Do you have what it takes?
Many new business people don’t realise how much commitment and dedication it takes to be a business owner.
To be in control of what you do for a living sounds good, but the ability to make decisions, work long hours and take risks are just some of the attributes you need to be an entrepreneur. If you’re strong in one area and weak in another, the business will reflect this.
How do you know you have what it takes? You need to assess your reasons for going into business and evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself these questions and answer honestly. After all, the only one you’ll be fooling is yourself:
Why do you want to be in business?
Write down exactly why you want to start your own business. Take some time to get down all the reasons you can think of. This’ll help you to understand your motivation. The list below might help you with ideas.
Independence – to earn a living from your own ideas and control your own future?
Income – to have extra money to build a more solid future for yourself/your family?
Self Worth – to prove to yourself and to others that you can succeed at what you are doing?
Lifestyle – to be able to work flexible hours, to work from home, to work part -time?
Type of work – to be satisfied from your work efforts and do something you really enjoy?.
What are your strengths and weakness?
This section will help you decide whether you have the right personality and dedication to be your own boss.
Make a list of the personal qualities that you think are your strongest. What sort of person are you? What is it about your personality that is most helpful?
List your personal limitations. What parts of your personality limit what you can do?
Write down, in detail, exactly what professional skills and experience you bring to the business.
Ask yourself how much risk you’re prepared to take financially and in other areas of the business (first make a list of the ‘other areas’ that you feel are challenging for you)
What are your personal and professional goals?
You will need to plan your professional and personal future and see if your goals are compatible with owning your own business. When answering these questions, be specific and practical.
Write down your personal goals for, say, the first twelve months, then for the next five years. What sort of person do you want to be?
Write down your professional goals for the same time periods. What do you want to achieve as a business person?
Once you’ve answered all these questions you’ll see where your knowledge and experience is valuable to your business and where you’ll have to make up for your shortcomings.
If you’re weak in one area, perhaps you could form a partnership with someone who has those attributes, rather than trying to get those skills yourself.
You should also be able to see how your entrepreneurial desire relates to other important aspects of your life. Does it all add up to what it takes to run a business?