Do you want to start your own business?
Do you have what it takes, there has been extensive research into what makes small business owners successful.
The questions below do not guarantee success but they certainly can give you a head start. We’ll look at each of these questions in a little bit of detail but answer a quick yes or no to them first then we’ll discuss the importance of each.
1. Can I stick it out even when timers are tough?
2. Do I REALLY want to be my own boss?
3. Do the decisions you make in life normally turn out well?
4. Can you see the big picture of businesses?
5. Am I able to keep my energy levels high and put in the hours required to make my business a success?
6. Do I have significant business experience?
Now you should have answered yes or no to these, if you have answered yes to all but 1 or 2 of these then it will make your life as a new successful entrepreneur that much easier.
If you have answered no to more than that then try not to be discouraged but you would benefit from some extra training and or support from a skilled team, so it might be worth finding a business partner who can fill in the skill/personality gaps.
I will look at each one in turn and discuss why it is important.
Can I stick it out even when timers are tough?
This is important for so many reasons, there are going to be so many times as a small business owner when there is more outgoings than incoming and you are going to have to actively go out and seek work, you need to have a mind set the has a natural tendency to work harder when things are tough.
One of the main reasons that a new business fails is discouragement, you have to be able to fight that discouragement and realize that the work you are putting in now may only pay dividends further down the line.
Learn to develop a resilience and a tenacity for tackling problems head on and you will get through the hard times.
Do I REALLY want to be my own boss?
There are many times when you are sitting at work thinking why am I here i’d love to work for myself, but would you really?
Do you need direction?
Are you motivated?
Can you work to self imposed deadlines without your boss reminding you?
These are just some of the skills you need, you need to be disciplined and able to separate your work and personal life.
There is not going to be someone there to give you a kick up the ass when you really need it.If you are happy with all this then maybe you do want it, with it comes the reward of flexibility and a good work life balance but it takes discipline.
Do the decisions you make in life normally turn out well?
This is important making too many incorrect or ill-founded decisions can result in loss of income and customers, the business failing and in the worst cases bankruptcy.
I’m not trying to scare you but make you realize that the decisions you make for your business are vital and will decide on it’s success. So ask yourself do the decisions I take in life normally turn out well, if the answer is ‘yes’ then pat on the back just follow the same logic and do your due diligence, if no then you need to look back at your decisions and try and work out why?
Is it because you rush into them, is it because you follow your heart not your head, is it because you try to do more than is possible given you expertise and or experience.
Whatever you find out you need to address and ensure that when you are in business you really focus on these weaknesses and keep them in the forefront of your mind when making decisions.
Can you see the big picture of businesses?
Now this sounds obvious, but as the business owner you are tasked with giving the business direction, guidance and ensuring that it is run in an ethos fitting with your business plan and mission statement.
You may be having to get your hands dirty and doing all the seemingly menial jobs in the early days and then later on bring in staff to do it for you once the business is making money.
Do you often sit at work and think why am I doing this, how can it possibly help the business if you think this on a regular basis then maybe running your own business isn’t for you because you need to be ale to see the big picture.
You will need to learn to not micro manage and let other people do the jobs you are paying them to do to help you drive the business forwards.
Am I able to keep my energy levels high and put in the hours required to make my business a success?
In the early days of your business you are going to be working VERY long hours (70+) per week for very little reward.
You have to be able to keep your energy and enthusiasm high so that you can forge successful business partnerships, source cheap and efficient suppliers, develop a customer base and all the processes needed to run your business efficiently.
You are going to be dealing with a lot of people and they won’t care that you’re putting in a 70 hour week they’ll just want to see a professional enthusiastic face to the business and when you are tired and making no money you still need to be able to do this.
Do I have significant business experience?
This seems like a given, if you are a successful software developer with no interest in the performing arts you are not going to start up a theater company.
You should ensure that you have adequate experience in the market in which you want to operate.
Knowing the market will put you in a better position as you will know your competitors, available products as well as understand the trends within it.
As for specific business experience it is useful but not essential to have experience in marketing, sales, product development, management, business development, however a lot of those skills are transferable and can be learnt and developed if required.
What if I don’t have these skills?
As I said earlier you do not need all of these skills although having them will put you in a better position from the outset, but there are many courses often held by local business centres, councils and enterprises which will help teach you the business skills you need.
The most important parts are your personality traits which will help you succeed and will drive you and your business forwards
Want to share how YOU become a successful entrepreneur, do in the comments!