Becoming A Business Tycoon
Becoming A Business Tycoon
Chris Palmeri (Senior Correspondent, BusinessWeek) gives expert video advice on: What is 'self employment'?; What types of businesses can I start to make millions?; Is self employment risky? and more...
What is 'self employment'?
You know, this is one of the things that I think that gets neglected when people talk about careers to kids and in high schools, guidance counselors and things like that. The reality is that most people work for small businesses, and the real, real wealthy people in this world all own their own businesses. They could be managing stocks for other people, they could be investing in real estate, or they could just be making products, providing services. All of those people at some point started a business. And that is the true long-term way to wealth. It's not easy, but owning your own company is the way to be fabulously wealthy.
What types of businesses can I start to make millions?
Think about what you enjoy and what you love to do and what you read about in your spare time and spend time on the Internet looking at. Think about a career in that field. One way that you can start a business without a lot of money is by becoming a distributor for another company or even opening a franchise in a particular city with a product that you like. That way you can get financing, you have an experienced brand already that's out there advertising and winning customer loyalty. Provide that service or that product in that market and you can build a business long term.
Is self employment risky?
Self employment is not easy. Anybody that runs a business will tell you, especially a small business. You have to manage people. People are pain. You have to do a lot of paper work: you have to pay their taxes, your taxes, health insurance, all kinds of things. And you have to fundamentally make your customers happy. Customers are a pain too. So, it is a lot of work. But for the right people and some people are probably better off working for somebody else. They don't have the interest in managing all of that. But for the people that can handle it, starting a business is the greatest thing in the world.
What are the financial pros and cons of self-employment?
The biggest pro about self-employment is that you can manage your own time, do what you want to do, do it the way you want to do, you don't have to listen to anyone else, except the person who's paying you. Bills! You really are in charge of your life and your business. You can do the kind of quality work you think you deserve, and that's the way to stay ahead. The bad thing about it is, you don't work, you don't eat. There's no slack, you know you have to be out there all the time selling yourself, selling your product, making your customers happy, and managing the people who work for you. It's a lot of work!
What is the very least I need to know about starting my own business?
The very least you need to know is that there is a lot of paper work involved, but the fact of the matter is it's like having kids, everybody's done it, it's work, but it's do able. You can apply for a small business loans. You can set up a corporation. You can go out there and sell it yourself. It's the American dream and it will work. It's just you have make a list of things to do. Read up on all the things you need to do. Talk to people that you know and respect who have done it before, get their advice. And then just go out and do it.
What are the secrets to getting rich by opening a business?
The great thing about starting a business is that you are out there in the market and you're seeing an opportunity. It could be a product, it could be a service but nobody is quite providing that in the way that you see an opportunity to do it. So you can go out and do that and that's the way to make a lot of money. You can price it at however you want and people will come. The disadvantage is that competitors will quickly find out what you do. So what you have to do is build a brand and an image for your company that makes you the place that customers want to go. Lots of people make coffee. Starbucks has a brand. That's the key to long term wealth when you're starting a business.
Can I get rich quick by starting my own company?
You can get rich very quickly, or you could get rich slowly, or you can go broke, and it all depends on how hard you work. But we're back now to the days of people starting Internet businesses in their dorm room, and two years later, they're worth billions of dollars. Those are the outliers, as statisticians would say, those are the extreme examples. But it is possible to go out there and do it. As the New York Lottery says, "You've got to be in it to win it", and so that's the important thing, finding that idea and taking the risk and starting today, not putting it off.