Do you have what it takes to start your own business?
Ever thought about casting off the shackles of the nine to five and ditching the boss? Before you resign in a blaze of glory ask yourself these ten questions.
Do I have discipline?
So you are now the boss, whilst this is undeniably a wonderful thing, it means that the responsibility is now all yours! You need to have the discipline to do what needs to be done without the structure of an office and the beady eye of a boss. You need to be able to set your own deadlines and stick to them, particularly in the early days when you don’t have the momentum and structure of existing clients. You are the only one who can make it happen.
Do I have resilience?
When you first start up a solo venture you will have a fair few knockbacks: initial meetings that go nowhere, exciting prospects that don’t quite materialise, and lean times. You need to have the resilience to get up and keep going even when it’s the last thing you feel like doing.
Am I decisive?
As your own boss you’ll need to be competent at making decisions, because you’re the only one who can make them. Sometimes it’s favourable to make a decision even if you don’t have all the answers yet, because indecision is paralysing for a business. You have to keep moving forward.
"No one has all the answers. Check your ego at the door and get the help you need to be successful."
Can I set boundaries?
This question encompasses elements of the previous three. When you run a solo business it can be very difficult to separate you and the business.
You need discipline to set boundaries, whether that is to create a separate work space in the house so you can “leave” work each day, or to set aside time that is sacred to you and your family.
You need resilience so that business knockbacks don’t affect you personally. And you need decisiveness so that you don’t constantly worry about issues that require a decision.
To do all of the above, you need to set clear boundaries for yourself.
Want more articles like this? Check out the business start up section.
Do I ask for help when I need it?
No one has all the answers. Check your ego at the door and get the help you need to be successful. The Flying Solo forums are a great place to start if you need to reach out for help.
Am I comfortable multitasking?
You need to wear different hats within the business, especially in the early days. You need to get comfortable with financials, sales and marketing, business planning and so much more.
What is my appetite for risk?
However rock solid your business idea, there is always going to be an element of risk when starting out on your own. If you are the kind of person who frequently loses sleep over uncertainty or risky situations, you need to consider whether starting your own business is the healthiest decision.
You also need to learn how to effectively tackle the manageable risks within the business from a financial and operational perspective.
Do I have the financial resources?
Have you made a solid financial plan, both for the business and for your personal situation? It’s essential to make sure that you have some room to move on both plans because there will be unexpected costs and no guarantee of quick incoming revenue.
Do I have the support network?
A support network is as important as financial resources, if not more important. Do your family support your plans? Do you have some cheerleaders, trusted mentors or other people who you can lean on in tough times?
Do I have a touch of blind faith?
There will always be people who tell you it’s too hard to start your own business or that it will never work. But once you have a robust plan in place you need to filter out the negative opinions. It’s important to keep your confidence up, particularly in the early days.
If you can answer “yes” to most of the previous questions, now may be the time to make the leap. What are you waiting for?
What questions are you asking yourself before starting your own business? Or as a business owner, what advice would you give to others?