Before you venture out to start your own business it is important to make sure it is the right path for you. I’m a big sports fan and for me, the end of June and the beginning of July is a fascinating time. For the NBA and NHL, it’s the start of the free agency period. For people who do not know a lot about sports, that’s when players get to decide their fate.
The players talk to teams. For the superstars, the dollars come into play and teams start vying for their attention. There’s a lot of money and a lot of years on the line. If things go well, a player has committed to a team for a good portion of their life.
And that’s what’s fascinating. At just 24 or 25-years-old, these men are asked to decide what will happen with their future. Not just the future for one year, but usually the future for the next five to ten years. It’s a monumental decision that has far-reaching effects.
Because at the end of the day, these athletes are still people. The decisions they make are based on the location and the people and the work environment. Each decision is different because there is a different thing that will make the athlete happy.
While it is certainly not in the same dollar range as those professional athletes, it’s important as you consider starting your own business, you make sure it’s truly the right fit for you. These are the questions you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge.
Is this a full-time business, or awesome side hustle?
It’s important to look at whether your new business can support you financially. It’s also important to determine if you’ll be happy doing it full-time.
The first issue is all logistical. You need to know if you’re going to be able to feed yourself and possibly your family. If your business is not there yet, then you need to know that you’re going to be able to get it there.
The second question has no right answer. This question is based solely on your personal preference and what will make you happy. Will you be happy working for yourself without a guaranteed paycheck? Will you enjoy doing this full-time?
Is this the right time?
In all honesty, there is no exact right time to start your business. There’s always one more thing you want to accomplish or a little more money that you want to stock away. They talk about jumping into entrepreneurship because that’s just what it feels like, a blind leap.
However, there are times that are better than others. Would you rather start your own business when you have an eight-month emergency fund stocked away or no emergency fund at all? Do you want to start while you’re welcoming your third child or while you’re single?
There are good times and not so good ones to start your own business and you need to decide which time is the right time or at the very least an okay time for you.
How passionate are you about your business?
When you start your own business, you need to be prepared to eat, breathe, and sleep your business. Book store owners need to really love to read. Accountants really need to love numbers and finance.
You have to love what you do or you’re going to hate your job fairly quickly. It’s only the passion that’s going to carry you through the tough times so if you can’t say that you truly love the business that you’re about to start then you might want to take a step back and reconsider.
Can you make a hard decision?
To some people, this is going to sound like a silly question, but it’s incredibly important. You are the boss. There is no one you can ask for direction. You make all of the decisions. You decide who to hire and who to fire. You decide what direction the business is going. You are the be all and end all of the business.
If you have a hard time deciding between the Chef and Caesar salads, then being a business owner is probably not the right path for you.
How do you perform in a social setting?
The biggest part of making your business a success is the ability to sell it. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to sell your services as a mortician, an iPhone app, or even a social media manager. All of those services require the ability to sell your customers on the idea that you can do it better.
As a result, you need to be able to perform in a social setting. You have to be able to talk to people. You have to be able to tell people about yourself and your business.
If you simply can’t handle those social situations, then you need to consider getting yourself a partner that can. There’s no shame in recognizing your faults, but going into a business with an understanding of those faults can be the key to success.
Can you MacGyver it?
The TV character MacGyver is known for taking a horrible situation and working his way out of it, usually with just a little duct tape and some ingenuity. There will be at least one moment in your business life that you will face a near-impossible situation and you will need to figure out how to come out of it on the other side better than ever.
There is no way to train for something like this.
Can you multi-task or are you a great planner?
There are a lot of different types of people that make awesome entrepreneurs, but the one thing they have in common is the ability to figure out a plan of attack. There will be a list a mile long of things that you need to do every day. The really successful entrepreneurs figure out how to sift through that list and get things done.
As a result, you either need to be a phenomenal multi-tasker or you need to be a great planner. A multi-tasker knows how to juggle a bunch of to-do items at once. She knows about the five or ten projects she’s working on and where each one stands. She also knows the to-do items for each of those projects.
A great planner knows that he cannot multi-task, so he figures out a plan of attack that will touch on each of those to do items during the course of the day. He deals with the emails, the fires, future planning, and all the other items in an orderly fashion.
If you cannot do either of those, then you either need to learn or you’re going to learn a very hard lesson quickly.
Do you believe in yourself and your business?
This is probably the most important question of them all because if you don’t believe in your business or if you don’t believe in what you’re doing then you’ve failed before you’ve even started. If you don’t believe, every single person you talk to will see that uncertainty. You need to have faith in yourself and your business.
If you don’t believe, surround yourself with close friends and family members who will pump you up in the times that you’re feeling down. It’s essential that you believe; it’s the best way to sell yourself. For some added motivation to get you started, check out this blog post Top 10 Entrepreneur Must Reads.
Written by Erika Towne