Carry out an equally thorough assessment of your business idea. Write everything down, even if at this stage it’s just notes. The written word is easier to work with than thoughts, however clear and well ordered they may seem.
Here are the most important topics to consider:
What are the skills of the proprietor(s)?
What exactly is your product or service?
What is your target market and what do they want?
What do you offer that others do not?
How are you going to tell your market what you offer?
Who are your competitors?
What are your plans for the next 3 to 5 years?
How much money do you need to start and run your business?
Draw up a Business Plan
It is worth working hard on this even if you are going down the independent consultant route. Time spent now will stand you in good stead for the future. Think of your plan as a business CV writer. It’s not for the Bank (although they will certainly want to see something if you want to borrow money from them) it’s for you.
Prepare a realistic cash flow projection
Then one for a worst case scenario and one for a best. It is difficult to anticipate sales and income before you start but try. Then carefully record actual figures when they occur to help planning the next year.
Tip - Take a weekend off once a year - find some peace and quiet, and carry out a thorough assessment of what you have achieved over the past year, what went right; what could have gone better; and then plan what you are going to do over the coming year.
Research and preparation
Talk to lots of people who are in self-employment (not necessarily in your field). Talk to banks, accountants, business advisors. Don’t be too proud to talk to people who’ve done it before. Read lots of books on business and self-employment. Research your target market and product/service area. Acquire the skills you may need.
Tip It’s not usually a good idea to undercut your competitors prices. Customers will think you’re cheap and offer a poorer service. Price yourself realistically but towards the top end of the market.
Just about the biggest difference between working for a company and working for yourself (apart from who gets the money) is that when you’re on your own there is no-one to do all the nitty-gritty things no-one thinks about until they have to do them for themselves.
Your PC breaks down, you’ve got to get yourself a screwdriver and anorak and fix it yourself, or pay someone else to do it for you.
So, get your support team together:
Bank manager. - Often surprisingly helpful and they’re all competing to get your business. Accountant. - find one that deals with your type and size of business. Get them to help you set up your books and finances then you can do much of the work yourself.
If you turn up at the accountants once a year with a carrier bag full of receipts, crumpled invoices and a bag of mixed change, your accountant is likely to charge you a small fortune to sift through it all.
Secretarial services. - If you cannot type or use a PC or are very busy/lazy.
A business buddy. - It gets lonely on your own, so find someone else in business (preferably not yours) with whom you can exchange ideas, moans and celebrations.
When searching for the next nursing job, you will in all probability make heavy utilization online job boards. You may open a merchant account, publish your resume, look for all of the latest jobs published.
All major job boards allow it to be quite simple to remain on their sites for lengthy amounts of time.
Most job searchers will discover it both surprising and disappointing to understand that major job boards offer among the least great ways to find the next nursing job.
Sure, the large job boards give job searchers everything free of charge, however they make almost all their money by selling both advertising and resume database use of companies.
What you're going to learn is when the main job boards give all of the true benefits of the individuals who settle the debts. Quite simply, the home odds favor companies, not prospective employees.
Obviously companies love the large job boards because every marketed job brings typically 500 resumes in competitive marketplaces.
Knowing the number of resumes a employing manger receives, it ought to be no real surprise to locate they spend typically 7 seconds searching in a resume.
Exactly what is a good deal for companies really puts the job seeker into the proverbial small seafood inside a large pond. Imagine knowing in the start you have under 2 percent chance that need considering for any job interview?
To fill up how bad the possibilities stacked against job searchers, statistics from the 3 condition employment centers reveal that only 5% of tasks are found through job advertising.
Searching for work is really a full-time job, don't place in overtime hopping from job board to job board and using to each job you discover. One method for you to save your time is to find all marketed jobs from job boards in one meta job search site.
Now, consider the length of time to invest about this job seeking tactic. When only 5% of tasks are found through job advertising, consider turning the 80/20 rule, or even the 95/5 rule backwards. Cut back time about the less efficient job searching tactics and much more time about the more productive job searching tactics.
The Legacy of the Sword is one of the weakest books in the series. There are just so many negative events that happen that sometimes it gets a little tedious.
Prince Donal, son of Alix and Duncan, is set to be heir to Carillon. He will be the first Cheysuli Mujhar in more than 400 years. But he doubts himself and he knows that many Homanans do not want him to assume the throne.
Donal struggles with his Cheysuli identity and the need to be acceptable to the Homanans. He finds himself trapped between two worlds, yes, that's a trite way of putting it, but very true. He must marry Carillon's daughter by Electra to secure his place, but doesn't know if she can be trusted. He loves a woman from the Cheysuli clans, but the Homanans do not easily accept mistresses as the Cheysuli do.
Throughout the story, the characters get battered about in so many ways. Donal is betrayed by those he trusts. He does things he will live to regret.
If you're going to read the entire series, however, you really do need to read this book. This is one of those series where skipping a book makes reading the next one difficult.
It's been a long time since I first read Shapechangers. It's one of those books I've owned, oh, since junior high or so. I decided to reread the series again for sentimental reasons since these books don't fall into the class of books I reread regularly.
Shapechangers introduce us to the world of the Cheysuli. The Cheysuli each bond with an animal, called a lir, normally somewhere in their teens. They are a hunted race, as one of them eloped with a Muhjar's (king, more or less) daughter. The child from that union is now grown, but does not know her own history or that she belongs to that race. Instead, she has met the Prince and fantasizes about what they could have together.
It is not to be, of course, as a Cheysuli warrior, Finn, steals Alix and the Prince away, intending to keep Alix. His lir, however, will not let him harm her.
Alix is stubborn throughout the story, refusing to be on the sidelines even when Homana, the country the story takes place in, is invaded and the Prince captured.
The entire series revolves around the tahlmorra of the Cheysuli race and the individual characters' place in it. Tahlmorra speaks of a Cheysuli prophecy, so if prophecy fulfillment type stories annoy you, just stay back!
On the other hand, it allows me to send you off with a song... "The sun will come out, tahlmorra!" Hope you can get it out of your head.
If you've made it this far through the Chronicles of the Cheysuli, you're bound to like my Literature Analysis of Flight of the Raven. It tells the story of Aidan, eventual heir to the Lion Throne, and sufferer of strange, portentous dreams.
Aidan has a most unusual lir, a raven. As a lir, the raven is most difficult and arrogant to deal with. Combine a difficult lir with dreams that he will be the one to break the chain of Mujhars and fail the prophecy, Aidan has a terrible time dealing with what he believes must be his future.
But the time comes when he must claim his betrothed. He sets out but undergoes many spiritual challenges and visits from various gods. He is given golden links, the same as the ones that shatter in his dreams, with each visit.
As with any Cheysuli so important to the prophecy, he gets a great deal of attention from the Ihlini. They are determined to destroy him and the prophecy, sensing a weak link.
Aidan is a very well developed character. It's an interesting insight into Cheysuli culture and spiritual life not seen so clearly in the other books of the series.
The Song of Homana
The Song of Homana takes up five years after Shapechangers ends. Homana was conquered by neighboring kingdom Solinde, and their allies, the Ihlini. But now it is time for Prince Carillon to return and reclaim his throne. Finn, his Cheysuli liege-man, has remained faithful to him throughout the years of exile.
The challenge of this book is pretty typical of this kind of story. Prince Carillon has to find a way to raise an army to reclaim his throne in a land hostile to his strongest allies, the Cheysuli. The conquerors have continued the purge against the Cheysuli, and many of the people of Homana fear and hate the Cheysuli.
Carillon isn't the nicest of heroes. When he captures the usurper king's daughter, Electra, he tells her that he will kill her father and take her in marriage. She is, of course, defiant, but when he reconquers his kingdom he makes good on his threat. He does treat her with relative kindness, being a fool in lust for her despite knowing that she has been the mistress ("light woman") for Tynstar, the most powerful of the Ihlini sorcerors, who has given her the illusion of youth. She appears much younger than her true age.
Electra is no passive queen. She fools Carillon by claiming that she was given to Tynstar in exchange for his support of her father, and professes relief that Carillon will treat her better. But she, in fact, maintains her connection to Tynstar, betraying Carillon.
This story is pretty good... not my favorite fantasy epic, but not bad. The characters are not all admirable people, even the heroes. However, once I got started on the series I felt the urge to keep going, which says something.
A Pride of Princes is more or less three stories in one. It is the story of the three sons of Niall - Brennan, Hart and Corin, as they learn their duties and struggle with the Ihlini, who continue to try to destroy the prophecy.
Brennan is the classic good kid in most ways. He is determined to be worthy of his position of Prince of Homana, heir to his father's throne. He has weaknesses, however, mostly relating to his twin brother Hart. He tries to keep his brother out of trouble and gets into it himself.
Hart is a compulsive gambler, unable to resist a bet and always "needing a game," no matter the consequences. He is Prince of Solinde, the country which had once conquered Homana, now a vassal.
Corin resents his position as the third son. He wishes he could have his brother's position as Prince of Homana, despite being the Prince of Atvia. He is jealous, resentful and often sullen.
Each is an important part of the Cheysuli prophecy, and the Ihlini sorcerer Strahan is determined to bend one or all to his service.
One of the things that drives me nuts in this series occasionally is Jennifer Roberson's persistence in maiming characters. It amazes me how consistently she does serious, permanent bodily damage to one of her characters.
All in all, however, the story is pretty good. Not great, and the entire series revolves around very similar plot lines, but Roberson does relatively well despite that.
Need a break from serious science fiction? Illegal Aliens to the rescue!
The aliens have landed, and the UN's First Contact Team is ready to handle it. Well, actually the Bloody Deckers take care of the problem, after being selected for testing by the aliens, then escaping to capture the ship. That's what you get for landing a spaceship in Central Park.
However, the upshot of all that happens is that Earth is interdicted from space travel since they did not develop it on its own. The Great Golden Ones, guardians of the galaxy (can I use more words starting with 'G'?), are covering up their own mistakes in doing so.
There's plenty of humor in this book, no serious science. I love taking a break from more serious science fiction and fantasy sometimes and letting my funny bone have the last laugh.