Over the weekend, I heard from two friends–one who has decided to start his own PR consulting business, and another who wants to abandon his 3-year-old freelance practice and return to a full-time agency job.
I wish the call order had been turned around since I perhaps was overly encouraging to the first caller. Meanwhile, the freelancer provided some sound grounding as to the ups and downs of being on your own. “The peaks and valleys of being overly busy or bored is driving me crazy,” said the freelance escapee. “I might work five days and nights straight on a project, then not have another assignment for a week or two.” He also said he missed the socialization that an agency environment provided. “It’s a lonely, digital world,” he said. “I sometimes don’t see anyone for days on end.”
I encouraged the recently jobless first caller by citing a Challenger, Gray & Christmas report that 8.6% of unemployed executives last year decided to start their own businesses. That’s a 3.5% jump since 2008, and the outlook is even stronger for 2010.
After the second call, I looped back to the would-be entrepreneur with some additional thoughts about his possible venture. I suggested that he thoroughly research the niche PR consulting he wants to pursue. The Small Business Administration provides an excellent tutorial for individuals who want to start their own businesses. Another government-hosted website provides 10 Steps to Starting a Business with links to a variety of start-up resources.
Since my friend appears to be passionate about his probable venture, I called his attention to entrepreneur-focused website StartupNation, which features an excellent post about the importance of passion in creating business success.
Starting a new PR consulting business is not easy, however. According to the Small Business Administration, nearly 50% of new businesses fail within five years. Besides studying all the pros of starting a new business, it’s also necessary to consider the cons, including the Seven Pitfalls of Business Failure.