Being an entrepreneur may look glamorous from the outside, but starting your own business is not only a career choice it is a lifestyle choice. There are many important things to ask yourself during the decision making process. Remember to ask yourself these important questions before you take the plunge.
1) Can you handle being chief, cook, and bottle washer? Being a small business owner means you have to be prepared to do and be everything while you get your business off the ground. It will be a luxury, you cannot afford, to hire others to do work you could do yourself. While you are filling multiple roles, that means that there will not be many hours left in the day for things you need to do like eating and sleeping, let alone spending time with family.
2) Who is on your starting lineup? You need a team: friends, friends with skills, mentors and industry insiders. You will need people to give you sound advice, encouragement, support and help. In the early days, you may not be able to afford to pay for this advice. It might be wise to pour as much money back into the business as possible.
3) What is your plan? Building a business takes vision and careful planning. Do your research, strategize on how to attract customers, adapt your plan when it is not working then repeat. Research says that 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. You will have to adapt if you want to last. "Be stubborn about your goals and flexible about your methods.\" - Unknown
4) Can you handle getting knocked down over and over and over again? The most successful business people know how to deal with failure. Thomas Edison famously stated regarding the invention of the light bulb, "I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that won’t work."
5) Can you (and your family) handle the financial insecurity that comes with being an entrepreneur? The days of knowing what day you are getting paid will be over, at least in the near term. Getting your company afloat may require any and every resource you can put your hands on. Getting to that break-even point will be a win, profitability ... a major victory.
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