Owning a business is a dream many people have, but the majority of these people will never bring this idea out of the realm of fantasy, for one reason or another. Most of them probably have a common root of fear. If you have decided to make being a business owner a reality, good for you for giving yourself a chance. But, simply wanting to do it does not mean it is a good idea for you personally. There are some important questions you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge.
Is This the Type of Business I Really Want?
This may seem like kind of a weird question, but there are all sorts of ways we can incorporate our passions into our professional life. Before you open a particular type of business, it is important to determine whether you really, deeply want to. For example, you may feel passionate about yoga, and naturally think you should open a yoga studio , but do you really want to be the head of an entire studio, deal with teachers, taxes, marketing and the million other tasks required of owning your own business? Maybe building up a roster of private clients may be a better fit for you.
Am I Willing to Do the Work?
Anytime we are pondering an idea in our head, everything seems great at the moment. We get all excited about the future, and imagine all the great things that will happen once we start our business. Imagining the possibilities is the most fun part about making changes in our lives; but, when we actually move into action, things can get difficult. Many people romanticize the idea of owning their own business, getting all caught up in how wonderful it will be to be their own boss, and call the shots in their life. It is wonderful, but a lot of hard work goes into that, not just concerning the business, but the work people do on themselves to become the type of person who finds success.
What about the Money?
It takes money to make money, and you may be taking some risks financially to start up your venture. That is okay—without risk, there is no reward. But, it is important to think about the financial aspects of this decision. What are your options for new business financing, and which ones make the most sense for your particular situation? Will you be maintaining some other sort of employment while you get things started? Have you really sat down and went over your plan to get a clear idea of how much money you are going to need to get things started, and your monthly expenses? How will you support yourself until you start turning a profit? Do you need to cut any corners in your current lifestyle to minimize your financial obligations?
Are You Willing to Learn?
Running a business does not require you to understand every aspect of the process- that is why we pay lawyers, accountants and marketing consultants. But, if you want to be a successful business owner, you must be willing to learn about things that may seem complicated or ‘boring.’ The people who do best in life, personally and professionally, are enthusiastic students.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who is passionate about all things business, particularly information on how to succeed.