Am I Ready To Start My Own Business?
You may be going to a job that you dislike every day, or you want a change in your life. You think you are ready to start your own business, but you aren’t 100% sure.
Here is a list of things you should be able to say yes to, before going ‘all-in’ with your business.
You are able to make tough decisions
Running a business is all about making hard decisions. When you get to the big times, you will have to decide between certain types of debt instruments or choosing to outsource your marketing. For now, you will have to make smaller, but still significant decisions. You may have to choose between letting a problematic customer go or keeping that revenue. Either way, you have to be prepared to make hard decisions almost every day. If you are ready for that, you can start your own business.
You’ve saved at least 12 months of expenses
Listen to us carefully; you will not replace your income in less than a year. Unless your employer was paying you a salary that was already below the poverty line, you won’t replace it. You will be poor in your first year of business. That is not to say that you won’t have an income, but you won’t have the same coin rolling in as you did from a regular job. When you start your own business, you will need to have some savings to tide you over in the slow months. For example, if you are starting a retail store in March, you will need your savings to keep you afloat until the busy summer season. You will need it again right before Christmas (October) and for sure in January!
Remember, there is no shame in working part-time to steady your income flow. Just make sure you budget well.
Here are some great budgeting sites:
You are prepared to ‘go without’
This brings us to our next point. You have to be ready to go without some luxuries when you are starting a business. You may have to skip wine nights with the girlfriends or pass up those cute shoes that are on sale. Remember, you don’t have a steady income yet, and you need to reinvest back into your business for it to grow.
Here are a few things you probably should give up when starting a business
- New clothing
- Lunches and dinners out (unless it is a business meeting)
- Excessing driving (gas adds up!)
- Manicures and Pedicures
You realize there will be ups and downs
You know that starting a business isn’t all sunshine, roses, client meetings, and Instagram worthy photos. There are going to be a tonne of days that suck – big time – and you know it. Building a business is hard, it’s not glam, it fricken sucks. However, there are loads of wins that you will have (even if they are hard to see right away).
If you realize that there are a lot of hills and valleys on the entrepreneurship road, then you are ready to start your own business!
You have a bit of traction
You aren’t planning on quitting your job and starting from scratch. By this point, you already have a bit of traction in your business. You may have a paying client or two by now, or people are reacting well to your products. You have a bit of an income, and you can tell that there is a good ‘product-market fit.’ Maybe people are starting to recognize your brand, or you have made lots of sales at every market you have gone to. If you can feel the momentum, you may be ready to quit your day job!
You have researched your ideal target market
Before you quit your job and start your own business, you already know who your perfect client is. You might have discovered who she is through your existing clients, or you may have created a customer avatar through research. Either way, you know that you cannot be all things to all people. You have your niche, and you are sticking to it!
Note: Ideally, your ideal target market is someone that can afford and appreciate your goods (re: product-market fit). You may want to help low-income people have timeless art in their homes, but maybe they can’t afford your original artwork. Perhaps they can only afford prints. Think about this when deciding on your IDEAL client.
You have a solid business model
Make sure that before you take the plunge, you have an efficient and effective business model. Know how you are going to get your products to market. We recommend that you choose the path of least resistance. Don’t try and revolutionize the way you do business all at once. You may want to source your products from Yemen to help the artisans there, but it will be an uphill battle for you. Trust us.
For more information on how to use the Business Model Canvas click here!
You are a people person
I’m sorry when you run a business you have to interact with people. Especially if you are running a B2C (business to consumer) company. If you hate people (or are an introvert), you may want to consider getting a business partner that can do the people-ly stuff. Even if you do get a business partner, you WILL have to deal with suppliers, customers, or tech support at some point. Make sure that you have the adequate skills to manage employees and people in general. If you don’t have those skills, then starting a business right now may not be for you.
You can sell
Your business will live and die on sales and revenue. If you can’t sell yourself, you have to start learning the skills. Remember, people buy from other people. They don’t but a product just because it is excellent. They don’t buy your service because it is fantastic. They are buying from YOU because they like YOU! Make sure that you leave your ‘imposter-syndrome’ at the door. It won’t work for you in the business world. Work on bragging about yourself and showing the value you and your product brings to the marketplace.
You realize that it isn’t all about the creativity
When we dream of quitting our day job, we dream of painting all day or creating stunning graphics for our clients. Well, it isn’t all creativity. You have to understand how a business works, licensing, copyright, sales tax, cash flow, sales, marketing. You have to know it all. This is not to say that you can’t hire someone to do these things, but you have to understand the basics first, so you know they are doing a good job. And honestly, you will probably have to do most of the work yourself in the beginning. If you are in Alberta, check out ATB Financial’s Entrepreneurship Programs. They have a tonne of great ‘basics’ programs to help you get the gist of starting a business.
You believe in yourself
You got this! We know it, but you need to know it too. Have faith that you can do this and do it well. If you are already researching and have traction, then we know you have what it takes to launch and grow your business.
Believe. In. Yourself.
If you don’t, no one else will.
You can take advice (from mentors)
There are just a few things to say about this topic.
A) You have to be willing to take advice and act on it. If you think you know better, you are probably wrong
B) Only take advice from people who have been there. There will be a lot of people who give you business advice that has never done it before. There will be a lot of people who have never run a business and told you to keep your day job. There will be even more people who doubt you along the way. DO NOT LISTEN TO THEM.
Only listen to the people who you want to be like. Find mentors in your field and listen to them. Act on their advice.
You are self-motivated
This is a big one. You have to be motivated. A self-starter. You shouldn’t have to be told what to do. You act quickly, and you don’t need a deadline to make you do things. If you are a self-starter, highly motivated, and a general go-getter then you are ready to start a business.
Did you say ‘yes’ to all or most of these points? If you did, you are ready to start your own business! If you didn’t you may have to consider if this is the right time for you to start your business.
If you need help getting started, you can reach out to us for a free 30-minute business consultation. Don’t worry, we won’t try and sell you anything at the end of it 🙂