I was about your age when I started my first business. I also was burned out on my job and when I left I went and did something completely different before starting that business.
I`d start with basics. Like a good newspaper story, you need to know the Who, What, When, and Where.
1) Who are your customers? You need to define your market because that will dictate how you market to them.
2) What can you offer customers in product and services and more importantly......
What do these customers want?
3) When will your business operate? Hours of operation, etc.
4) Where will customers find you?
One thing I`d definitely do is see if there is a way to test market your idea on part-time basis before you take the plunge into full-time. Don`t commit your family`s financial resources until you can prove to yourself and your wife that this is going to work the way you think it will.
Another thing you need to do is run the numbers for this business. You need to put together budget projection for the first year in business. It`s safe to assume you`ll be losing money in the begining and it`s important to get a good feel for your "burn rate" - how quickly you`ll burn through cash before you get to break even.
Study your competitors. I didn`t know anything about photo montage services so I perused a couple of websites to see what they do. I`d look at all of them and use what will help you - pricing, services offered, marketing method, etc.
The toughest thing will be to project your sales. How quickly will they come and in what amount? This is where test marketing comes in handy.
Starting a business isn`t a panacea. It`s a lot of hard work and lot of long hours. I don`t want to discourage you but you need to think through your whole business plan and make sure that the market is really there for this service and it`s going to be enough to take the place of the income you got from your job and more. Don`t start a business just because you hate your job.
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