Taking the leap of faith into owning a brand new business enterprise is a risky proposition with the potential of being extremely rewarding. Because of this, there are many details that must be ironed out prior to taking this plunge. Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, suggests asking yourself the following questions before you start your own small business:
1) Is my business idea viable?
Consider how viable your business idea really is. Viability means how long you could sustain such an endeavor over time, how much money you think it could generate, how well it would fit into a certain market, and several other important factors. If you feel like your ducks are in a row and you have a decent business plan on paper, go for it. If not, make an effort to figure out what needs to be done to make your business idea more viable.
2) Do I have the time to commit to it?
In the words of many entrepreneurs, small business ownership is a 24-hour commitment. This does not literally mean never getting any sleep, but there are lots of sacrifices you have to make if you really want it to work. For example, if you have a part-time or full-time job with an employer, ask yourself whether you’d have enough time and energy to devote to running the company during your free time. This might mean giving up weekends, vacation time, dinners with the family, and other activities that are quite significant to many individuals. If you feel like you don’t have the time for it, there’s a good chance you should hold off on diving in until you do because the business will suffer in the end.
3) Do I have enough startup capital?
Funding is the main reason startups don’t sustain themselves. If you don’t have enough capital on the table in the beginning, you’ll have a very difficult road to trek to attain your ultimate goal. Look at your personal bank account and any savings accounts you have. Determine how much money you could pull from these accounts to put toward startup costs. If there simply isn’t enough there, look into small business loans, angel investors, crowdfunding, and other options. There has to be a proper financial foundation in place prior to moving forward with a new business. According to Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, this is because it will take more time than you think to generate enough income to sustain it long-term.
4) Can I get the resources to assist me?
As a small business owner, there is no way you can properly wear every single hat. This is why you’ll need a supporting cast around you. This could be in the form of employees or independent contractors who work in an office, or it might be several service providers you use to streamline business processes. Ask yourself if it’s feasible to assemble such a team, what your team would look like, and how you would go about building it. Are there any colleagues at your job, family members, friends, or acquaintances to fill some of these roles? What are your strengths, and what skills would you need at your side to complement these strengths?
5) What is my ultimate goal with this business?
Bert Seither, The Startup Expert™, says it’s hard for all of us to set goals, put our minds to them, and ultimately achieve them. But this is a huge part of small business ownership. Ask yourself what the end results would be regarding an enterprise. How much money are you looking to make? What market are you trying to reach? How do you want your customers to feel after using your products or services? It’s imperative to set your sights on at least one main goal. After reaching it, the possibilities are endless.