Getting a job is the usual way people go about it. You get a job working for someone else because:
1. It’s easier.
2. Everyone else is doing it.
It doesn’t matter whether you have a college education, PhD or whatever educational attainment you have – in general the first thing people do upon graduation from high school, college, or medical school is get a job working for someone else.
Starting your own business is not for everyone, but it IS for some. Ask yourself these 5 questions before you dive headfirst into starting your own business and make sure you’re aligned with what it is you’re pursuing: A way of life different from most, but one that is so much more rewarding.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Business:
1. Would I want to work for someone else even more than I want to work for myself?
There are a lot of answers to this question. Some people are not prepared for all the responsibility that comes with owning their own business. Some people would prefer to skate through the work day and collect a check at the end of the month not much concerned about whether he or she felt good about, proud about, their work.
If you want to start your own business you’re going to be the ONE responsible and you’re going to feel really good about your work when it’s successful on any level. If you skate through the day you’re not going to find success and you’re business will fail.
2. Do I Know What’s In Store?
Have you researched fully everything you can about starting your own business? Do you know about tax issues? Or, do you know an accountant that can handle that for you? Do you know about labor laws in case you’re going to hire someone? How will you handle complaints? Do you have disclosure statement you can use for your business? What about shipping/delivery policies? Refunds? Incorporation? Business checking account? Funding? Traditional and online marketing?
There is a LOT to research and if you go at it focused you can figure everything out in about a month of 8 hour days. Make sure you know what’s waiting for you when you make the decision to go into business on your own. One of the biggest reasons for business failure is that the owner didn’t understand everything involved and plan for it – at least partially, in advance. Don’t let anything catch you unaware. Know what you’re getting into.
3. Am I Ready to Jump In?
Preparing as much as possible before you “go live” is really important. Have you done all you can to prepare and to test the market to see if there’s demand for your products or services? If you’re working another job before you launch your own business – is this the right time to quit that job, or, should you maybe wait another 6 months and save some more cash, make your website stronger, and test the market a little more?
Make sure NOW is the right time to launch your new business. Make sure you’ve done everything you can to ensure it’s success. If you can start out on a part-time basis where you’re testing everything – products, website, answering calls & email about your services, prices, and everything else that’s necessary, you’ll be in a much better position to launch successfully.
4. What If?
If the whole business goes belly-up, then what? Do you have a fall back plan? Will you regroup and try something else or go back to a day job working for someone else? If you spend all your saved money and your business goes nowhere – then what?
To be successful in starting your own business you’ve got to keep trying. You may start 6 businesses before one works – or, you may do everything you can to make the very first one work. Not every business works. But, every person that wants to own their own business will make something work for them. The human drive to succeed is unstoppable in many people. Make it unstoppable for you.
Plan on doing everything you can to ensure this first business goes well – and succeeds. There is so much help available online in the form of business articles, business training videos. Youtube has amassed a ton of positive thinking and business success videos that you could spend days watching – and maybe should.
Know what happens IF.
5. What If Everything Goes As Planned?
Know what you’re going to do if you have success. Do you have a plan outlined for how to grow your business into new markets? Maybe you’ll expand your product inventory to include new items and services? Maybe you’ll hire a sales pro to answer phones and free yourself up to do marketing or whatever it is you do best.
If you’re starting a 1-person business you don’t need a business plan. I know that may run contrary to what you’ve heard. What you DO need is a really strong idea what you’re doing, where you’re going with the business, and how you’ll handle adversity and success.
Writing up a list of goals for the business and how you’ll approach each is a great idea as is following the general outline of a business plan and filling in the blanks for each section. A business plan is generally for banks and investors to see -it’s a detailed document that takes a LONG time to prepare. New business owners facing the task are overwhelmed by it. If you don’t need it – don’t do it.
But do have a plan – an outline for success. Do have people you can go to and ask questions. Do write email to someone that provides a similar service or sells a similar product as you – but in a noncompeting market – and ask them questions. You’ll be surprised at how many times people will help. They wish they had someone to go to for questions when they were starting out.
Answer these 5 questions and then jump…