Making the ShiftAs with any other aspect of career planning, a great deal of thought should be put into making the decision to strike out on your own. Not everyone is cut out to work for themselves. When you work for yourself there is little time away from work. Even if you do manage to take some time off, your business will be on your mind. About.com's Guide to Small Business: Canada, Susan Ward, has three questions you should ask yourself before you start your own business. Find out if self employment is a dream you should follow.
Talking to others who have taken this path is also a wise idea. Find out what they liked about working for themselves as well as what they didn't like. Others with personalities similar to your own are probably better sources than those with dissimilar characteristics.
Tools of the TradeYou've looked deep into yourself to assess whether entrepreneurship is for you. You've listened to the stories of seasoned entrepreneurs. You've decided that this is something you'd like to give a shot. As with any other life altering decisions, planning is everything. And I do mean everything. In order to apply for business loans or other types of funding, you must have a business plan. Writing one takes some time and no one will give you money for a plan that is not well thought out.
Keeping up with the news in your particular area of expertise is a must, whether you own the business or not. When you are the owner, however, you need to read more than journals in your field. You must keep up with the issues that affect entrepreneurs. Here are some magazines that help you do that:
BizStartups, from Entrepreneur Magazine
When you run your own business you wear many hats. Of course you started your own business because you had something to sell that you thought others would want to buy. Producing a product or performing a service is only one part of your job description. It is probably the easier part of what you do, since it is something with which you were probably familiar before you went out on your own. The "businessy" part of it is likely to give you more trouble and is often the reason many small business fail. Fortunately there are three sites on About.com that can help you prevent this from being a stumbling block for you.:
Small Business Information from Guide Alyssa Gregory
Small Business: Canada from Guide Susan Ward
Entrepreneurs from Guide Amanda McCormick