I am a very self motivated person who looks for opportunities to develop ideas and skills. I have always wanted to be in control of my life and I have always been ambitious about starting new ventures. Working for oneself holds great attraction for me. I want to pursuer self-employment because I would like to develop some as a professional designer so that I will be able to identify research and creatively resolve issue that lead to a healthy, save and comfortable physical environment area of experience into a full-time business.
These motives are being shared and viewed by some people as a chance to advance professional by becoming their own boss, earning more money or gaining status.
While others seek the personal advantages it may provide, such as the ability to work at home, have more flexible working hours, or create profitable ventures from activities they enjoy. Still others want to try something different from their current job or the one they retired from.
In 1996, self–employed business owners accounted for nearly 10.5 million workers, a number projected to increases to over 6 million businesses by 2006. However, not all of these self-employed workers stay in business long enough to realize their dreams; – According to the U.S small business Administrative, over half of all entrepreneurship fail within the first 5 years. Nobody can guarantee success for any business. But can increase my chance by taking steps before starting one.
Choosing a business and the motivations involve are only the first step to pursuing self-employment. The next is determining whether I understand and can manage the business and personal demands required for success. Most new businesses fail because the owners do not look beyond the mere achievement of their dreams. In certain case, enlisting the aid of experts, especially those who have worked with other business owners, will help in analyzing capability. That knowledge should reveal gaps between expectations and the reality and it will allow a reevaluation of the plan since the livelihood of the individual greatly depends on it.
Successful business people share certain traits. Most can handle a great deal of responsibility and are hard working, persevering, and capable of honest self-appraisal. They understand that self-employment usually involves the pressure to perform and long hours. Thus, it requires much analysis of various factors in order to determine whether I want to be self-employed or not. Moreover, the decision also relies on an examination of one’s motivation and commitment to such a venture. When making my decision, some questions I do ask myself include (my answers are also included):
Will becoming self-employed meet my career goals? Yes and no
Am I willing to work long hours each day? Yes
Do I have skills in a profession, trade, or hobby that can be converted into a business? Yes and no
Does my ideal for businesses effectively use my skills and abilities? Yes
Am I a good planner and organizer? Yes
Can I make my own decisions? Yes
Am I willing to postpone my plans in other to get more education, if necessary? Yes
Dose my family support my endeavor? Yes
Can I afford the financial and emotional risks if the business fails? Yes
This paper will serve as a discussion on how to work as a self-employed individual or a freelancer. Moreover, this paper will serve as a personal analysis of my capability to become a self-employed interior designer.
Importance of a Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. A business plan precisely defines my business, identifies my goal, and serves as my firms resume. It incorporates much of the financial and market information I have already gathered. Prospective leaders and investor will use my plan to decide whether my ideals are sound. Preparing a business plan also allows me to anticipate and solve many problems before I open for business. A business plan should clearly describe the business, marketing plan, the financial management plan, and the management plan. It should also address additional details about the organization and legal requirements of my business. A lawyer may be needed to assist me in drawing up a business plan and setting up the details of operation. There are often federal, states, and local licenses and permits required. Most business owners find they need some kind of insurance protection for their ventures. When uniting my plan, legal issue such as who will actually win the business, how it will be organized, and what its structure will be, has to be clearly spelt out. The business plan will reflect other business decision, as well one of the more important will by my business location. The location will either be a rented store, office or from home. My location will need to be accessible to customers and in compliance with zooming laws.
As we all know businesses fail within first few years. Getting a business off the ground successfully requires a combination of a sound business concept, skill, effort, and timing. Knowing what it takes to start and keep a business running is critical to the successful launch and on-going existence of any venture. Successful entrepreneurs typically have a number of similar skill and characteristics. Typical traits-skills of successful entrepreneurs include:
· Product / expertise – all business need a product that is in demand consider the technical know how and any industry-specific knowledge on the product.
· Strong motivation / desire to achieve – working for self requires a huge amount of dedication, discipline and drive.
· Marketing and Sales skills – No matter how good the entrepreneur, he will have to market and self himself.
· Integrity and follow-through – this involves making many commitments and promises in providing service to the customers.
· Communication skills – both oral and written communication skills are required for networking, marketing, sales presentation, project proposals, projects / client management and documentation of finished products.
· Interpersonal skills – The ability to work with all levels of people and all types of personalities within Client Company will be critical to the success projects done in timely manner.
· Professionalism – First impressions really do count. Appearance is part of marketing package.
· Healthy relationship with money – Money is one of the vehicles for living well; it is not the point of living. Any self-employed that start business just for the money, may at some point find himself hating what he does and feeling trapped.
· Planning skills – In addition to planning out how to tackle the technical problems of the project, there is need to provide time-estimates for pricing quotes to get business and plan days and weeks effectively to meet the delivery schedule committed to.
· Problems solving skills – Problems come in all shapes and sizes technical or data source issues to deal with or unresponsive client is needed.
Personal Analysis of Skills Requirements
My proposed business venture is to set up my own interior design company primarily utilizing the skills and knowledge that I have gained through school and professional training. Putting up such venture relies on the possession of the skills mentioned above. Having analyzed my skills and capabilities, listed below are some of the skills that I possess that may affect the business I plan to establish. The already possessed skills include:
i. Product / expertise
ii. Strong motivation / desire to achieve
iii. Marketing and sales skills
iv. Integrity and follow-through
v. Interpersonal skills
vii. Healthy relationship with money
viii. Problem solving skills
Having analyzed my personal strengths and weaknesses as a proprietor of a business, I have listed below my personal ratings for certain skill areas as well as what I plan to do to improve them.
Back to the books
I.T and planning skills
Hire a consultant
Get a solicitor
My analysis has revealed several points about my strengths and weaknesses. First, the area of communication and planning skills need to be developed. An inability to convey thoughts clearly and concisely in conversation and in writing may detract from credibility as a professional in the skills aspect. Likewise, running the business by taking too much time to plan effectively or just prefer going with the flow is an unconscious plan for failure. I am considering of taking a business-writing course at a local community college for brush-up tips.
Starting the Business
Choosing a business requires attention to both interests and the realities of the occupation. The business can be started as a new business or bought as an existing one if it holds enough appeal for interest time and money into making it work. Although buying and existing business may not hold some excitement as starting from scratch but it has several advantages. These advantages include a history and tract record already in place as wall as an opportunity to ready acquire customer, employee suppliers equipment and facilities. Moreover, the financial institutions usually have more confidence lending to an established business. Added benefit of a recognized name, trademark, and business appearance is included if brandies is bought.
Interior design as a sole proprietorship business has the following advantages:
· Easy to start – it does not require much consultation or legal sanction. Anybody can start this type of business according to his capability and ability.
· Independence – the owner make any type of transaction as she or he likes without interference from any other person.
· Personal incentive – the owner has personal incentive for hard work and to get more profits since the risk is entirely his own responsibility.
· Easy to supervise – Small size of the business gives room for easy surprise and handle without much difficult.
· Quick decisions making – since no consultation or approval is require it facilitates quick decision.
· Need of small capital – small capital is required in starting the business, person who has small capital but high qualities of enterprise can easily start the business.
· Direct relations with customers – he or she can produce goods according to the tastes of his customers. While the customers can also place orders of their liking directly to the entrepreneur.
· Easy to close – business are easy to suspend and close because he or she is the only one concerned. He or She is not compelled to run the business and can easily start a new one.
On the other hand, the likely disadvantages encountered by a sole trader are:
· Lack of division of labour – there is less scope for division of labour, so production cannot be done efficiently and rapidly.
· Difference of large-scale production – the entrepreneur lacks capital and other factors of production. He cannot supervise properly so he cannot reap the advantages of large-scale production.
· Unlimited liability – the sole trader is fully responsible for his profit or loss. He fears that his capital may be lost in case of loss; therefore, he hesitates to take certain bold decisions and risk because of his unlimited liabilities.
· High cost of production – the sole trade cannot reap the benefits of the economies of large scale production, it will result in the high cost of production and higher prices and this makes an advertences effect on the demand of his produce.
· Difficulty of credit – there is difficulty in getting finance. The banks or other financial institutions hesitate to advance loan to an individual proprietor because of his less credit worthiness therefore, either he is not able to get loans or he get at a higher rate of interest.
I am an outgoing and hardworking person, who is good in team work but could also work on my own, I have an understanding and basic knowledge of ART but the route I desire is Interior Design, and my ambition is to hold a Degree in Interior Design, and make a name for the world of Design Industries. The skills that I already possess include:
· Product / expertise – what is unique about is the ability to present underage of options to the potential clients so that they will see the value of what I have offered. The gathered experience gained throughout my career in school and seminars have given me the opportunity of providing a product in a different dimension for different clients.
· Strong motivation / desire to achieve – I have been able to give huge amount of dedication, discipline and drive. Waking up every morning around it an everyday to do some little domestic works before getting out to work without the support structure of a demanding boss or hustling co-workers to keep me going
· Marketing and sales skills – I have a health dose of self-confidence not just in technical skills but also in ability to find and land assignment. Moreover I have the ability of making the potential clients to believe that I am the right person for the task before me by showing off my technical competence and convinced them of able to deliver a polished product that meets their needs.
· Integrity and follow-through – having happy satisfied customers is one the keys to build my successful practice so that the satisfied customer will re-hire me and refer new business to me. I will do what I say I will do and if I realize I will not make a deadline, immediately, I will let my client know preferably before the deadline arrives and make a new promise.
· Interpersonal skills – building allies within the clients companies will make it easier for me to get access to the people and the needed resources keeping a cool head under pressure will help me get through whatever difficult times I may encounter
· Professionalism – my appearances always make statement about the high quality of work they can expect from me people who do not know me and my work before will judge my book by its cover. I will avoid giving people reasons to complain or think less of me. I will return phone calls promptly, prepare and be on time for meeting.
· Healthy relationship with money – there are many financial activities involved in running a business from reporting and filling taxes to paying subcontractors and vendors. I also find it valuable to hire a reliable person who is capable of treating the money that flows through the business with respect. Bills will be paid on time to make it easier for me to hold my clients accountable for paying their bills on time to me.
· Problem solving skills – working on my own knowing that probably no colleagues around to bounce idea off and will not be able to rely on buddy in the next cubicle for quick answers, the available resource will must be known to handle the challenges of getting my project done in a timely manner.
Maintaining a Workflow
Maintaining a workflow is a valuable element in business. There are several reasons why the workflow is valuable. Firstly, workflow enables companies to grow their productivity. Moreover, it also enables them to increase their profitability. A workflow has several distinctive features such as:
· Accelerated time to value for process solution.
· Collaborative process design.
· Improved process visibilities and reporting.
· Optimized use of human and business resources
· Automated compliance to standards and regulation
Requirements in Setting up the Business
An interior design business requires basic office supplies and equipment such as computers, telephones and fax. In addition to the standard word processing and spread sheet software, invest in Auto CAD software to present more profession looking design solutions to clients with three dimensional realism, Auto CAD software can cost from & 600 to &1,400.
Also, book of samples which are the lifeblood of a design business manufactures of wallpapers, paint and carpets produce samples costing about 250 each representing various products in all sorts of design and colors, Negotiating with sales representatives for some of these sample book for free, particularly if they see the potential of selling their product in me.
The design business is mult-faceted I can either work as product driven designer or as a design consultant. Being a product-driven designer, I can combine the task of conceptualizing the look of the given space with marketing a wide variety of products. I can often market various products and even offer free design advice if the client buys all of the products from me. A certain number of hours of free design advice will be allotted to clients and if more time is needed. Per hour free charges are also for customers who seek advice but by products from another company. There are two types of market for interior design; residential and commercial. I prefer residential interior because I will focus on the planning and / or specifying of interior materials and products used in private residence. Residential are often smaller but offer a higher profit margin particularly when marketing the products to be used in designing the rooms.
Commercial jobs, on the other hand, are often much bigger in scope but the bidding that often accompanies the contract can push down profit margin. Commercial design covers a wide variety of specialties such as entertainment, facilities management government institutional, health care retail or store planning hospitality / restaurant, and offices. I will determine the maximum price customers will pay for my product and the prices will be competitive finally I will identify the strengths and weakness of my competitors and how my business compares with them then try to target gaps in the local economy where opportunities exist to start a new venture. Local experts and business people will be consulted about the growth potential of the business in my area. The help of experienced people who can help me match my background with the local market will be enlisted together we can establish a plan to define my target market and develop sound marketing strategies.
Fee structures vary widely. Depending on the complexity of the project, geographical location and a host of other factors, some of the ways I will charge for my services include:
· Fixed fee or flat fee; this involved the identification of a specific sum to cover cost, exclusive of reimbursement for expenses. One total fee applies to the complete range of services, from conceptual development through layouts, specifications and final installation.
· Hourly fee; this will be based on the actual time spent on a project or specific service, with the fees raying from £ 35 to £125 per hour.
· ß Percentage fee: here compensation will be computed as a percentage of construction / project costs.
· Cost plus; this will involved purchasing materials and services at cost and self to the client at the cost plus a specified percentage agreed to by the client which is often put at 20 percent.
· Per square foot: open use for large commercial properties the charge is based on the area of the project.
· Retainer fee; – before the start of a design project, this fee is an amount of money paid by the client and the balance due at the termination of the project.
· Free cost estimates charge; this is the amount charge for the measurements made, if the customers do not intend to use the designer plan and request for the measurement.
The beauty about the interior design business is that a designer will never do the same job twice. It will be hard to place a specific price on individual projects. What will be earned from a job that requires redecoration of an entire room from the carpet wallpaper to upholstery will be different from a job that requires putting up drapes to ten windows.
According to syzame dewalt, author of the book (pg 20-22) “How to start a home-based interior design business, a home based interior designer earn a average of 734 per job. If you are working four jobs per month. First year designers can expect monthly sales of $44,040.
As I am able to do more jobs in a month, I may consider taking partnership or living assistant in the second or third year of the business to increase my sales potential.
In this review reasons for being self/employed are the motivational factors behind entrepreneurs. If one wants to be successful and satisfied with business, he or she must know why he or she wants to do it.
Another finding is that survive / prosper of the business depends on the individual efforts. Success is personally satisfying no contract of employment hours, but some activities limit this and street keeps you on ties. Independence is another finding. Sole trader is own boss with nobody to question his authorities. Nobody monitors or appraises and he enjoy profit / loss from his own good or bad idea decisions and effort
Gary Jones: Starting up Business Third Edition pg 21-23-40
Gerge T. silvest; considering self-employment; what to think about before starting a business. Pg15-16,20-23
Steve Parks: how to plan and launch your successful business
http;//www.acius.com / start consulting/getting started /typical traits wtm / Typical traits of successful entrepreneurs
http;//www.replicon.com/lp/lp-timesheet.asp?hid= 349842&cid 10001699
http,//www.powerhomebiz.com /vol46 / interior design. Htm starting an interior design business; how tobusiness idea series.
Ml Jhingan; microeconomic theory, 5th revised and enlarged version, vinda publications (p)Ltd, Delhi pg 293-292.