Starting Your Own Business? Ask These Questions First
So, you want to be an entrepreneur?
While it may have seemed like a distant dream years ago, why not take the risk? Small businesses and startups are seeing more success.
With your ideas — and a little faith — you can go a long way. But make sure you've considered every aspect of your business before giving it the green light.
Here are six questions you should ask yourself if you're considering opening a business:
1. Are you prepared to run the back end?
Many people start businesses involving something they love doing — bakers open up cupcake shops, bookworms open up their own bookstores, etc.
However, just because you like the product or service you're selling doesn't mean you'll actually like running the business.
As the owner, you'll be handling many more things on the business end than spending time doing what motivated you to open the business in the first place.
You should understand and accept this realization before going forward with your business plans.
2. Are you prepared to learn on the job?
While being prepared to start your own entrepreneurial venture is smart, you have to realize you won't be able to learn everything at first.
Don't be one of those people who keeps waiting for everything to be perfect before taking the leap.
If you do that, you may never get to open the business of your dreams.
A lot of learning will be done on the fly, and you need to be comfortable with this kind of quick learning as you go.
3. Do you think you can correctly copy others?
There will be a significant amount of work going into starting your own business.
If you want to be successful, it's important to put in the work in order to find out how to make your business the most efficient and profitable.
It's perfectly acceptable to look at what others in your field are doing and to copy some of their strategies.
If you plan on opening a catering business and notice the most popular one in your city has a fleet of refrigerated sprinter vans, you may want to consider getting some, too.
If the brewery you always go to throws weekly events, maybe you should try throwing monthly ones and see what happens.
Copying isn't something to be ashamed of, as long as you can put your own spin on it.
4. Do you have the funds?
While you may have all the ideas in place and a vision that shines like the sun, you need to make sure you have the proper finances to back it up.
Lay out all the costs and projected earnings and figure out if the time is right for you to be putting out the money.
Consider if you need and can get investors, loans or crowdfunding and how this will affect your personal finances and the success of your business.
5. Is your business something people need?
Plenty of people start businesses because they sound like a good idea ... to them. But far too many don't do the required research to find out if their business is needed in the marketplace.
You're looking to get customers and gain profits, and you're investing a lot of time and money to do so.
Take your idea out into the field, do some surveys, see what else is out there and determine if your business plan sounds good to only you or to the general public.
6. Do you have a quality team?
You may be a “Jack of All Trades,” but you're going to need a team of masters in different fields to succeed.
Take a good look around you and consider friends, family members and former co-workers as resources to help make your business better.
As a business owner, you're going to need solid advice, a mentor, an accountant, legal advice and possibly investors.
After evaluating who you know and trust, do you think you can find these types of people to fill the necessary positions?
Taking on an entrepreneurial venture is a big step, but it's one you should go for with all you've got. Just make sure to take everything into consideration before taking the plunge.