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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Launch a lifestyle business instead of a start-up

There are many advantages to choosing this route when you want to begin your own venture

You can work from anywhere in the world when you run a business that fits around your lifestyle. Photo: AFP
You can work from anywhere in the world when you run a business that fits around your lifestyle. Photo: AFP

I’ve been reading a lot about lifestyle businesses lately, and this is something important to look at especially among potential entrepreneurs who are looking to get their nascent ventures off the ground.

In simple terms, a lifestyle business is a business designed around the lifestyle you want to sustain. It’s called a lifestyle business because you will think twice about the business decisions you take and the kind of business you want to run, taking into account how they will impact your lifestyle.

In a lifestyle business, you are usually the only employee, so the stress of managing others is minimised. Think of it as freelancing but with lifestyle choices more on your mind. There are also no revenue limits in mind. You can easily become a millionaire while opting for such a route.

With a lifestyle business in mind there are less investments to keep in mind than a start-up. You wouldn’t necessarily go to investors and you wouldn’t hire a team.

So, when you start to build a business, it’s important to keep in mind that depending on your choice of business, it will have an impact on your life. Some businesses will require that you deal a lot with customers, so if you are an introvert, then this may not be the right choice. Others will require you to stay in front of the computer for hours. Again, if you are extremely social and would rather be around and interacting with a lot of people then this may not be your field of choice.

There are hundreds of business ideas that you can design with your lifestyle in mind. You just need to align those with the ones you are skilled at and see yourself doing. Examples could be: make up artist; copy-writing; web-design; management consultancy; interior design and so forth.

I love travelling a lot so building a consultancy where it doesn’t matter where I conduct my work from turned out really well for me when I started.

In fact, the change of scenery gets my creative juices flowing and always exposes me to new ways of conducting businesses that end up benefiting my clients.

Now the reason why I am an advocate of starting a lifestyle business than a start-up, is because it supports many entrepreneurs especially at the early stages of building a business, minimises their expenses, and it also has these benefits:

You don’t need to wait a long time to earn profits

When it’s only you, you most likely won’t need to pay salaries, rent, or other expenses. You could start with the least amount of expense and make a profit in a short time. Many start-ups on the other hand, would wait at least a couple of years before their business makes any kind of profit. When I first started my consultancy, my business was profitable within a month because I didn’t pay rent for an office and I was the only employee.

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You can work from anywhere and at any time

You know how you see advertisements where someone says they only work four hours a week and make a really huge profit? Yes, that’s actually possible. Pursuing a lifestyle business allows you to choose where and when to work while suiting your lifestyle. When I first started, I got to work from Bahrain, London, Morocco, and Luxembourg. All that I needed was an internet connection.

Less stress

As an entrepreneur, building your business, especially if you’ve taken out a loan or have investors investing in your business, the stress will not go away. You’ll always be worried about projections, profits, losses, and paying your staff. A lifestyle entrepreneur has no one to worry about except themselves, thus the stress is minimised.

You learn more

When I first started my consultancy, I didn’t focus on just one thing. I learned about accounting, customer service, and web design. I did everything on my own. This forced me to learn how to manage different aspects of my business. By becoming a lifestyle business owner, you become a better entrepreneur, and that will come in handy as you expand your business and develop it to grow.

Does that mean that start-ups are bad? Not at all. They’re just different and you need to evaluate which one is most suitable for you. However, if you want to start a business, with the lowest expenses, while still enjoying profits, and control over your life, then I’d highly suggest you consider a lifestyle business.

See how things go and if it’s doing really well for you then you can maintain it the way it is, or take it to a different level such as hiring more staff and going down the start-up route.

Manar Al Hinai is an award-winning Emirati writer, who manages her creative consultancy in Abu Dhabi

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