Starting your own business – an introduction.

Posted: September 4, 2013 in Business startup
Tags: , ,

I have seen this sticker on many  semi-trailors on major highways: Don’t drive like you own the road, drive like you own the company. It is an important seguay into this (first in a series) of my blogs on entrepreneurship.

First, the sombre facts: over 50% of all start-ups fail in the first five years of operation. The reason – management! Now that this is out of the way, we can proceed to other realities that you must come to terms with:

  • Being an entrepreneur is different from being an employee. You can go through the motions as an employee and still pick up a paycheque every two weeks. As a self employed entrepreneur (in a proprietorship) your income is based on your ability to find enough revenue to cover your expenses and then hopefully have enough left over to cover your personal living costs.
  • You must never stop looking for business opportunities. You many be fully occupied with existing clients/customers but must always be on the lookout for new customers.
  • You must take a long term view despite the factoid #1.

You should do a personal assessment.

  1. Why do you want to go into business for yourself?
  2. What personality type are you?
  3. Can you handle stress? (Business will be stressful at times).
  4. Do you have a family? If so, they should be consulted with and advised about your plans. Do not come home on a Friday evening and announce to your spouse that “I’ve quit my job and decided to start my own business.”
  5. Are you aware of the constraints this can impose on your personal life?

Business owners work long hours but some people look at them and are jealous that they can come and go as they please or drive a flashy car. They think the entrepreneur has it all. Not true! Many entrepreneurs I consult to work 50-60 hours per week, open and close their doors each day and their flashy car may be the only perq they have.

So put the horse before the cart. Do a serious evaluation of your personality type and why you want to go into business – even before you go into business. You will have a leg up on other would be entrepreneurs.

More posts on this topic will follow.

 

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