I strongly encourage everyone to think about a few things prior to undertaking their hobby or avocation as their vocation or to start their dream business.  Here are my top tips:

1.  Make sure you know ALL the aspects of the business, not just the part you love.

2.  Bring in experts to help with the parts you’re not the strongest in (for me, that’s legal, accounting and graphic design).

3.  Avoid the “hobby trap” by:

a. suspending disbelief that your business can be big and serious.  Think BIG and let that infect everything you do!  If you can’t conjure up that belief in yourself, bring in advisors (they don’t have to be paid, necessarily) who can help you expand your thinking;

b. making a business plan that projects growth.  If you don’t plan how you’ll reach your targets, you never will;

c.  asking for help.  Form a “board of advisors” whith no fiduciary or legal responsibility but with various areas of expertise who can ask tough questions and give sound advice about every area of your business.  They may enjoy meeting each other as much as they enjoy helping you, but a nice dinner would be a way of paying them for their time and advice.

2009 might be the PERFECT time to start your dream business.  If you can make it during these difficult economic times with your smart ideas, thinking, pragmatism and hard work, then you’ll be even more golden when the economy rebounds (and it will!).  Go get ’em!