So you’ve decided to start your own business – congratulations! It’s a huge leap forward taking charge of your own destiny and accepting responsibility for everything to do with starting and running a business. It can be a great feeling freeing yourself from the tedium of employment and begin working on a new business. But before you rush headlong into starting you own business it’s worth asking yourself a few important questions:
- Are you passionate about business?
A desire to get away from the regular working world can be a good motivation to start your own business, but this desire alone is not enough. You have to be excited at the prospect of “doing business”. Being passionate about baking cakes is not the same as being passionate about running a bakery. To be successful in business you don’t necessarily need to be passionate about the product you are selling or the service you are providing but you do need to be passionate about the business of “doing business”.
- Do you have the necessary technical skills or business talents?
Just being able to do something may not be marketable enough to convince customers that you will make a good supplier or convince bankers that you are a bankable business owner. You will also need to demonstrate sufficient business skills or qualifications to start this business? If not, do you have a partner that does?
- Do you have the characteristics of an entrepreneur?
Qualities you must have are perseverance, a strong desire and willingness to take the initiative, competitiveness, self-reliance, a strong need to achieve, self-confidence, and good physical health in order to succeed as an entrepreneur. You will need all these characteristics if you are to succeed in starting your own businessfind more.
- Do you have good people skills?
Good people skills will be required in networking, negotiating, selling etc. You will need the ability to work with customers, suppliers and of course employees. The most successful business owners have a high ’emotional intelligence’ in addition to strong technical and business skills.
- Could you live with failure?
80% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years! So, if you are starting a business obviously you want to see yourself in the 20% that succeed. Never, ever consider the possibility of failure. Most small business failure occurs because of mismanagement – weak general management, weak financial management, or weak marketing capabilities. So you can increase your chances of success by strengthening these areas. However, just in case the worst case scenario occurred…could you live with that failure and start again?