You trust yourself to start a business, right?

Being your own boss can be an attractive idea, allowing you more freedom and more control over your life. There can be a lot of benefits to starting your own business, but it isn’t for everyone. The workload and the stress associated with keeping a business running can be overwhelming for even the most experienced entrepreneurs – statistically speaking more new businesses fail than succeed -. To make an informed decision, there are important things to consider.

People start businesses for all kinds of reasons, not just because they have a great world-changing idea. Other reasons can include:

  • To be self-sufficient – to work in a way that gives you more control over your life, including work hours, your pay and job security. Many people start a business to have more freedom in their lives even though a large percentage of businesses fail.
  • Unlimited earnings – your earning capacity is limited only by your success at building a profitable company. Wouldn’t you pay yourself more if given the opportunity?
  • Necessity – permanent employment no longer means permanent, and the unreliable job market has made finding a job that makes you happy difficult at best (near impossible at worst). When you work for yourself, you’re guaranteed a job.
  • A change – some people are seeking a break from the nine-to-five grind, some are looking for a new challenge. Starting a business can be fulfilling in a way that makes you happy to go to work in the morning.

To help you determine if starting your own business is the right decision for you, ask yourself the following questions. Answer honestly and completely.

1. Why do I want to start a business? Name three of your primary factors.
2. What kind of business do you want? Most businesses fit into one of the following categories; a home business, an online business, a brick-and-mortar business – a combination of online and brick-and-mortar, or a location independent business.
3. Do you want to sell products or services? The two are very different. A service business requires a lot less in terms of upstart capital. A product business requires product design, development, manufacturing, etc.
4. What are you really good at? Name your key personal strengths. The goal is not to be a jack of all trades. Your goal is to hire people to fill in the gaps within your own skill set.
5. What do you actually enjoy doing every day? Can you make that a viable business? If you enjoy writing, you could start your own blog. If you don’t want to start your own blog, you could become a freelance write for other blogs or websites. If you are really good at writing, you could teach others to write. The point is to think creatively about what you enjoy doing and see if you can translate it to a business.
6. Do you perform better individually or as part of a team? You could build a successful lifestyle business working by yourself. But if you would rather work as part of a team, you might want to start a business with a couple of business partners.
7. Are you ready to commit the time and resources a successful business requires? When you build a business from scratch, you will spend more hours, days, weeks, and months than you have previously thought. Building a business takes a long term commitment. Are you ready to stick with your business for years?
8. Are you healthy enough, physically and emotionally, to start a new business? If you are having health problems, starting a business is most likely a bad idea. The only time would I suggest that you do it if you have no other way to support yourself.
9. Do you have a support system in place? It is important to get your life organized around your business.
10. How will it affect your family? If you have two toddlers at home, and a third on the way, it might be better to hold off on starting your business. Although, many stay at home moms and dads have built successful home businesses.
11. Do you have the knowledge and experience to manage the day-to-day operations of a business? As an entrepreneur, you will do tasks that you have never done before. You have to think about which entity. Check out our article on finding the best entity for your business.
12. Are you knowledgeable about the technology associated with the business? If not, do you have the motivation to learn the skills you don’t have? You don’t have to be a geek, but you have to get comfortable with technology such as running a WordPress website.
13. Are you open to new ideas? Being an entrepreneur is about trying new things. If you are open to it great if not, entrepreneurship will be an uphill battle for you.
14. Is your education and experience relevant to and sufficient for the business niche you are going after? I recommend starting a business that builds on what you already know.
15. What sacrifices and risks are you willing to take for a successful business? There is a lot you can do to reduce risk in business, but, no matter how careful you are, there are inherent risks with owning your business.
16. What are your financial goals? Before you start your business have a clear dollar amount in mind. How much money does your business have to earn to support your lifestyle? What is the minimum dollar amount you need? Anything over that amount is great.
17. How will you support yourself and your family while building your business? You must have enough savings to support you while your business takes off. Starting a business starts long before you open the doors. You might have to have an aggressive saving campaign a couple of years before you are ready to start a business.
18. Do you honestly believe this business can work? No one can really predict business success, but an honest assessment helps. Have you done your homework? Did you do all the prep work necessary?
19. Is your business idea unique? How can you beat competing businesses? Check out the competition. What are you doing to differentiate your business from theirs? What can you do better than your competition?
20. What makes your business sustainable? A sustainable business focuses less on short-term profits and more on building long-term value for its clients.

No one can decide for you whether or not to start a business, but if you’re honest with your answers and with yourself, you’ll be a lot closer to answering it for yourself.