Owning your own business brings with it many advantages, and for those who do it right, great success and a sense of fulfillment. It is not a decision to be made lightly, however. Here are three important considerations that can set the stage for your own success.
Have a Realistic Picture of This Life
When we fantasize about running our own business, we naturally think about all the great stuff. We no longer answer to anyone. We make our own schedule. We can taste that freedom that comes with designing our lives as we wish.
You imagine interacting with customers and clients, sharing your knowledge and expertise. It can be really great. But, it is easy to romanticize owning your own business, but talk to anyone who does it, and while they may love it, they will also tell you how difficult it can be. There is a lot of ‘business’ stuff that needs to be tended to, from paying taxes to testing marketing strategies. Sure, there are myriad professionals that can assist you with these matters, but ultimately ,everything is your responsibility. You will be working a lot in the beginning to get things off the ground—there will be times when you may feel overwhelmed or highly stressed—do you have it in you?
Really Crunch the Numbers
The financial aspect of starting a new business is not something to be glossed over, with vague calculations and the like. You need to thoroughly examine your options as far as financial resources go. How much money do you need to start this business? How will you pay your bills until you start turning a genuine profit? What are your current living expenses, and can they be trimmed down at least temporarily to maximize your savings, and what you can pour back into the business? Are you okay with adjusting your lifestyle, for perhaps a long period of time? Remember there will no longer be that automatic deposit into your bank account every two weeks.
You must commit to managing your cash flow effectively, and have a plan in place to deal with emergency expenses. This part is not one of the fun ones, but it must be tended to with the attention it deserves.
Take Stock of Your Strengths and Weaknesses
No one is perfect; we all have our strengths and weaknesses, and that is okay. But, our own unique blend of them can make all the difference when it comes to succeeding with a particular goal. What strengths do you have that lend themselves to running a business well? Just as importantly, what are some of your weaknesses that may impede that success? How will you deal with them? Are you willing to put in the time to try and change bad habits and behaviors? Where would it be prudent to get assistance from someone, whether a friend or professional? You have to be honest with yourself here—the success of your business depends on it.