There are dozens of reasons why people want to start a new business. Some have lost their jobs, while others want to build something for their children. Some dream of living a better life, or they don’t want to be bossed around at work anymore. Regardless of the reason, the purpose of starting a business shouldn’t be based on dreams alone.
When you start a business, you’re putting your financial well-being at stake and your family’s well-being, too, if they depend on you. So, if you’re ready to turn starting a business “someday” into “today,” you need solid reasons.
You Have Time to Invest
If you think having your own business means 40-hour workweeks and more time to relax, think again. The majority of business owners log in more than the standard 40 hours per week and need to work even more in the first year. Long hours may not be necessary if you have another source of income coming in, but if you’re going all-in on a new venture, you need to prepare yourself.
As entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk says at Inc., in your first year, you should be at “code red” until you start turning a profit. This means 18-hours every day if necessary. The reason most companies go out of business in their first two years, he says, is because “they don’t realize how hard it is, and how all-in you have to be.”
If working hard is your idea of having fun, this is a great reason to start a business.
You Have Some Money to Start
If your business idea doesn’t require money to start, it’s unlikely it will make any money. All businesses require money, even if it’s just for a website or some business cards. Most businesses have equipment costs, licensing or registration costs and insurance needs. For a micro-business, Business News Daily recommends having at least $3,000.
If you have the money yourself, that’s ideal. If you don’t, you have to find someone to finance your business. Don’t ask your parents – that’s cheating. Put your business plan together and look into the guaranteed small business loans offered through the Small Business Administration.
If strangers want to lend you money, you probably have a great business idea.
You Have Expertise in Your Market
Unfortunately, having a great idea for a new business is never enough by itself. The world is swimming with great ideas. Before you can put an idea to the test, you need some expertise in your market. If you already have a background in the market you want to enter, you’re likely more than halfway there already. If not, investing time and energy in market research can help you prepare.
If you already have experience and a network in your business market, you can start finding customers before you even launch.
If you are lacking in any of these areas, find people who can fill in those gaps for you – at least until you can learn them yourself. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with learning as you go, provided you can learn fast and can afford to fall on your face a few times.
If you have all 10 of these business skills, your friends and family are probably wondering why you haven’t launched your own company already.
You’re Ready to Take a Risk
The hard truth is that most new small businesses fail. Out of 100 new businesses, 80 remain after the first year, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. After five years, only half remain, and after 10 years, only a third are still in business.
If you’re ready to work hard and smart, if you have done your research and drafted a solid business plan, you already have more in your favor than millions of others who have already started a small business and succeeded.