Top 5 Questions To Ask Before Starting Your Own Business

Entrepreneur-pictureNo matter where you are or who you are talking to, it seems many people would like to own their own business. People feel that if they owned their own business it would be great because they could make their own hours, or never be told what to do again, or my personal favourite, they feel they could retire early.

As the owner of my own business with more than 30 years of business experience, the last decade of which has been focussed on providing coaching and business advice to small and medium sized businesses, I can tell you there are many wonderful benefits for owning your own business, but business ownership is not for everyone.

Before deciding if owning a business is the right choice for you, you’ll need to take stock of where you are in your life and what type of person you are. Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself which will help you determine if this is the right course for you.

  1. What stage of life are you in? The income you need will depend on whether you are single or have a family to support. A new business may not provide you with the income you need for more than 6 months and sometimes longer.
  2. What business experience do you have? If you’ve had a successful career in the corporate world you have knowledge and skills that will be useful in your business. You can still succeed without any previous business experience, but be prepared to face a steep learning curve.
  3. How do you feel about risk?  Are you totally risk-averse, or can you tolerate at least a low to medium level of risk?  If you lost money or a key account would you be able to bounce back? How do you handle investment losses?
  4. How do you feel about making decisions? As a business owner you will be required to make decisions on a timely basis and sometimes with only partial information. Some of those decisions will turn out to be wrong. Can you accept responsibility for these errors and take the actions necessary to correct them?
  5. How do you feel about sales?  Sales are probably one of the most important aspects of any business, but yet I regularly meet business owners who feel they should have no responsibility for sales in their business. It will be very difficult to start your business without making cold calls, presentations and pitches.  Can you stand in front of people you don’t know and tell them why they should buy what you are selling?

In the coming weeks, I look forward to sharing some advice, tips and industry insights on issues to consider if you are thinking about starting or opening a business.

How About You?
Are you thinking about venturing into the world of business ownership?  If so, what types of questions do you have on your mind?  I look forward to hearing your stories in the comments below.

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