By Alyssa Gregory

To Be or Not to Be…A Business Owner

By Alyssa Gregory

questionThis is the first post in a series on starting a business.

Many entrepreneurs know early in their lives that owning a business is their calling, even if they don’t see it to fruition immediately. For others, it’s more of a gradual discovery that happens as a result of their life experiences. Both groups, though, have the same issues to think about when they decide to become business owners.

The first step of the process usually involves self-analysis and an honest look at your situation, lifestyle and goals. Here are some specific questions to ask yourself as you get started.

  • Am I financially secure?
  • Do I have a plan for maintaining my finances while I get my business off the ground?
  • Do I have the funds needed to launch my business?
  • Do I know enough about the industry I’m considering entering?
  • Do I know what kind of research I need to do before launching a business in this industry?
  • What will I do about healthcare?
  • Will I be able to wear many hats and do a little bit of everything, at least in the beginning?
  • Am I passionate about the work I will be doing?
  • Am I willing and able to work (a lot)?
  • Am I independent and determined?
  • Am I able to make decisions?
  • Do I have a track record of following through on things I start?
  • Do I have the support of my family?
  • Am I flexible and able to go with the flow?
  • Do I have a basic understanding of accounting, marketing and sales?
  • Do I have good communication skills?
  • Am I resilient and thick-skinned?
  • Am I creative and open-minded?
  • Am I confident and self-assured?
  • Am I willing to take risks?
  • Am I willing to make sacrifices?
  • Am I able to ask for help when I need it?
  • Am I able to delegate?
  • Can I see the big picture?

These questions can provide a great starting point, but even with the most in-depth scrutiny, whether or not you’re cut out for business ownership isn’t always black and white. And you may not have a definitive answer until you’ve taken the plunge. You may be great at one kind of business and miserable in another. You may thrive in one area of business ownership and struggle somewhere else.

Your goal should be to gather as much information as you can in order to make educated decisions and take calculated risks. You won’t be perfect across the board, but you should be able to create a balance between what you’re good at and what you’re not, what you like doing and what you can’t stand.

Are you considering starting a business? What are some of the biggest concerns you have?


Image credit: svilen001

  • Are you able to sell?
    Are you able to find customers, get your foot in the door (get someone with buying power interested in your product or service), and close a deal (ask for the money)?
    It is a good idea to research sales (i.e. building a funnel, cold calling, networking) and creating a plan on getting customers. Getting some sales experience is important, since you will probably be the only sales person working for your company in the beginning.
    I think when you are ready to take the plunge that it is a good idea to talk about your career goals with your current employer before giving your resignation. You need to be prepared to be out of work, but this way your employer might appreciate the heads up, and you might even be able to work on a plan that helps both you and your current employer. There are many people who find that their first customer is their previous employer.

    Frank Forte

  • the problem is that a lot of businesses are launched as a result of being laid off – meaning that they are created when the owner is least financially secure. Its more out of financial desperation rather than financial security to provide ongoing investment into the company.

  • Zoe Feast

    Great post and I wonder how many new business owners ask themselves these questions. I think having the determination and independence are key, that and a lack of fear to deal with anything that comes your way. No one says its easy but the rewards are great.

  • Also, surround yourself within networks and people that can assist you.

  • Great points.

    @Frank – Yes, if there is a possibility of transitioning your current position with your current employer into your business, it can be a great thing. I know many small business owners who were able to do this — it can be a good way to bridge the gap between working for someone else and working for yourself.

    @Web-Development – This is true, and really emphasizes the importance of having a financial plan.

    @Zoe – Yes, the rewards are definitely worth the hard work that goes into starting a business!

    @BJ – I think social networks give small business owners much more of a fighting chance for survival. It’s so much easier to find help and support now if you take advantage of the resources available.

  • MrVen

    I would say, its purely based on the individual mindset. A go or no-go decision has to be taken during the starting point and once if a strong decision is made to start, then we should not see back. Yeah…asking such questions may help to take wise decisions.

    MrVen from Anatomy of Online Business.

  • efovargue

    I think some people are natural ‘business people’ and some aren’t. If you care passionately about the work you do, it is hard to delegate to others and grow the business

  • purencool

    You are right I have been in business for seven years and it has
    been a slow proccess but after having a good look at my business
    I realised that my issue is marketing and sales segementation.
    This is really important. It has change my life. The way I develop
    sites are completely different now.

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