Are You Ready to Be a Business Owner?
You’ve been thinking about starting your own business for some time now. You’ve been debating on pros and cons, asking yourself if you were ready to become a business owner, calculating the risks involved. You have even played with different names for your company. So, are you ready? Let’s talk about it. Let’s consider different aspects of starting, owning and running a successful business. It will help you make a decision and answer the question: Am I ready?
What’s your business idea?
Every business starts with an idea. Look around you and notice all things in your space now. Everything you see, be it a pencil on your desk, a cup for your tea, a book on a shelf has started as someone’s idea first. It all begins with a concept, with a thought. When you look around you see how amazing it is that all those thoughts somebody once had, materialized as things on your room, ideas in books, etc. So if you have a business idea, don’t dismiss it, see the possibility of it materializing in your life. Treat it seriously and give it attention, then it has a chance of becoming a reality. Spend time with your idea. Consider the following questions: What do I want to offer? Who would my customers be? Why would they want to buy from me? Where do I want to set up my business? How do I want to run it? What profits do I want to produce? You might not have all perfect answers to these questions yet. Sometimes we start out with a vague feeling that working for ourselves and doing what we love is a possibility but we don’t know exactly how it could manifest. Give it time and attention and be willing to get the answers. Start a notebook where you can write down all your ideas, thoughts, questions to be answered, and you will see your business idea emerging and taking shape.
What’s important in it for you? Why are you drawn to it?
Find your inner connection to your business idea. Define for yourself, why you want to do it. Why is it important for you to have this kind of business? What inner values and needs is this business going to serve? In short, how is it going to serve you and will you love it? What are you going to really like about it? What are the aspects of it you are not too crazy about? The more emotionally connected you feel to the idea, the greater a chance of it materializing and being successful. The emotional connection gives the idea the life, opens a possibility. It makes you more receptive to it. It also makes you go back to the idea itself and rework it if necessary to fit your values, tastes, and preferences.
Will it work? How do you do the research?
The biggest question antrepreneurs ask is “Will it work?” The simplest answer is: “Nobody knows for sure”. There is always a risk associated with starting a business. But you can do two things. First, it really helps if you are OK with the risk and accept it as a fact of life. There is always a possibility of things not going according to the plan. The second thing is that you can minimize the risks by doing the due diligence such as market research, financial planning and projections, writing a business plan. See if anybody else is doing what you want to do or something similar. How successful are they? What makes them successful? Research Internet for similar businesses. Contact their owners and ask them questions about how they run it. I find that when you are ready for the answers, people are very willing to give them to you. Join professional organizations that will put you in contact with other business owners in your industry. If your idea is very unique, test your target market (your prospective customers) on their readiness for your products or services. Ask your friends to be a focus group if appropriate. Will the market research answer all your questions? Probably no, but you will be much more in ther knowing about the market and its possibilities.
Do you have the necessary experience? Is it crucial that you do?
You need knowledge and/or experience in two things – your specific industry and in running a business. Both the industry specific and business experience come from working at the similar business to the one you want to establish. It’s very helpful if you’ve had a chance of observing a similar business in operation. But, I have known very successful business owners who jumped into industries totally new for them and were able to create a tremendous success. So the question is how much experience do you need? Can you substitute it or supplement it with knowledge from books, courses, and school? If so, how do you need to educate yourself? Answer these questions honestly and see what you have to do to feel that you have what it takes.
The risks involved in owning a business versus not going for your dream.
Nobody can really foresee all the risks associated with opening a new business. Ask yourself this: Am I going to regret it in 5 years if I don’t do it? Answer this question honestly and it will give you a meaningful clue as to how important this business is for you. On a scale from 1 to 10, how unhappy are you going to be in a few years if you decide not to go for your dream? It might be that you would be at 2 or 3. In that case, I would go back to your business idea and examine it to see how it fits with your life purpose, inner values, and desires. If you are 5 and above, weigh the risks of starting the business versus the risks of not going for it and feeling unfulfilled, unhappy and not living on purpose. The choice is your, but remember that the price we pay for stability and a “peaceful” life is sometimes much higher in terms of stress of feeling unfulfilled.
Timeline and action plan.
So, are you ready? If the answer is yes, get into action. Write out a plan for yourself. List all the things that need to happen before you quit your job and dive into your own endeavor. They might include such items as take a course at a local college, talk to other business owners, research Internet, and hire a business coach. Decide what you are going to tackle first, what’s important, what’s a priority. Create a timetable to keep yourself on track and accountable. Once you commit yourself to action, the providence will move too and the Universe will supply you with whatever you need: the right teachers, opportunities, and contacts. When you say yes to your dream, your dream will say yes to you.
Business Success Coach