Starting a Business – Questions to Ask

Are you ready to start your own business?

Starting a business takes time, commitment, planning, and resources.  Before jumping into this major life change, ask the questions below:

1) Are you motivated and hungry?

You will do the planning, organizing, find needed funding, develop, market, and manage the business.  You will be the chief cook, bottle washer, and host.

2) Are you a good decision maker?

Small business owners often need to make quick decisions, under pressure, without help, and with no regrets.   Will you make the tough calls when needed or convey confidence to close the sale?  Will you know when either or neither tactic is appropriate?

3) Do you have family support?

Start up businesses can be tough on family.  The first months to years can be financially difficult and take time away from family obligations.  Can your spouse live with a divided partner or your children without as much attention or financial support as before?

4) Do you have the physical stamina?

Running a business often takes half days: 12 hours or more.  Can you mentally, physically, and emotionally deal with that?   Is this schedule maintainable for many months to years?

5) Do you deal well with different people?

Business owners must constantly develop and cultivate relationships with a network of customers, suppliers, bankers, lawyers and more.  Can you deal with a cranky client, pressure from a banker or unreliable vendor when business interests are involved?  If growth plans include international sales or expansion, can you accept and embrace different cultures?

After carefully considering these and many other questions unique to your business niche, will you answer each with a confident yes?  If not, determine where your strengths and weaknesses are and take classes, network with peers or use mentors to help fill in the gaps.  Remember, you are not alone.

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