10 Questions To Ask Yourself Prior To Starting A BusinessMany people love the idea of quitting their old job and starting their own business. The ability to be your own boss, choose your own hours, and be free of normal work constraints is extremely appealing. Do you really have what it takes to be a business owner though? Answer these ten questions honestly to see if you have what it takes or if you would be unable to successfully start your own business. Remember that honesty is key. The only person you will hurt by lying is yourself.
1. Are you an inventor or an entrepreneur?
Think about it. Do you have an inventor’s personality or an entrepreneur’s personality? An entrepreneur has the ability to look at the situation and business as a whole. Inventors tend to focus on the product more than anything else. While being an inventor is great, it has huge downfalls when it comes to starting up a business. The product is important, but it is nowhere near the only important aspect of business. If you are an inventor who wishes to start up a business, it is highly suggested you find a partner with more of an entrepreneur personality if you wish to be successful.
2. Do you have the finances available to start a business?
Starting up a business can be costly. Do you have finances to cover things until money starts flowing back in? If not, you may want to rethink things. Too many great business ideas have fallen through because of a lack of resources. If you do not have the resources available, however, check out number three before ridding yourself of your business idea completely.
3. If you do not have the finances, are you able to get them?
There are plenty of ways to fund your business besides your savings account. The problem is that each way to get finances has it’s drawbacks. Sometimes it takes a certain type of person to find the funds. Here are some ideas of other ways you can get finances:
- Business loan. This requires good credit, so if you have bad or no credit, this is not the option for you.
- Sponsors. Influential people in your community or businesses which offer services complimenting your own may be willing to sponsor you at first. You must be a very business oriented person who can write a great pitch and influence people to support you, however. If this doesn’t apply to you, sponsors may not be your thing.
- Fundraisers. This can be a viable way to raise money for starting your business. It takes a lot of planning, time, effort, and contacts to do this, however.
If none of these sound like they apply to you and you do not have the finances to start up a business, you probably are not yet ready. Start saving back money and give it some time.
4. Are you able to fulfill multiple positions?
Do you have the talent, patience, and concentration it takes to fulfill multiple positions? A business owner does not simply sit back and watch everyone else do the work. The reality is that an owner must be able to help out in all aspects of their business, regardless of the job title those tasks accompany. If you are unwilling to do this, you should stick to your day job.
5. What makes your business unique?
There are so many businesses out there that people already have dozens of options for every purchase they must make. If your business doesn’t offer something unique it simply isn’t going to make it. Here are a few ideas of what may make your business stand out amongst it’s competitors:
- Unique products
- Lower costs
- Spectacular customer service
- Incredible design (both in store and out)
- Unique marketing ideas
- Services not offered elsewhere
- An exceptional amount of experience amongst you and any other business owners
6. Why do you believe your idea is valuable to consumers?
Can you honestly say that your business idea offers something of value to consumers? Do they really need or want what you plan on offering them? If you answer no to this question, you have two options. First, you can nix your plan completely and stick to your day job. Or, you can formulate a new plan which will offer consumers something valuable. If you decide to give up you were never destined to be a business owner. If you decide to formulate something new, you show that you have the flexibility necessary to run your own business.
7. Are you a self starter?
Can you be productive without someone breathing down your neck to get things done? Do you have the ability to start projects of your own accord and finish them in a timely fashion? If the answer is yes, you may just be cut out to run your own business. If the answer is no, you either need to work on being able to do these things or watch your business fail because you can’t keep up.
8. Can you manage others?
When you own a business you aren’t just managing your own time, but that of your employees as well. Can you honestly say that you are capable of managing other people’s time? Are you well equipped to manage others in all business related aspects? If you aren’t sure what that means, here are a few things you will have to manage for your employees as a business owner:
- Their time. How many hours will they work and what will they be doing to make the most of those hours?
- Assigning tasks. You must pick the people must capable of performing each individual task.
- Managing payroll.
- Settling disputes.
- Rewarding success.
- Arranging things around unavoidable time off. This includes maternity time, sick time, and maybe even vacation time.
9. Do you the time necessary to commit towards your business?
Let’s say that you do quit your job to start a business. That opens up quite a bit of free time, but what about your other commitments? Commitments to your family, neighborhood, religious affiliation, or any other things you may have? How much time does that really leave you to run your business? Depending on the source, it is estimated that small business owners work an average of 47 to 51 hours every single week. If you don’t have at least that much time in your schedule you will not be able to run a successful business.
10. Do you have support from others?
Believe it or not, many small businesses fall through because the owners lack a solid support network. A support network can help to alleviate your stress and boost your confidence. Without one, many owners succumb to the stress of owning a small business.
If answering these ten questions did not dissuade you from quitting your day job to start your own business, that’s great. If they did, don’t feel too bad. Many people are unable to successfully start up and run a company of any size.
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