photo credit: kk+
You’ve probably heard that not everyone is cut out to own a business. It’s true, mainly because most people are not risk takers. There is no sure way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business. Yet you can improve your chances of success with good planning. Remember, preparation plus opportunity leads to success.
This site is all about attaining success and personal achievement. This article is not meant to discourage you. Rather, it is designed for those who are thinking about quitting their day job to go into it with eyes wide open. Being clear about the realities of starting and running a business and where you might need some help will lead you to success.
Use the seven reasons listed below on why you should not start a business to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as the owner and manager of an independently run business.
Carefully consider each of the following statements
1. You are not a self-starter.
Would you agree with this? It will be up to you—not someone else—to develop projects, organize your time, and follow through on details.
2. You do not get along well with different personalities.
Would you agree with this? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people, including customers, vendors, staff, bankers, and professionals; such as lawyers, accountants, and consultants. Can you consistently deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor, or a cranky staff person in the best interest of your business?
3. You are not good at making decisions.
Would you agree with this? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly; often quickly, under pressure, and independently.
4. You do not have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business.
Would you agree with this? Business ownership can be challenging, fun, and exciting. But it’s also a lot of work. Can you face 12-hour workdays 6 or 7 days a week?
5. You do not plan and organize well.
Would you agree with this? Research indicates that many business failures could have been avoided through better planning. Good organization of financial matters, inventory, schedules, and production can help you to avoid many
6. You burnout easily (meaning your drive is not strong enough to maintain your motivation).
Would you agree with this? Running a business can wear you down. Some business owners feel burned out by having to carry all the responsibility on their shoulders. Strong motivation can make the business succeed and will help you survive slowdowns, as well as periods of burnout. Being an active member of this site and part of a community of achievers will help to motivate as well as the many tools available, but only if you take advantage of the resources available!
7. You do not think that business will not affect your family life.
Would you agree with this? The first few years of business startup can be hard on family life. The strain of an unsupportive spouse may be hard to balance against the demands of starting a business. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk.
So let’s say you agreed with a few of the points above. Is all hope over? Should you cancel your dreams of ditching your 9 to 5 and striking it rich by following your passion? Absolutely not. Starting a business is not an easy task, and extensive preparation must take place. Here are some of the things you need to consider:
Plan, plan, plan: Examine every angle you can think of to make sure your business
Take your time: Take as much time as you need to research your business and make your plans—before you give up your day job.
Be flexible: Prepare for the unexpected.
Be professional: Never shortchange your current employer. Work hard through the end of your very last day.
Separate your business life while still employed: Don’t hold “your” meetings on your employer’s time or use the company copy machine. And don’t burn bridges—your former employer could become one of your clients.
Prepare for the ups and downs: Starting a business involves a series of disappointments and triumphs. Be prepared for the long run.
If you expect a task to take 2 months, budget for 4 months: Your cash flow isn’t your client’s problem—at least not to them. Plan accordingly.
Step back and look at the long-term plan: It’s easy to get frustrated because one project is hung up. Remember that every detail you’re sweating is just one piece of the puzzle.
Be “cheap”: Most businesses fail in their first year because cash runs out. The more you save, the more time you have.
Stay true to your vision: “Vision” is an overused word, but every person who starts a company has one. Whether your goal is to offer the best microbrewed beer in the East or sell the most advanced cellular phone on the market, there’s an overriding goal to your efforts beyond simply making a pile of money.
Look forward, not back: It’s easy to beat yourself up about decisions gone wrong, strategies that didn’t work, or employees who cost more than they made. Since you’re going to make mistakes, you need to learn from every one of them—and then move on.
BONUS: Now that we’ve pointed out all of the downside of starting a business, why in the world should you start one? While there are many reasons not to start your own business, for the right person the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks.
Here are five good reasons to be an entrepreneur:
- You get to be your own boss.
- Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone else.
- Earning and growth potential are far less limited.
- A new venture is exciting.
- Running a business will provide endless variety, challenges, and opportunities to learn.
Does this sound good to you? Then you are in the right place. Armed with your self assessment and the right resources, you will achieve success in your plans to launch a business this year. To your success!