If you think starting a business is easy, you’re right. Anyone can start a business. 7 year old kids start businesses. But do you have what it takes to build a successful business? With a plan, failure is likely. Without a plan, failure is imminent.
I was fortunate enough to be involved in an entrepreneurial course which lasted 9 whole months. They taught us the ins and outs of starting and building a business…from coming up with the initial idea right down to how to do the bookkeeping. They even supported us through the beginning stages of our startups and the program was supplemented financially. Even with this education and support, it…is…hard.
It is impossible to predict how each individual is going to handle the emotional aspects of running a business. Rejection is an ego killer and you haven’t experienced rejection like you will when you own a business. If you’re working from home, the isolation will wear on you.
Desire alone will not make you successful. Approximately 150,000 new businesses startup in Canada each year. Almost half fail before their 5th year.
Not sure starting a business is for you. Ask yourself these questions:
Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
Being self-aware is an incredible trait to have and it’s not so common. In order to run a successful business, you need to be able to take responsibility for your shortcomings and get support where you need it. Knowing what you don’t know is one of the best attributes to have as a business owner.
Are you emotionally resilient?
You can’t leave your work at work. Your work is a part of you, it’s your livelihood. Being able to perform under stress is a must to succeed in business.
Are you prepared to work more hours?
Do you love your idea?
Most experts will ask if there is a market for your idea. This is important but if you don’t love the idea yourself first, you won’t be able to sell it to anyone and you’ll lack the drive to create a business out of it.
Do you have a moderate to high risk tolerance?
There is always a chance that clients won’t pay or that you’ll become sick and not be able to work. Plus the fact that half of businesses fail within 5 years is a risk in itself. If you prefer the comfort of job security and not having full responsibility, you may want to consider staying an employee.
Are you driven by money or by the value you will provide to your customers?
If all you can picture is dollar signs, you’re in for a rude awakening. If you don’t provide value for your customers, they won’t come back and the word will get out that you’re just in it for the money. Focus on the process and how you can help your customers and you’ll be further ahead.
Do you tend to focus on solutions or problems?
If you are always stuck on the problem you will never solve it. As a business owner, you need to find solutions quickly. If you can’t do that, you may want to reconsider starting a business.
Are you able to let go?
In order to build a successful business, you’ll need to delegate tasks at a certain point. Wearing all the hats within your business isn’t sustainable and your business will become stagnate.
If these questions have helped you decide you are cut out to be an entrepreneur I couldn’t be happier. There are many, many benefits to starting a business. I’ll save them for another post.
You also don’t have to do it alone. Surround yourself with experts and a support network and you’ll increase your chances of success. Know when you need help and ask for it. Even if you have a bunch of money saved up to start, write a business plan or have someone help write it for you. Refer to it regularly and update it as needed. It’s a living document and your business will need to be able to adapt to change.
‘If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail’ – Benjamin Franklin.
Thanks so much for reading. If you’ve decided starting a business is for you, download the FREE Starting a Business Checklist.
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