What to Consider Before Starting a Business

Why do you want your own business?

“Because I hate my current boss” isn’t enough reason to make the decision to start a business. Consider other possible reasons. For example, is it that you would prefer to be your own boss; that you think you can make more money working for yourself; that you want more flexibility in your working hours; that you have a great idea for a service or particular goods? You do need to be really clear on your own motivations for starting your own business. 

Are you the type of person to tackle a business?

Can you handle the pressure, people and hard work, are you ok with a challenge or informed risk? Do you understand the requirements and the personal costs, such as time, effort and stress, that may be involved? Are you attentive to detail, able to keep accurate books and records, manage your time and manage people? Would you be able to cope with the needs of an expanding business? 

Do you understand the business you have in mind?

Please don’t go in blind! It is not enough to see that others are succeeding in that business. Have you researched the type of business you’d like to own to determine what it entails? Have you investigated the costs, income, and legal requirements of this business? Do your research first before committing money and energy. 

What are your chances for success?

Do you have the relevant skills and/or knowledge, or can you easily get them? Have you studied the local market, visited local competitors to determine the need for that kind of business? What will you offer that will make your business stand out from the others. Do your research. Do a feasibility study, and talk to people already in the business. Also, do not assume that you are smarter or more skilled than others who have tried that business and failed. Maybe they can teach you something. 

Can you afford to start?

Have you the capital, the proposed income, etc? Do you have a fall-back option if the business does not prosper (e.g. your partner or spouse has an income)? 

Your priority should be to find out as much as possible about any potential business before starting, and assess your own strengths and weaknesses with that information in mind. 

Try answering the questions above

You will need a pen and paper! Think about your future business plans and answer:

  • Why do you want your own business?
  • Are you the type of person to tackle a business? 
  • Do you understand the business you have in mind? 
  • What are your chances of success?
  • Can you afford to start your own business?