You won’t work shorter hours, but you’ll have flexibility. Over the years you might be able to have shorter hours, but certainly not at the start. But you will have flexibility.
25:11 You like to be in control
Do you like the ability to control things a little bit more. To make decisions, to have more of that side of it. To be in charge. That might be a good thing, but remember, ultimately clients are kind of in charge of us anyway, so you’ll lose a little bit there.
25:29 Is your why strong enough to be resilient in tough times?
Really think about your why. Whether it’s a public why and a personal why, or they could be one in the same? But make sure your why is strong enough that you’re going to stick it out if times get tough.
25:43 The hard work may be HARD
Make sure you understand that you’re gonna have to put in hard work. And understand that the level of hard work required, may be way harder than anything you’ve ever done before. Because you don’t really know what it’s going to be like, until you get started.
But the last thing I’d like to say about getting started in business if you’re thinking, I still think I want to do this. Awesome.
26:07 Reach out for help!
I love small business owners. I love small business. I love the leap that I made myself. However, doing it by yourself is doing it the hard way. Harder than needed. So why don’t you reach out and use all the support out there.
26:26 Your own area may offer funded support
There’s plenty of support out there, it doesn’t matter which country you’re in. Go type up, you know, starting a business in your location and see what things are available in your area. Take advantage of them. But also take advantages of services like me.
26:44 Actively follow FAQ Business Training
So I have my business, FAQ Business Training. FAQ Business Training provides an online school, a membership, a podcast, Tea Time Tips, short learnings. It provides a variety of trainings and things that are completely free, as well as trainings that are paid. But get trained, learn what you need to learn, and make sure that you’re not getting ripped off. Okay. Cause I hate it when people get ripped off.
27:10 Learn enough to outsource confidently
So make sure you always learn enough to either outsource it confidently, because you know what questions to ask and how to monitor. Or do it yourself. And that’s where you can come to somebody like me at FAQ Business Training, and we will help you get along the way.
27:28 Get coaching, training and advice all wrapped into one
We can also do coaching and advice. So they can kind of can all get merged into one session. So as we go along we see where your issues are. So if it’s turns out that your issue is not about selling, it’s not about the techniques of selling, but it’s about the fact that you don’t believe in yourself. Then it switches to a coaching session. We address that issue first. Then we jump back to a session about how to sell. But if you’re not ready to sell, because you don’t have that self-belief, you’re going to struggle.
28:00 If you’re motivated to start a business I’d love to hear from you!
I just want to reiterate that today’s session was about that motivation for starting a business. Making sure that you are ready to start a business. And if you are ready, I’d love to have a chat to you. Reach out to me. My name is Jane Tweedy. I’m the host of the FAQ Business Podcast, and I also run FAQ Business Training, and FAQ Business Consulting.
Thank you for listening.
28:28 Subscribe to the FAQ Business Podcast
Thank you for listening to today’s episode of the FAQ Business Podcast available on all good podcast services. You can subscribe today via FAQbusinesspodcast.com.au. Subscribe, follow, share, and where able review our podcast. We look forward to inspiring and educating you again on the FAQ Business Podcast.
Today’s FAQ Business Podcast episode featured our host Jane Tweedy. Her details are as follows:
Jane is a Professional Certified Coach with International Coaching Federation (PCC with ICF), business advisor and trainer. She loves working with growing small to medium business owners who are doing the right thing, to help them do it right! Currently, Jane offers at least 60 live sessions a year to train small business owners.
Jane offers a variety of services to clients and her online school and membership. Jane’s focus is building the membership and online school out further, and offering implementable training – something she finds is often the missing link. She has limited spots at times for business coaching and executive coaching.
If you are interested in training, speaking, or anything else Jane has to offer, please connect via firstname.lastname@example.org or via the contact forms on our websites.
faqbusinesstraining.com.au – our main site with a great blog
faqbusinesstraining.com – our online school and membership
faqbusinesspodcast.com.au – our podcast site
And find FAQ Business Training on the socials …