Before you start your own Business

Around 80% of all new small businesses fail within the first five years. Wanting the freedom associated with owning your own business is simply not enough to make you succeed. You will need to access yourself, do you have what it takes to be a successful business owner. Do you possess the necessary characteristics, the right temperament, leadership skills, support system, dedication and follow through.

So before you quit your job and go off on some adventurous quest to start your own business. Ask yourself….

Am I a self-starter?
If you start your own business there’s no one to tell you what to do… Yes you might be thinking… ‘Yay, that’s exactly what I want’… But consider that you need to develop and manage projects and/or products. You’ll need to manage your time and follow though on details.

Am I willing to work long hours?
If you don’t work you don’t get paid. Unlike working for a boss where you have sick leave etc. Yes you will be able to control your working hours and even decide when you want a break. But in the first few years you need to be fully committed 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Am I good at making decisions?
As a business owner all decision will fall on you. You will need to make tough decisions fast and under pressure. Yes you can get advice, but in the end it has to be your decision no one is going to take the blame for something that went wrong.

Do I plan well?
You will need to have good planning and organisational skills. Research shows that the reason why so many new businesses fail is for lack of or poor planning. You will need to create a decent business plan covering all aspects of your business, from finances to time management.

Do I have the strength to stay motivated?
Keeping a business afloat can take its toll, the responsibility can be quite a lot to handle when times are tough. You will need to have follow through, passion and strong motivation to push through the bad times.

Am I willing to invest?
You will need to invest and put money into the business. It is a risk you will need to take in order to get the business going.

Have I considered the possible impact on my family?
Because of the long hours you’ll need to put in and the amount of stress and responsibility, starting a new business can put strain on personal relationships especially if a spouse is not supportive of the new venture.

Do I have a network of friends or associates who could provide outside financing?
If you can’t get a sufficient loan from a banking institution and you have run out of savings or options of your own, you need to have a good network of people who will be willing to invest in your business. Most small businesses fail due to lack of financing.

How well do I get along with different personalities?
You will need to network, build relationships with a variety of people from all walks of life. From staff and vendors to professionals like lawyers, bankers and many more. Will you be able to deal with their demands and their moods?

After answering these questions honestly, do you still feel ready to take the next step. Is it really worth giving up a stable monthly salary. Yes if you are working for a boss you are basically making him rich… But on the other hand he carries the risk, the responsibility and the last decision.


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