Customized Self Employment Customized Self Employment Regina June 17, 2014
Why Self-Employment? • In customized self-employment, the focus is on the talents and interests of the individual and identifying personal assets. • Self-employment uses a strength-based, not deficit-based outlook. • Self employment is potentially for anyone… but not for everyone! • Customized Self Employment increases range of employment options and opportunities for employment success
Self-Employment Possibilities • Home-based business • Commercial/Typical based business • Resource ownership • Business within a business/Value Added • Business operates as its own entity within another organization • Built in support and customer base may readily exist • Can be a unique and interesting option for potential entrepreneurs • Video Examples http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AG6uru_QwiU&feature=youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv5nzgrYBIQ
Who might be interested in self employment? • Artisans/Hobbiest • People whose interests, skills; and ideal conditions of employment match a business idea or opportunity; • People that can be provided customized supports to assist in moving forward with business ownership. • Discovery first (pg 13-15)
Family Support • Although it is still ‘early days’ for the practice of supported self-employment, across the board, agencies are finding that staff support just isn’t enough to make the enterprise a success. • Families and social capital play a key support role in business development, promotions, and ongoing operations. • Often, if a client expresses interest in self-employment during an agency’s in-house discovery process, they will task the families with undertaking as much market research as possible, to demonstrate dedication to the plan.
Employment vs Self-Employment • Degree of control over how work is done • Ownership of work tools and supplies • Potential for profit/risk of loss • Integration of the person’s work into the business
Lean-Up • An alternative approach to business start-up is emerging. Inspired by the ‘lean manufacturing’ approach introduced in Japan by Toyota in the 1990’s, ‘Lean Start-Up’ is an approach that ‘favours experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition, and iterative design over traditional ‘big design up front’ development • A key book on the topic is aptly called The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries, Crown Business Press, 2011.
VentureSelection • Brainstorming Sessions • Business ideas- more the merrier • Business compatibility- what are your skills and interests • Business Idea Brainstorming • Needs that exist in the community combined with job seeker’s skills, abilities etc • Business Compatibility • Explore what “Sparks” motivates job seeker • Priority list (close to home, make money, social…) • Grid Checklist (pg 28 is reverse version)
Market Research (pg 33-40) Will people want what we are selling? Who Will buy the product or service? How often will they buy it? What price will people pay? Who are the competitors and what do they do? What special skills do you need/ do you have them already or do you need to get them? How much will it cost the entrepreneur to do business?
Primary and Secondary Research Primary research- compiled from personal observation Secondary research- gather info from other sources.
Secondary First • Secondary research-gather info from other sources, • on-line research • journals • Chambers • similar business in other cities • newspapers • www.canadabusiness.ca/eng/page/2864/ • www.smallbusinessbc.ca • www.statcan.gc.ca
Primary Research Second Survey/questionnaire Focus groups Direct discussion Observation Customer and competitors characteristics Peers Pricing
Market Research Warning A warning here about the risk of ‘false positive’ results: folks generally want to be supportive, and particularly because the survey won’t translate to an immediate purchase, the tendency may be for the respondent to give more positive feedback than if they were required to put their money where their mouth is.
Create a survey/questionnaire Create 2 questions for each bullet • Closed questions- yes or no • Multiple Choice- limited alternatives • Open ended questions • Who • What • When • Where • How
Cost of Doing Business and Pricing(pg 44-48) Types of items you need and the capital cost and on-going costs Pricing may be dictated by the going rate of competitors. Price competitively for a niche market or value added business. Cause related marketing
The thing about Market Research Is …. Like it or not you have to talk to strangers!! Be an investigator looking for clues Market research takes time and patience Remain open minded, speak honestly and don’t just look for ways to confirm your idea. Be ready to hear the hard reality.
Determining Business Feasibility • Armed with the results of your primary and secondary market research, business feasibility can be determined. Your research to this point should enable you to answer these questions: • Does this business fill an actual need in the marketplace? • Can this product or service be produced at a profit? • Can this business compete with other businesses that provide a similar offering? • Does this business align with the capacity and goals of the potential business owner? • Does the potential business owner have the skills to produce the product or provide the service at a standard that the market expects? • How much help is the potential business owner going to need, and is this possible? • What other mentors will be necessary for this business to be successful? • Can you access the start-up funds required?
Testing the business idea Testing the business idea before investing too much time or money can save resources and correct presumptions. By making a few early test sales, some vital information can be gained. This step resembles the Lean Start-Up approach, but is at a smaller scale.
The potential business owner may discover that • they are very nervous with customers; • they like dealing with people; • producing the good or service takes longer or less time than predicted; • the projected costs associated with producing the good or service are grossly over or under the actual costs; • providing the offering is more difficult than initially thought; or • they can’t get anyone to buy the product or service. • To attract a customer or two, some sales calls may have to be made, or a flyer could be designed and sent out. This is also an excellent time to test the effectiveness of these marketing methods.
Creating a mini business plan or Business Model Canvas (pg 49-56) • A typical Executive Summary would include: • a brief overview of the business, including a description of the product or service; • a rationale for why the entrepreneur is going into business; • who the customers are, identifying: • highlights of financial results, such as expected annual sales and profits, how much money is needed to start the business, and what any borrowed money will be spent on; • a brief statement that communicates why the business will succeed; • reference to parts of the business plan that support the claims of success (e.g. letters from interested customers, survey results, key findings on the competition).
Legal Structure (pg 57-60) • Sole Proprietorship • simplest way to set up business • low start-up • Unlimited liability • Partnership • Entrepreneur and one or more people own the business • Should have in writing the partnership arrangement • Profit sharing • Broader management base • Unlimited liability • Corporation or Limited Co. • Legal entity distinct from its members • Can be sued, go in debt shares transferred • Lowest tax rates • Closely regulated • Difficult to set up with high costs
It’s ok to say “No” • Remember: ‘no’ is a good answer to reach as early as possible, if the business concept doesn’t turn out to be feasible, the potential business owner isn’t as committed as they need to be, or you feel that this is too much for your family or agency to take on.