When wanting to break away from a traditional 9-5, something to consider is the different types of business models. I see this as a continuum where on one end you have a business that pretty much looks like a traditional job, and on the other end you have something that’s radically different.
Something to consider when you’re thinking of self-employment and starting a business is what you want the business to look like, what will fit you best, and what will give you the best shot at success. Below are some of the different models to consider.
Different Types of Business Models
Independent Contractor This is probably the easiest transition out of a traditional job. For example, if you’re an accountant, lawyer, or graphic designer, you could step out on your own and find multiple clients rather than having just one (your employer).
Service-based Business This type of business often can be started with very little money and could be anything from mowing lawns, cutting hair, providing speech therapy, or walking dogs. This is the exact model Claudia and I choose for our music school business. Plus, we were able to keep our startup costs to virtually nothing by providing music lessons in student’s homes.
Consultant/coach This is a service-based business where you’re working with others leveraging your knowledge in a particular area. Some examples are: life coach, business coach, health coach, and fitness coach.
Home-based Product Creation This business model is one where you could make something yourself and sell it either retail or wholesale. Some examples would be making baked goods and selling them at the local farmer’s market, making custom drapery for local interior designers, or making high-end custom furniture and creating a name for yourself locally.
Internet Business This business model is less traditional and offers more in the way of freedom and flexibility. Some examples of this model are create a blog about eating a healthy, whole food diet, a membership site about how to shoot great home videos, or a site selling garden pond supplies where everything is dropshipped and you never have to see it.
Outsourced Product Creation This model is one where you may have a great idea for the next iPhone case or iPad app and, using your own money, you work with the designers and developers to make the product a reality.
Startup with Venture Capital This is a model where there is a great deal more risk involved and you may by working with a million or two of investor’s money in hopes of launching the next Zappo’s or Twitter, for example.
There are many models to choose from when looking to start your own business. Some will look more like a traditional job and be quicker to get off the ground while others will look radically different and may have a lot more risk involved.
There is no one model that fits everyone. Find one that fits your situation and knock it out of the park.
Question: Where on the continuum does your current business or business idea fall?