Starting a business is exciting... and scary. One of the best ways to boost the excitement and shrink the fear is by taking the time to make sure you are fully prepared for what's ahead.
While it's difficult to plan for every possibility and challenge that may occur, you can get yourself on the path to success by considering these five questions before jumping in with both feet.
Being a successful business owner requires a unique mix of personality and small business character traits. While there isn't a standard formula that makes one type of person more successful than another, some entrepreneur-friendly personality traits that can ease the process of getting started as a business owner include passion, drive, dedication and self-discipline. And it doesn't hurt to be an effective communicator and someone who is willing to take measured risks.
As anyone with experience will tell you, there is no eight to five shift when you run your own business. Particularly during the startup phase (which may last months or years), you are likely to be the manager, worker, receptionist, payroll clerk, bookkeeper, and whatever else is required. This means late nights, long hours, and the end of weekends off and three weeks paid vacations. In the case of a retail business, you will be required to have the premises open during regular business hours.(In a mall this may mean extended time to conform to mall hours.)
If you have a family, they must be prepared for the additional demands on your time. The best way to manage this, of course, is to get them involved in the business. Perhaps your spouse can assist you with payroll or bookkeeping. If your children are old enough they can participate as well and perhaps eventually take over the business.
Few new businesses are overnight successes. It takes hard work, patience, and perseverance to build a successful business. Some types of businesses can be profitable in as little as a few months (see Should You Buy a Franchise?), while others may take years to build up a client base and become successful.
Initial failures and setbacks are to be expected - you must be able to think like a quarterback, that quickly forgets the last incomplete pass or interception you threw and be confident about the next play.
If you have answered "no" to any of these, you're probably not ready to be your own boss. Overnight success stories are just that... stories. The reality is that success is won through hard work over time. And you want your business to be a success, don't you?
If you answered all three of these basic questions positively, then you're on the right track.