Starting and managing a small business is difficult. Do you have all that it takes to be successful in both the startup stage and the longer term?
In small business you are constantly subjected to mental strain.
You need to have a solid physical constitution because you may find yourself working greater hours than you ever did as an employee.
You need to handle uncertainty and anxiety and, if you make mistakes, you will need to accept the repercussions.
All that and no absolute guarantee you will even be successful!
The honest truth of the matter is that there are definitely many risks and rewards in regard to operating your own business.
You could start a small business and find two or three years down the track that your investment has gone up in smoke.
However, if you are actually suited to operating a business, you may find that it is one of the most amazing and fulfilling things you do in your life.
You can control your own destiny in a way that you never would as an employee.
If you succeed, you will have the satisfaction of carving out a place of your own in the business world.
And you may well find yourself wealthier than you otherwise would have been.
So, do you have what it takes to launch a small business?
Your initial step in becoming an entrepreneur really should be to evaluate yourself.
Can you accept the risks and the hard work? Are you the kind of individual who will be satisfied by the rewards offered as a result of running a business?
There have been a lot of studies of small business people that come up with different suggestions about just what makes them tick and what features they have in common that makes them successful in business.
They identify a number of very obvious things like; entrepreneurs as individuals commonly tend not to like taking orders– they definitely prefer being their own boss; that they are high-energy people; that they are enthusiastic about their enterprise; that they have the tendency to be sociable– which helps when it comes to marketing and selling of course; and they are self-contained and can work long periods in solitude and with no back up.
More than that, these people are resilient, can cope with rejection and failure and still come back for another shot.
They possess mental endurance and can exercise good judgment under stress.
They are firm decision-makers, but tend to act only after exhaustively examining all their options.
They are not gamblers – they will take risks, yet only after doing everything possible to maximize the odds in their own favor.
Now, that is quite a list of traits, but it’s still only half the story.
The other half is motivation – is it so strong that it will keep you going through the most difficult times?
You might be driven by your own character to want to start your own business but other people are driven to start up their own business as a result of external pressures.
They may be discouraged by their employer’s promotion policy, as an example.
They might feel that they are not really being paid according to their performance or perhaps their job may place excessive time constraints on them.
They may like to be in a position to determine when and where they work.
The main point to bear in mind is that not all motivations showcase the kind of active drive that compels successful business people – it’s not as simple as just ‘feeling’ that it’s right for you or even that it would be preferable to what you are doing currently.
Being half-hearted is no way to go into business – you have to be very driven to be able to put in the effort that will be demanded.
Once you decide that you do have what it takes to go into business, there are 5 things you will want to do to ensure you have the greatest chance of success.
1. Make sure there is a market for your product/service and develop your unique business idea. You should understand what you are going to sell, who you are going to sell it to and why they would want to buy it from you. To do that you will need to understand your market place, your customers and your competitors.
2. Assess the financial feasibility of your start-up by looking at your launch costs, your sales estimates, your fixed and variable costs and most importantly, how these numbers come together to identify your break even point.
3. Create a business plan that records everything you have discovered in the first two steps and sets out your business strategy for success.
4. Make up your mind how to you are going to finance your start up company and use the business plan to approach your selected financier.
5. Be aware of the legal prerequisites for starting a business and make a decision on what structures you will use to run the business venture.
All you need to do now is add the final ingredient of success– the guts to make a start and implement your plan.
The entrepreneurial spirit is what makes our world a fantastic place to live, and I encourage you to follow your dreams for small business success, from startup to highly profitable business sale.