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Are You Ready?

Do you know who your customers will be and what sets you apart from your competition? Are you prepared to work for over a year without getting a day off? What is your personal credit history?

These are some of the many questions entrepreneurs need to be prepared to answer when deciding whether to start a new business. The best way to increase your chance of success is to find out as much as possible before you start your business. Investing the time to learn what is actually involved in running a business will increase your chances of success.

Talk to successful business owners and be sure to have a realistic understanding of the financial, time management, and organizational resources needed to be a successful business owner. Rather than focusing on the daunting figures of business failures, understand the very real demands of operating a business.

In reviewing your motivation and readiness to start a business, evaluate issues including:

  • What has motivated you to start your own business?
  • What personal characteristics do you have that will help you as a business owner?
  • What characteristics do you not possess that are important to the success of your business and how will you address this?
  • Can you describe your product or service and why a customer would want it?
  • What does the market look like for your product or service?
  • Who will your customers be and how much information do you have about them?
  • What competitors offer similar products or services?
  • What experience do you have and what experience do you lack?
  • What is your personal financial position?
  • What are the projected startup costs?
  • What are the projected revenues and sales?

An honest examination of these questions will give you a sense of how prepared you are to start a business. Certain skills and experience are critical to the success of a business. Knowing which skills you possess and which you will need to hire others to provide will be helpful in structuring a successful company.