Are You Ready to Start a Business? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

Are You Ready to Start a Business? 4 Questions to Ask Yourself

by Bilal Kaiser, October 2014

The life of an entrepreneur sounds pretty amazing: setting your own hours, answering to yourself and making lots of money. But as any small business owner will tell you, starting your own business is not all puppies and rainbows.

If you’re considering leaving your day job to start your own business, or are just curious about what it takes to go out on your own, here are four broad questions to think about. They’re not necessarily steps to starting a business, but questions to ponder as you explore the possibility.

1. Are you comfortable with financial insecurity?

Launching a startup business is quite demanding financially. In addition to your initial investment into the project, you’ll have to pay for everything from the office building to the printer paper—which may present a challenge to your personal finances or savings. Before you launch your startup, make sure you have enough money saved up to last you several months on your own and that you’d be OK with minimum (or even nonexistent) income from time to time.

2. Do you have a solid A-Team?

A lot of budding entrepreneurs want to learn how to start a company to be independent, but oftentimes haven’t thought about the team they’ll need to build for a successful venture. This, of course, includes future employees, industry contacts and past colleagues who can consult about areas of the business with which you’re not familiar, but should also include friends and loved ones you can turn to for ongoing help.

Friends can help with everything from bouncing around the name of your business start up to testing products and features, to giving advice or offering emotional support during especially challenging times. You’ll also want to identify some sort of mentor, perhaps a family member who has been successful at starting a new business.

3. Do you have a plan?

In addition to a solid business plan, you need to have a clear vision and understanding of how you’ll attract customers and investors. Plus you’ll have to think about how your company will be incorporated, what the go-to-market strategy will be, how your business will grow in the long-term, etc.

And perhaps most importantly, your research should make you feel confident that there’s a demand for your product. “As the people behind any number of failed Internet ventures will tell you, ‘cool’ doesn't necessarily translate into ‘profitable,’” says Joseph Anthony on the Microsoft blog. “Don't bother building it if you haven't figured out whether there's a good chance the customers will come.”

4. Can you handle dealing with setback after setback and dwindling resources with no end in sight?

If there’s one trait that every successful entrepreneur has, it’s resilience. Launching your own business and relying only on yourself is an incredibly exhilarating—yet daunting—idea. The reality is that startups fail all the time. But those leaders that get back up and tackle their next challenge are the ones who are successful. Don’t be discouraged by the challenges that come your way; find a way around them and prove to yourself that you can start your own business.

Still there? If the above questions haven’t scared you, you just might be ready to introduce the world to your big idea. And if you’re unsure about the best time to get started, consider this bit of advice from Les Mckeown’s entrepreneurship article on Inc.: “There is no ‘right time’ to launch a new business…The ‘right time’ is when you're ready—no more, no less… Launch when you can't not launch, and don't get hung up on the externals.”

Ready to launch your next business venture? Get help deciding which business structure may be right for your business. Or talk to an attorney or accountant through the LegalZoom business legal plan.

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