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AVOID AVOID AVOID a franchise unless you want to buy a job … that’s really the only option you have with a franchise.

And if this is their first business, I would also avoid something like a cafe – far too much financial risk.

They are far better off taking the knowledge they have now (that doesn’t have to be the industry they are currently in – it could be information they have on stuff they are interested in … I know one lady who was in IT, for example, who threw it in to work in the psychic mentoring area and does very well!) – and turning that into a service business.

Now, as mentioned, this has to be carefully planned – most people who start a service based business build themselves a jail as surely as those who buy a franchise … however, with the right information on things like productisation and systemisation, it’s quite possible to take a business from service based to product based with high levels of systemisation and thereby exploding profits while keeping hours down.

My suggestion to anyone in this position would be:

1. Choose something you are interested in to create a business around. This will probably not be the business that ends up supporting you – consider it a “training wheels” business – one you can make mistakes on and screw up without ruining your future!

2. Get educated! Start going to seminars and find mentors (NOTE: ONLY mentors who have DONE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. There are a lot of really crap business coaches out there who are hawking answers while their own businesses lay in tatters. It is absolutely essential that any mentor or coach you choose has gotten the results that you want to get – both for themselves and for clients). Oh and second note – don’t think that you can get all the information you need for free. You can’t. At some point, you have to bite the bullet and pay. AND the more you end up spending on your education, the more you’ll make (provided that you follow the provisio in NOTE #1!!).

3. Make sure all of your credit cards and debts are paid off. While you still have a job it’s a great idea to get this stuff out of the way. Also, put aside some savings to live on in case things don’t go great, immediately.

4. With the help of your business mentor, education and accountant, put together a business plan.

5. Start running your business while you’re still working. Yes, it takes up a chunk of your time, but here’s the thing – there’s a good chance you won’t make money in the first few months. So get out there, hawk the idea, start getting clients in and get the business up and running while you’ve still got the comfort of a full time job.

6. You’ll KNOW when you need to quit your job. There’ll come a point where it’s like … okay. I can’t keep doing this – something has got to give. That’s when you take the plunge.

On a personal note, I’m a huge, huge, huge fan of information products and marketing – I’ve put this separate from the rest of what I’ve said because there’s definite bias in this … I create information products in the service side of my business and show people how to do it through the events and product side of my business, so this is definitely not objective information! LOL!

That said, I’ve seen products used within service business halve the time people work while doubling their income. It works – but of course, I’m sure there are other methods that work, too … this is just a personal fave of mine (which is WHY I got into my business in the first place).

At the end of the day I think the most important thing is to choose to do stuff you enjoy with people you like.