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Going in Business for Yourself

by Ron Kurtus (updated 8 October 2015)

Going into business for yourself means that you are starting a one-person business. You can also work with a partner, as a two-person business. In either case, it requires some funding for equipment and to advertise your products or services.

You then make preparations to start up your business, often including a plan of action. Finally, the point where the first customer "walks in the door" and you make a sale is when you are truly in business.

You need to have the motivation and desire to start your own business. A major step is to get a great idea of a viable business that has potential of success. Then you need to prepare to start your business, including developing a plan of action. By implementing that plan and finally making your first sale, you will be in business for yourself.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Five steps

There are five basic steps in going in business for yourself:

  1. Motivation
  2. Idea
  3. Plans
  4. Implementation
  5. First sale


The details of the five steps are as below:


Getting an idea for an enterprise is the first step in going in business for yourself. The idea comes from your interests and motivations for starting a business.

Your motivations may be to have your own business, to do what you enjoy, and to make money.


People who go into business for themselves either spin off from a job they have or have a special interest or hobby they want to pursue as a business.

You may get an idea of going into business for yourself if you see the potential from your own job. If you see clients needing the skills you can provide, you may get the idea of doing the work on your own for more money than you are making now.

Or, you may have a hobby or special interest that you would like to pursue at a higher level. This can give you an idea of a business to start.

Make plans and decision

The preparation phase of starting a business is the most extensive. It includes clearly defining the business, considering if it is a viable idea, deciding to proceed, writing a plan of action and getting initial funding.


The first step in implementing your plans is to get the funding needed to start the business. Often, in a one-person business or partnership, your own money is used to get started.

First sale

After you have completed your preparations and made efforts to get clients or customers, you need to wait until you get your first sale. At that point you are truly in business for yourself.


Examples of implementing the five steps for starting a one- or two-person programming, painting, wool and art businesses are as follows:


Herb and Matt were friends and both good computer programmers at Endural Co. They both wanted to run their own business, as well as to hopefully make good money.

They knew of some other companies that were looking for programming assistance. So Matt got an idea of going into business for themselves, offering their programming services.

Herb and Matt made preparations to start their business. Herb outlined a plan and list of things they needed. They also agreed to temporarily would out of Herb's house until business got good enough to rent an office.

They both bought the required software for doing their work. They had business cards and a letterhead printed up and sent out feelers to other companies. Meanwhile, they kept their jobs with Endural Co.

A small software company responded to the inquiry from Herb and Matt and agreed to contract them on a job. Once they started working on the project, they were in business.


Dave had been painting houses for several years for a contracting firm. But he also always wanted to be in business for himself.

Since there was plenty of work, he thought he might try going into business for himself as an independent house painter.

His plan was to advertise around the neighborhood, as well as to ask his friends to put the word out about his business.

Dave already had most of the tools needed for painting. He quit his job. Then he put up some fliers around town, advertising his services.

Dave's neighbor hired Dave to paint his house. His business was now on the way.

Selling wool

Gretchen had purchased some land for her new house. She was looking for a source of income.

There was a barn and enough property for farming, but that did not interest her. She loved animals, and when she heard about people raising alpaca and selling the wool, it gave her the great idea of raising the animals as a source of income.

Her plan was to learn about alpaca and getting their wool, as well as how to turn it into a viable business.

Gretchen then implemented her plans. She studied about the raising of alpaca. Her property already had a barn. She purchased the alpaca and also looked into places that might buy the wool.

A company contracted with Gretchen to purchase her alpaca wool. She was now open for business. Her next step was to deliver the product and get paid.

Selling paintings

Laguna Beach, California featured an artist faire every Sunday, where the various artists and craftsmen could set up booths and sell their art. Drew loved to paint and got the idea of starting a business selling in paintings from a shop and at the faire.

His plan was to rent a studio and display his paintings there and at the various art faires.

Drew was able to rent an art studio. He already had a number of paintings available for sale. He also got a permit to set up a stand at the Sunday art faires.

Drew had a grand opening of his studio. He also had one for his art faire booth. Now, all he needed was to sell his paintings. Once he sold something, he was truly in business.


You need to have the motivation and desire to start your own business. A major step is to get a great idea of a viable business that has potential of success. Then you need to prepare to start your business, including developing a plan of action. By implementing that plan and finally making your first sale, you will be in business for yourself.

Give it your all

Resources and references

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