1) Can I handle financial insecurity?
“The willingness to consider possibility requires a tolerance of uncertainty.”
- Rachel Naomi Remen In business, as in life, there’s simply no assurance of whether you’re going to succeed or fail. Business ideas must be tested and tweaked, so you’ve got no other choice but to experiment.
Becoming very profitable in the first few years of your new business is not very common – in fact, you’d be lucky to break even, despite working much harder than you do at your day job.
Prepare for the possibility that the lifestyle and financial security you are accustomed to may no longer be depended upon.
2) What is my core motivation to take this step?
“If you’re working on something that you truly care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”
- Steve Jobs If your only motivator to start a business is the money, you will have a higher risk of failure. Money itself is inanimate. It’s paper, or just digits on a screen. To increase your odds of success, you have to be extremely specific about what you intend to do with the money you make.
For example, if you plan to fold profits directly back into the company, you need to be specific about how you intend to do so.
You need to get past everything superficial and ego-driven, and unearth the core desire or vision that’s pulling you forward. Be honest with yourself, and discover your true motivation for starting your business.
3) Do I have the basic skills to build and manage a business?
Besides those with vast experience or conventional MBAs, very few people actually have all the skills that building a modern business requires. To develop those much-needed skills and improve your chances of success, we suggest looking into two kinds of incredibly powerful and helpful software:
- Planning Software: Truly, planning or mapping out a business in a professional way has never been smoother or more user-friendly. Take a look at our Business Planning Software Guide for small-biz and startups to see for yourself.
- Accounting Software: This is a huge part of running your own business that most entrepreneurs hate or try to outsource at great cost. Instead, consider investigating any of the providers we cover in our Business Accounting Software Guide.
4) How do I currently cope with high pressure, stress and anxiety?
Being a small business owner may be exciting but, by the same token, it can also subject you to high levels of pressure. You must prepare to be confronted on a regular basis by challenges and difficulties the average wage-earner is oblivious to.
That being the case, chances are your stress and anxiety levels will be challenged as well. So, evaluate your answers to the following questions:
- How do you currently manage stress?
- What steps will help you deal with higher amounts of stress? You’ll need more healthy outlets.
- Which personal activities and relationships of yours need to be protected?
- Do you have support from family, friends? You will need to form a support network.
If you’ve never run a business or been close to it, prepare yourself as it can sometimes be a shock. Having a solid plan in place and using quality accounting software to run the numbers for you will make things easier.
5) Am I afraid of success?
You might be surprised to know that many people, entrepreneurs being no exception, are actually afraid of true success. Some find it terrifying, and may not realize it until they have already started the process of going into business for themselves.
The reason this is an important question is because fear can inhibit you. For some it’s an inspiration and a strong motivator, for others the opposite. If after asking yourself this question, you discover that you may be afraid of truly succeeding, you should first understand that this is a normal feeling.
Asking yourself the above questions when you are preparing to start your own business can be a great way to gain some insight into your motivations and provide some perspective.
With a clearer picture of your drive, skills and coping mechanisms, you should be able to start your entrepreneurship journey on the right foot.