How to Prepare for Starting a Business
08th, March 2018 - Guest blog
Owning a business can now be referred to as the ultimate American dream because according to recent surveys, about half of the American population is willing to quit their full-time job and take the journey to self-employment if given a chance. When you consider all the benefits that come with being your own boss, it does not come as a surprise. Imagine no more waking up early to beat the morning traffic as you rush to work, no more nosey colleagues, and on top of it all, you get the chance to say goodbye to a nagging boss and say hello to time and financial freedom. These are just a few of the benefits that come with owning a business.
Nevertheless, the survey went on to add that approximately 50% of small and medium-sized business never make it past five years. So, what could be wrong? The answer to that is short and simple; not everyone can own a business. It takes someone with specific qualities to run one which is why we prepared a list of self-assessment tools to help you know whether you are cut out to run your own business.
Are you able to co-exist with others well?
Do you have stage fright?
Are you a problem solver?
Are you able to put your problems at bay?
Can you sacrifice personal time to engage in business?
Do you take challenges positively?
If most of your answers are yes, then being an entrepreneur might work in your favour. But if it's no, you are better off sticking with your job and getting promotions while working under someone else because clearly, you don't possess the traits of an entrepreneur. However, if you find yourself in between, then you need to sit and access what your goals are and how you want your life to turn out. You need to decide if you have what it take to start a business.
Do you prefer working alone or with others?
As humans, we come in different characters and personalities. In respect to that, some people are introverts and prefer doing things alone while others, extroverts, prefer working with groups. An entrepreneur is someone who should be ready to work with others. Yes, it is possible to get a business running on your own, but if you are planning to expand, then you have no option but to work with others. You'll need employees to help you out with specific tasks; you will need suppliers to help you create products and additionally you will require excellent marketers to help you attract and retain a broad customer base. So, one way to know if you are cut out to own your business is if you can coexist with others. Fortunately, you don't have to change your character because co-existing doesn't mean you become the best of friends, you can just carry out your business and be on your way.
Do you experience stage fright?
Being a business owner means that most of the time you will be the one to introduce your firm to the world. Especially if you are a start-up, you must explain to people repeatedly about what you can do for them. That means most of the time you will be in the spotlight and if it is unbearable or you find yourself getting panic attacks, then you should try and improve. But if you find it utterly impossible to handle stage fright we are sorry to tell you, but entrepreneurship might not be your passion. Being in the limelight for all the right reasons creates exposure for your firm hence helping it improve and builds confidence in potential partners and clientele that you are a legitimate business, but if you can’t get in front of a crowd, it will be hard to share your brand with others.
Are you a problem solver?
Owning a business requires excellent problem-solving skills. Apart from business-related problems, most employers will find themselves resolving conflicts among staff frequently, other times they'll have to deal with an unhappy client and assure them that their complaint is addressed. Therefore, if you find yourself overlooking or postponing such small issues, then you can't handle the bigger ones which automatically means you are not cut out to own your business.
Can you put your problems at bay and focus on business?
Life is an unpredictable journey full of twists and turns. One moment you are doing okay the next one its chaos. Even though a business may be running smoothly, sometimes life happens, it may be a case of an unhappy spouse stressing you, maybe the loss of a loved one or at times a sick pet. Such personal problems will always be there, but your business needs to continue running. So, if your world stops moving when you encounter personal issues, then you are more suited to being employed because then you can ask time out but if it's your company especially in the case of a small firm, then you have no option but bounce back as soon as you can.
Are you proactive?
Do you consider yourself proactive? As the boss, all your employees are looking up to you. Whether it's just one employee or a group of them, they all look up to you for guidance. Therefore, you must be aggressive and make use of any opportunities that come your way because if you don't no one will. It also means taking responsibilities and handling tasks such as talking to other investors yourself and convincing them to invest in your firm. The main reason for starting a business is so you can expand, but if you find yourself unable to take advantage of opportunities by being proactive, then you might as well stick to your day job. Being proactive also means you are ready to sacrifice your time such as weekends or evenings for business so if your answer was no then you might have to give up being a business owner.
Do you take challenges positively?
Running a business has never been a smooth ride, in fact, it is a roller coaster. At times things are running smoothly then suddenly you are going down a steep hill when things were going so well. As an owner, you need to be strong enough to handle all that comes your way positively or else you might find yourself closing permanently after the first challenge. Look at successful business owners, and you will realise that this is a trait they have in common so emulate them.
Starting a business is not easy and you need to be prepared for the challenges that come. If you are able to handle challenges and changes easily then you may be cut out for starting your own business. If you are not able to adapt as well then you may want to step back and either wait to start your business or not start one at all.
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