Running your own business, being your own boss – the sweetest sounding words to aspiring entrepreneurs. But there’s more to starting your own business than having a great idea and grit.
If you’ve been playing with the idea of starting a business, before doing anything else you should consider the following:
Take time to explore your options both personally and professionally.
Analyze your personality: are you someone who can stay on task without needing others to direct you? Are you equipped with the skills and desire to manage customers, employees, and suppliers daily? Assess your circumstances: are others dependent on you and if so, do you have enough cash stashed away while you get your business up and running? Will your age or family obligations affect how much energy and time you’ll be able to commit to a business? Assess your professional goals: what industry or type of business makes you perk up with excitement when it’s mentioned – and can you see yourself working in that area for the foreseeable future? Are you just in a slump? Consider the implications of jumping ship on a sure thing (your current job) for something that is not necessarily guaranteed to succeed. Try one of your choices on: set up a side hustle to see if it’s the ‘right’ business for you.
Do a little reconnaissance work
Find out if there’s an actual market for your product/service before you invest loads of time and money.
This validation process is potentially the most important step as you weigh the implications of becoming an entrepreneur. Before you drop thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars into product/service development, research, research, research – and then research some more. This step will ultimately save you a lot of headaches and it will either squash or power up your entreprecuriosity as you dig into the details and the inner workings of your target market and industry.
Prime yourself mentally for the lifestyle
While it’s fun to dream about how many people your product/service will help and how your company is going to be the next Google or Facebook, the reality is those companies weren’t built in a day by one person. Successful entrepreneurs are willing to sacrifice hours of fun and relaxation to achieve the prize, but the work doesn’t stop once your business is established. Can you handle months or years of 12-hour days, no vacations, and last-minute emergencies that cause you to miss family events? When you’re the boss, these are real possibilities that can happen any time.
Find a support organization that provides an array of services and advice
Before you head off on your entrepreneurial journey find a one-stop, à la carte small business support service provider. CEDEC Small Business Support can help you capture all the right information in a format that potential funders or partners will appreciate and help you focus in on what actions to take, when, and in which order.
Think you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Take our quiz and find out!