In recent times, the idea of starting your own business has been hyped by the media and the online community has made the journey to entrepreneurship look very glamorous.
Today, there are lots and lots of one man business making millions of dollars, thanks to the internet. And, Tech Nerds making millions or even billions over night, thanks to technology and their creativeness.
All these are a great source of inspiration but it can as well be tempting to make you start your own business for the wrong reasons.
There are lots of high feelings attached to starting your own business. It feels great to see your own business card with “CEO” or “Managing Director” on it, great to see your shop open for the first time, or receiving your first order.
It also feels great to see your van delivered with your business logo on it; make your first profit and so on.
Now the question is;
Do You Really Want To Start Your Own Business?
I believe the answer that will pop up in your mind is yes!
The decision to start your own business is crucial and one that need to be well thought-out. So, to help you in making that decision, here are questions you should ask yourself before you decide to start your own business.
1. Do You Have What It Takes?
What does it take to start a business and make it successful?
The first step to know if you have what it takes to start a business is honesty. You have to be brutally honest with yourself. It is only then you can proceed to put yourself to test.
My first recommendation is to look at the attributes that makes budding entrepreneurs successful and once you are satisfied with that, proceed to my second recommendation. Take Donald Trump’s Success Quiz.
At this point, I believe you have already found the answer yourself. So, if you pass the test and you are sure you have what it takes, Congrats – let move on.
2. How Best Do You Handle Difficult Times?
Your first business is always the toughest to run. Once your first business succeeds, you now have some working knowledge of starting and running a business.
Starting a business comes with lots of hurdles and challenges. Working under pressure, huge responsibility and lack of freedom, are some of the common reasons most people wanted to start their own business. The fact is that all the things you want to escape from when you set out to start your own business will be the order of the day.
All will be multiply for you. In fact all entrepreneurs I know faced challenges running their own business. And, they learn how to overcome the challenges. Most really struggled to get through to viability.
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3. What is Your Level of Education?
A university degree isn’t by any means a quality you will need to succeed. It is well known that a lot of famous businessmen and women have dropped out of university, and many never step a foot into one.
The likes of Bill Gates, Opera Wilfred, as made it quite clear that to run a small business you don’t need a degree, or probably even any formal examining qualifications at all. But, you really need a grasp of numbers above all.
Certainly, you don’t need to be a mathematician, but you really do need to be very comfortable with multiplication and addition, and percentages should be your close buddy. All these you will need to be able to know how much to spend and to charge people.
I have meet with a lot of successful entrepreneurs and one of the questions I ask each one of them is whether their success is directly dependent on their formal education or university degree. And most, admitted; it never was and probably never won’t.
The truth is that if all you are equipped with is a college or university degree the chances that you will fail in business are very high. It’s simply because the school doesn’t prepare you for the real world of business.
Even without a college degree, you can run a business successfully. You just need to be honest with yourself about what your strengths really are and aren’t. Nobody is good at everything – it’s just a case of knowing what help you’ll need, and getting on with finding that help.
4. What Is Your Working Experience?
Working somewhere else first before starting your own business makes it easier for you to run things. It gives you firsthand experience as you’ll have seen how other people run things, and learned from it But strictly speaking, you don’t need to have worked for someone or in the same sector before in order to make your new business take off.
It only requires that you spend loads of time researching the business. Know what you a dipping you foot into are very crucial in making investment decisions.
In fact, I have seen lots of people who started their business straight from school or university. So, as much as it is good to be experienced in the business you want to venture into, those experiences is not a requirement to make a business take off.
5. How Hardworking Are You?
I ran an interview recently, and during the interview I asked the entrepreneur what is her advice for any budding entrepreneur. She said – ‘if your desire is to work less and have freedom, then go get a job.’
Getting a new business started requires that you work really smart. You will have to put in more than you can imagine.
Over the years, research has continues to show that people who run their own business work harder than people who are employed, with the average being over 45 hours a week.
I will advise you to think deeply before you start about what this means for your non-work life, especially your family and close friends. Over the years, I have found myself contemplating on why I have chosen to marry early. Looking at the work load I have and my obligations to my family and friend, I would have loved to get married in my 60’s if only I could turn back the hand of time but at the same time, my marriage as been wonderful of which I don’t want to lose it for anything in this world.
Believe me, you will have to take extra stress of needing to support your family (if you had one), along with the rigorous task of running a business.
It is however possible to create a more relaxed business if you’re not trying to grow a major corporation. How hard you will work depends on what you want from your business.
A caution note here – Hard work can kill your business, so learn to work smart.
6. How Much of A Risk Can You Take?
It’s no new that most new business fails within a year or two. It is really hard to get a business to succeed from nothing. But, luckily, loads of people do so.
Your willingness to take risk is very important in starting a new business. It’s one of the essential qualities of every budding entrepreneur.
You also need to be able to discern when to take a risk and when not to – to assess a situation and weigh up the pros and cons. Just because entrepreneurs are called risk takers doesn’t means you should go about taking just any risk.
It is vital to always take actions to reduce your own risks.
7. Alone or With Partners?
Have you ever heard the saying? – ‘If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far go in group.’
Starting a business on your own is hard and can be lonely. In most cases, starting your own business alone simply means – You Are On Your Own. Only entrepreneurs that have faced serious problems alone will appreciate a good business partnership.
The decision to start a business with others can be a good idea and at the same time be a very bad idea. There are many partnerships that have been of tremendous success and many more that are a total disaster.
In most cases, money is usually at the root of many disagreements – and most business disputes. It doesn’t matter if the business has gone really well or the business has gone wrong.
Only you can decide whether you are the sort of person to cope with these pressures, either alone or with partners. But you should think about it long and hard before you get too committed to your new venture.
If you choose to go with partnership, make sure to put down in writing the basis of your agreement – ideally get a lawyer to review it. You probably think it’s a waste of time and money, but you’re better off getting it done properly when you’re all good friends than ending up arguing about what the deal was if you end up falling out.
Wrap It Up!
Now that you have gone through the questions, here is the last one.
Is it right for you?
There are plenty of reasons to start or not to start a business. But, there is no point starting a business that you know won’t work. There is a need to consider the financial implication of every possible outcome. I once started a business which was unable to pay its bills for years before turning out to be profitable.
There is always a choice, choose wisely but remember something, success is all about confidence. Have you got it?
Over To You
So, what are the other advises, tips, strategies, techniques or methods that have worked for you? Please share with us in the comment below. Believe me; I sincerely value your opinion more than mine.
And don’t forget there is love in sharing!