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Employed at Woolworth for 36 years, dismissed for economic reasons, and then, after 40 applications, no prospect of another permanent job - that was my situation. I was in front of a pile of work.

Hartz IV or founding?

My name is Hans Ifkowitsch from Völklingen, I am 58 since September 2009 owner of “window decorations Hans Ifkowitsch”.

Things didn't look all that rosy at the beginning: The question I asked myself was: Either Hartz IV or pull yourself together again, put the notebook yourself in the Hand take and become self-employed.

Every beginning is difficult

In the beginning it wasn't light, to think about self-employment, and then in mine Age. Although I wanted a permanent position, I saw the Business start but then a new professional opportunity. Not least because of my daughter, who made the topic appealing to me. She is the owner of a successful retail business herself and works as a freelancer for the start-up office GraL – a passion for founding.

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That's how it came Contact to the GraL consultants Reinhard Butz and Thomas Katmann, who supported me in the start-up phase. Her experience shows that older people who have started their own business have good prospects of success. They often bring their own customers with, have a lot of life experience and therefore very good starting conditions.

Good contacts are important!

But I also brought good contacts myself. Today I'm already out of four Companys commissioned with decorations and have also already won my own customers. I'm up to 80 percent busy with it. I'm comfortable in my own skin now because I'm about mine Success decide and don't have to accept anything that others tell me. In addition, I now know that my company pays off.

My base is one Vocational Training as a retail clerk and 36 years of professional experience at Woolworth. I know everyone Problems from A to Z that may appear: the suppliers and the fabrics, Pattern and colors. But I had no idea about current business matters, about the tax, of write-off possibilities but also of completely different topics such as: what does a flyer look like that addresses my customers?

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Advice before starting is important!

In order to find out about such topics, I applied for an advisory grant before founding. Over a period of six months, I discussed with my consultants in five meetings the relevant topics for him.

At the beginning of our Consulting were very simple W-Ask such as:

In a second step, the consultants checked in which areas I needed support. Then it was about topics like the creation of a business plan. This includes, for example, a well-founded financial planning, but also the clarification of the founding formalities and which legal form should be chosen for the company.

Just do not be blue-eyed

My conclusion today: Of course, I now sometimes have to work twelve hours a day. But I can do it one morning with my Ms. meet in town. I am my own Executive, have my own clientele and several pillars.

It is very important not to simply go into self-employment with blue eyes, but to seek sound advice. That's how I learned that I get a start-up grant from the state for the first nine months to make a living. Or that I can voluntarily insure against unemployment. That calms me down a lot.

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