8 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business
Are you truly ready to take the plunge?
Are you wondering if you should start a business? There are many factors that play a part in the decision, so it can be difficult to decide whether or not starting a business is the right decision for you -- and if now is the right time to do it.
Here are eight concepts to consider to help you determine if you should start a business, along with advice about preparing for the business startup process.
One of the best ways to boost the excitement of starting a business and shrink the fear of the unknown is by being prepared. You may not be able to plan for every possibility and challenge that might occur, but you can get yourself on the path to success by considering these five questions before jumping in with both feet:
- Have I set goals, and do I have a plan for reaching them?
- Will I be able to follow my plan without breaking laws or regulations?
- Have I fully considered the financial implications?
- Is my support network in place?
- Do I have what it takes to make it as a business owner?
There are several common and dangerous mistakes many new business owners make that can negatively impact their businesses. Here are 10 of the most common mistakes to avoid as you consider starting a small business:
- Skipping the planning phase
- Not setting SMART goals
- Undervaluing your products or services
- Avoiding new technology
- Being afraid of marketing
- Not knowing who your ideal customer is
- Doing it all alone
- Not making a commitment
Having a business passion is important, but passion alone is not enough to make a new business successful. There are some other critical factors that, when combined with passion, can set you on the path to small business success:
- Setting goals
- Having knowledge, skill, and commitment
- Having a support network
Entrepreneurs today have access to a wealth of knowledge, a variety of support sources and reduced startup costs, but starting a business doesn't come without challenges. There are five common barriers to small business success; you can develop a plan to overcome them:
- No time
- No money
- No health benefits
- No family support
- No courage
When you compare the entrepreneurs behind successful small businesses, a handful of character traits rise to the top. Review these powerful character traits that describe successful small business owners to measure what traits you have that can help you reach success if you start a business.
There are nine personality types of entrepreneurs, based on the 9-point circle of the Enneagram. By identifying your dominant personality theme, you can understand how you will operate in your business and identify areas where you may need to improve.
- The Improver
- The Adviser
- The Superstar
- The Artist
- The Visionary
- The Analyst
- The Fireball
- The Hero
- The Healer
Part of deciding if you should start a business is evaluating and fine-tuning your skills. Free online business training programs are a great way for aspiring small business owners to polish their skills before entering the world of small business ownership. A few examples:
- SBA online small business training
- Kutztown small business development center
- Coursera business courses
- Microsoft Office Training
- My Own Business, Inc.
If you are an aspiring woman small business owner, there are a number of online resources that can help you learn, grow and develop business opportunities. There are numerous resources, including professional organizations, networking groups, informational websites, conferences and events, government organizations, membership clubs, and support groups. Some examples:
- The American Business Women's Association
- Babson's Center for Women Leadership
- The BOSS Network