It’s an exciting goal to have in life: starting your own business. But it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. The amount of planning you do is a determining factor for your future success.
We’re sure you’ve read many tips and guidelines so far. We simply want to challenge you with this: ask yourself these four questions to gain some perspective on whether you’re ready to start.
Do You Understand Your Resources?
When you’re the one at the helm of the business you don’t have a salary as a backup anymore. You must know that you’ll be able to face a few challenges during your startup’s first few months without going out of business. To determine this, consider your assets such as property and capital, and gauge if it’s up to standard.
Firstly, do you have enough cash flow to keep going while you build your clientele? And if you take out a loan, will you be able to keep up with those repayments?
Also, what is your plan in terms of the premises? For many businesses, if you can manage the workflow from home, you may not need to rent offices right away. But make sure you’re prepared for the added risk this may bring.
Have you considered the insurance needed to protect you and your business in the case someone gets hurt while working for you? Discuss these matters with experts such as Allstate insurance before you start. You don’t want to pay unnecessary costs later on because you didn’t prepare well in the beginning
Do You Understand Your Customers?
Customers commit to buying products or services that they find valuable. You can have the most innovative product on the market, but if it doesn’t fulfil a need modern consumers have, you’ll find it hard selling it to them.
You want customers that turn into repeat supporters. Once the novelty of your product or service wears off, will it still provide consumers enough value that they will become loyal customers? Or will they simply go back to supporting your competitors?
A thorough analysis of your target group must come before you launch your business.
Who Do You Have on Your Side?
Unless you’re in equal partnership with someone, you’re the one who will carry the responsibility of making the business work.
But that doesn’t mean you should walk alone all the time. You can get valuable input and emotional support, turning your adventure into a slightly less stressful time. Have you considered the following?
- Investing in business coaching from an expert in your industry
- Asking a more knowledgeable business leader to be your personal mentor
- Being honest about all your plans and fears when you talk to your family, so they know in what way you need their support
It’s up to you to reach out to people around you. Get your support structure in place before you start, so they’ll be there when you need them.
Do You Want it Bad Enough?
Here’s some simple advice: don’t start a business because you want to be like someone else.
Being a business owner requires determination, hard work and commitment to a goal. If you don’t have the conviction that this is the legacy you want to leave behind, it will be difficult to keep going during the trying times.
If it’s a dream you can’t let go of, then go for it!
Final Thoughts — When Will You Start?
So, how did you fare? Are you ready or do you need some more preparation time? Timing is everything, so make sure you start the exciting journey of owning a business when you’re REALLY ready.
And if you have more questions, don’t hesitate to comment below.
Photo by Brooke Lark