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5 Ways to Gain Experience Before You Start Your Business
CNBC.com | January 10, 2012 | 01:56 PM EST

Guest columnist Carol Roth explains how to gain experience in a business before you commit to starting your own.

Whether you have always dreamed of being your own boss or are motivated by being unemployed, underemployed or unhappily employed, starting your own business might be sounding more appealing than ever. However, the failure rates of businesses are as scary — if not more so — than our current unemployment rates.

I always say that if you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail. One way to get that preparation to help stack the odds of success in your favor is by gaining some industry experience.

Here are 5 ways to gain that experience (and in some cases, make a few extra dollars) before you invest you full time and effort- as well as your money- into a new business venture.

Take a part-time job in your target industry: If you want to open a restaurant franchise and you have never worked in foodservice before, consider taking on a part-time restaurant job, such as a nights and weekends position, before leaving your current job or your job search behind. This will help you to assess whether you like the industry, whether it’s as good of an opportunity as you thought and also, whether it’s a good fit for your skills and personality. These are all important things to know before you invest your money in a new business and can be done easily.

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