preparing to launch

Don't Start Your Small Business Before Asking Yourself These 10 Questions

Are you thinking about starting a business, but are unsure if being your own boss is right for you? In addition to offering the freedom to control your destiny, running your own company brings many responsibilities.

To determine if starting a company is right for you, it helps to take a close look at what motivates and excites you about entrepreneurship. Before venturing out on your own to start a business, ask yourself the following questions.

1. Can I live with uncertainty?

When you're an entrepreneur, every day is uncharted, sometimes rocky territory. If you're the type of person who requires a predictable, set routine devoid of drama, the unpredictability of starting a business may not be a good fit.

While you can and should schedule your days as a business owner, it's essential to be prepared for anything. If the idea of anticipating what might come your way at the start of each day excites you, then entrepreneurship could be your dream job.

2. Do I have a viable business idea?

Excitement for your idea is a definite plus, but that's not enough. For a successful business, the concept must be marketable, saleable, and easily replicated. It's imperative that you do market research to ensure customers exist who will embrace your product or service and that you can monetize it effectively.

Check to see if other businesses are offering the same or similar products or services. Determine how your business will be different or better and what you can do to stand out from the crowd.

3. Do I have access to the necessary funding to start a company?

If you have little to no capital to start your business, it won't be easy to get your company off the ground. You need startup capital to get things moving. These funds could come from various sources, including an angel investor, private loans, business loans, or your own personal savings.

Calculate startup costs when deciding to open a business. The process involves identifying your startup expenses and then estimating their costs.

4. Do I have time to build and maintain the business?

Running your own business takes time. Like many would-be entrepreneurs, you may be planning to start a business on the side until it's making enough money that you can quit your day job. This can be a viable approach, providing you have enough time to do everything it takes to run your new company. If there aren't enough hours in the day and week, your new business is likely to falter.

Some entrepreneurs find that working with a partner makes it possible to successfully launch a business. That way, you can both contribute hours to the growth of the company. If you have the funds, consider hiring a part-time employee to cover the business while you're unavailable.

5. Is this business something I want to devote years to?

Think ahead five to 10 years or more, and picture yourself working in your business. Can you see yourself pleased with the work you're doing a decade from now? Is there any aspect of the business that you might tire of after a while? Are you willing to devote most of your waking hours to your specialty? Answering these questions honestly now will help you avoid signing on to a business that becomes a burden later.

6. Do I have the necessary drive and determination to go the distance?

Successful entrepreneurs will tell you that running your own business takes immense amounts of motivation, energy, and stamina. Being a business owner isn't a sprint — it's a marathon. You are (hopefully) in it for the long haul.

Are you the type of person who keeps working on a project until it's done to your satisfaction? Entrepreneurship involves many long days and nights. You'll likely miss sleep and find it necessary to skip some social events.

7. Am I a leader?

As the boss of your company, leadership skills are critical. You will need to lead your employees and direct suppliers and vendors. If you have a hard time "bossing people around," you'll have to overcome this difficulty before starting your own business.

As the company leader, you will be the person everyone turns to for answers. That means having the ability to quickly and expediently provide direction and make decisions.

8. Am I good at sales?

Regardless of what type of business you start, you must constantly and consistently advocate for yourself and your company. As the company's creator and head marketer, it's up to you to ensure sales.

If you dislike selling and tooting your own horn, starting your own business may not be a wise choice. On the other hand, if you are confident in your services and products, promoting your work can be highly rewarding.

9. Are there legal issues to consider?

Depending on what type of business you start, you may need to consult with a lawyer. If you're considering a business with potential liabilities, it's also a good idea to set up an appointment with a business attorney. Discovering any potential legal risks and costs before starting your business can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

10. Have I written a solid business plan?

All the enthusiasm in the world won't get you where you need to go without a roadmap. Writing a business plan helps you distill your ideas so that you can make your dream of owning your own company a reality.

An effective business plan includes marketing and action plans and financial statements and projections. Taking a close look at all these factors will help you spot problems that you can address before launching.

If you decide running a business is right for you, Swyft Filings is here to help. We're ready to assist small businesses every step of the way, from providing helpful tips on starting your new business to setting up an LLC to protect your assets. We'll handle the paperwork, so you have more time to focus on getting your fantastic new business off the ground.  

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