5 Questions Every Would-Be Entrepreneur Should Answer Before Starting a Business
Thinking of starting a business? Not only is there a lot of paperwork to fill out and decisions to make, but there are also questions you need to ask yourself to determine whether you’re really cut out for business ownership. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart; it takes soul, passion, and even bravery. Ask yourself these questions to see if you’re ready for the journey ahead.
- Do you have an “entrepreneurial mindset?”
There’s no roadmap for running a successful business. Sure, you can look at those who have done so before you, but you also need to thrive in a state of mind that can handle chaos, disruption, and quick changes. Having an entrepreneurial mindset means you aren’t afraid of challenges, and you can find innovative solutions to problems.
- Does risk scare you?
By nature of running a business, you need to not be risk averse. You can’t freak out every time you face an obstacle. Trust me: there will be many. You may not know how you will pay your staff when you, yourself haven’t been paid by clients. You may be faced with a flood of orders and no inventory to fill it.
As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to handle these situations with grace. You need to be able to think quickly on your feet to come up with the best decision for your company, not freeze in fear.
- What’s the big picture here?
If you just want to start a business because you hate your boss or have another situation you’re trying to run away from, becoming an entrepreneur is not the solution. You need to want to move toward something, namely running this business for the foreseeable future. Can you imagine your life as a business owner in 5, 10, 30 years? If not, ask yourself what your real reasons for wanting to start a business are.
- Do you see yourself as a leader?
You may or may not have employees in your business, but you need to feel confident in your ability to lead others, either way. That confidence will carry through to how your customers see you, and if you do hire employees, will help you run a competent team.
If you’ve never managed people before, don’t worry. You can take leadership courses and teach yourself the skills you need. And many entrepreneurs simply learn this skill through practice.
- Can you see yourself doing anything else?
True entrepreneurs answer this question with a confident “No!” Running a business in a particular field is all they want out of life, and can’t see themselves in any other role. They live for their passion, and they enjoy helping people every day.
The answers to these questions should give you some insight into whether you’re ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
About the author
Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. Forbes magazine named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She is the author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months, 2nd Edition.