Working for a monthly pay check suits many people. They like the security of set hours, a regular income, and zero stress once they leave work. The problem with that approach is that you are only ever a cog in a machine. You have very little say over your future and there will always be a ceiling on your future earnings. There is, however, an alternative.
Starting a business is not for everyone. It takes time, effort, money, and a great deal of self-belief. But if you are successful, the rewards are immense. Your income is potentially limitless, so you could end up in the same league as the likes of Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Sam Ovens. Of course, it’s not all a piece of cake. Not everyone is equipped to start a business, but to help you decide if the time is right, here are some indications you are in good shape to become a successful entrepreneur.
Timing is Everything
They say timing is everything, but when it comes to starting a business, it really does matter. Poor timing doesn’t necessarily mean your business is doomed, but if you elect to start a business at the height of an economic recession, or one week before you are due to give birth, the obstacles in your way are going to be a lot higher.
Think about what’s going on in your personal life before you decide to take the plunge and start a business. Entrepreneurship is stressful enough without having to negotiate personal catastrophes at the same time. If your kids are very young, either work around them by starting a home-based business, or wait a year or so. Success is always bittersweet when it comes at the expense of personal happiness, so don’t make the mistake of pouring everything you have into a business, only to end up alone and bereft. It might sound trite, but there really is more to life than work!
How Resilient Are You?
It takes a strong person to start a business. You need to be capable of holding your own with suppliers and customers. You also need to believe in yourself, even when others are telling you your ideas are not viable. Many successful entrepreneurs have encountered rocky times along the path to success. The difference between them and those who fell by the wayside is that they were willing to stare adversity in the face and carry on regardless. If you are the type of person who never quits, no matter how hard it gets, you are ready to start a business.
Don’t overlook the importance of cash. Whilst there are plenty of funding avenues to explore if you have an amazing idea, your business will be in a much stronger position if you self-fund. Relying on outside investment is always a risky proposition. Lenders sometimes withdraw support and investors may have their own agenda, which is not necessarily compatible with your business plan. Starting a business with your own cash means you stay in control from day one. It gives you the freedom to make all of the decisions, which is better for you, and much better for the business.
If you don’t have enough cash, consider taking your idea to a crowdfunding website and asking for outside investment. If nobody bites, it is safe to say your idea might not have legs, but if you are inundated with potential investment enquiries, it’s positive sign.
The Right Idea
You need an idea to start a business. You also need customers. Don’t even think about starting a business until you have done some market research. Find out whether there is a market for your products or services, and whether you can supply them at a cost effective price. It is pointless creating a product if the cost of production is more than the market will bear. Spend time canvassing potential customers and drawing up a business plan. You will need to have every angle covered before you start trading, especially if you need outside funding to get the ball rolling.
If you think you have what it takes to start a business, now is as good a time as any, so what are you waiting for?