Is Starting a Business Right for You?

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This is the ultimate question for working moms. Once you become a mom and the idea of having to go back to work becomes real, moms go through a lot of stress and anxiety. Most would like to stay with their babies but also continue to work. And as moms know this is the challenge of the modern day woman – how do you reconcile your need to mother with your desire to continue working? One alternative to this dilemma is to start your own business. The idea of starting a business is something that appeals to many people. But not everyone is suited to being a business owner. If the idea appeals to you, you need to ask yourself whether you could really be a successful business owner.

Lots of people think this is what they want, but generally only a very small percentage of them actually have the determination to do it. Long working hours and financial insecurity are just two of the factors that make people stop and think; and then continue working in a job where set hours and a guaranteed salary or wage provide security.

But one of the most appealing factors about being a business owner is that there is no selection process and you don’t have to qualify for a position in the business. The only fitness check you’re going to have to face initially will be whether you can raise the money required to start a business.

But before you start your own business, there are some very simple questions you should ask yourself to assess whether this is in fact the right route for you. Only you can answer these questions, and you need to do so honestly. If starting a business IS right for you, then you can take the next step and begin working on all the other elements from creating a business plan to launching the business.

Do you have the discipline to work on your own unsupervised?

While not all employees are subjected to constant supervision, only those in upper management will make decisions and oversee staff. When you have your own business, the buck stops with you. Even if you hire qualified people to perform certain roles and undertake specific functions, nobody’s going to be telling you what to do and when.
This might sound great – and indeed it can be – but if you don’t have the discipline to work on your own without supervision, this could be your downfall. Whether you are the only person involved the business, or you have a team to work with you, if you don’t have the discipline to keep regular hours and get the work done (or ensure that others are doing it) your business will probably fail. To start a business you need to be motivated, determined, and willing to persevere, especially when you are going through the start up phase during which you will probably not be making any money.

How much money does it take to start a business?

One of the reasons a business plan is so important is that it evaluates how much money is needed to start, run and maintain a new business until it is self sufficient and profitable. After all, there’s not much point in starting a new business if it is not going to bring financial rewards. There will always be initial setup costs and running costs, and these will vary enormously, depending on the business. The most basic of these will usually be rental for offices, capital for equipment, and wages for staff (unless of course you are on your own and working from home on the Internet). If you are selling something, be it goods or services, these will come with a cost that must be factored into your start-up and running costs. Only you – with the help of the people you trust and/or employ – can ascertain how much money it’s going to take to start up your new business. You can’t suck it out of your thumb. Only once you have calculated elements like market share, break-even and projected cash-flow figures will you start to get an idea of the money you are going to need.

How much risk are you willing to run in order to start a business?

One thing about entrepreneurship is that to succeed, it is necessary to take calculated risks. The question is what kind of risks are you likely to face? And What form will these take? There are various types of risks that you need to consider, such as, the ones out of your control like a fire or flood and risks involving human error. Whether you are planning to launch a small entrepreneurial business or a major corporation, there will always be some kind of risk involved that you should consider.

What will it be like in the day-to-day operation of a business?

When you apply for a job in someone else’s business, you will usually have a good idea of what the job entails, and therefore what your daily routine is likely to involve. But this is often not the case when a new business is launched. While you will have daily tasks that will need to be done, and objectives that will need to be reached, it may be difficult to plan accurately, and to stick to that plan. Indeed every day may be different for a long while. Actually, the reality is that very few businesses run smoothly, without any hitches. In fact it is said that one in every new business fails in its first year; and after three years, only one in three is still operating. So you will need to be flexible and be aware of the important tasks that need to be done in order for your business to run smoothly.

What rewards you can look forward to if you succeed?

It doesn’t matter what type of business you start, your goal is to make it a success and achieve financial freedom. Yes, it will be hard because there are many things to consider and many unknowns, but the rewards outweigh the risks – think of it like this, in your business, you work for you and only you are responsible for your success; yes, it could go bad or it could do really well. The odds can be in your favor or against you, but you drive them. In a regular 9 to 5, you have no control and the odds are always against you because no matter how much effort you put into a job, it doesn’t belong to you, and the company can let go of you at any time if need be.

If you answered honestly these key questions, then you have a pretty good idea if starting a business is right for you. If it is – and I hope that’s the case – good luck to you, and may the odds be in your favor.