Thinking of starting a small business? You’re on the right track. There’s a lot of thinking to be done before you start your own small business. Starting a small business is one of those huge, life-altering events. Think of it as a marriage; running a successful small business takes the same depth of commitment and desire.
As in a marriage, you’re going to be living with your small business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Like any relationship, if you want your small business to be successful, you’re going to have to work at it. And it’s going to have its ups and downs and surprises.
But on the positive side, if you’re the right person with a solid plan, starting your own small business can be the most satisfying, exhilarating experience of your life.
The first step is to examine whether or not starting a small business is right for you --- not your neighbour, friend, co-worker, or whoever else is trying to tell you that you should start your own small business.
The main quality that you have to have to start your own small business is a burning desire to do it. Running a small business isn’t for the ambivalent or indifferent. You have to really, really want to be your own boss, transform your dream into reality, or market your product or service.
Look inside yourself and ask these three basic questions before you start your own small business:
- Do you really want to operate independently and be the person making all the decisions and shouldering all the responsibility in running a small business?
- Are you willing to work hard and make the sacrifices starting a small business entails?
- Do you have the self-confidence and self-discipline that will enable you to persevere and build your new small business into a success?
If you’ve answered “no” to any of these, you’re probably not ready to start your own small business. Overnight success stories are just that… stories. The reality is that success is won through hard work over time. And you want to start and run a successful small business, don’t you?
If you answered all three of these basic questions positively, then you're ready to think seriously about starting a small business. But not everyone who wants to start a small business is cut out to actually run a small business. Are you enough of an entrepreneur?
What abilities do you need to have to succeed in starting a small business?
According to studies conducted by the Bank of Montreal Institute for Small Business, "The Six Success Factors" for starting a small business are self-motivation, business and industry knowledge, organization and management capabilities, marketing skill, customer/vendor relations, and vision.
Small Business and specific industry knowledge should be near the top of anyone's list of requirements for small business success. After all, how many skis or snowboards are you going to sell if you don’t know anything about the products or the sport? You can acquire this knowledge through trial and error when you start your own small business, but you will probably have to declare bankruptcy before you learn all you need to know. Lack of knowledge is one of the prime reasons so many new small business ventures fail.
Most small business ventures fail because of mismanagement. According to Statistics, most small business ventures fail because of weak general management, weak financial management, or weak marketing capabilities.
41 percent of South African small businesses fail in their first year and 22 percent fail in their second year, which means that 63 percent of the small businesses started in South Africa don't survive more than two years.
How do you avoid business failure when you starting a small business?
Peparation and planning are key in small business venture planning
This article is all about the first step in preparing to start your own small business, exploring your attitudes and abilities to determine whether or not you want to start your own small business. From here, if you've decided that starting a small business is right for you, the next step of preparation is to decide what kind of small business you want to start, and begin working on your small business development plan. Be conservative and plan for every possibility.
When you're wondering if you're suited to start your own small business, quizzes are fun, but it’s important to remember that getting a low score on any of these “tests” doesn’t mean that you’re not cut out to be an small business operator and that you should forget all about ever starting a small business. Research leads to many generalizations that are not true in the individual case - and you may be the exception.
What do you really want to do and why do you want to do it? “Do what you love” is still sound advice; having a passion for what you do will fuel your commitment and give you the energy you need for the long haul. Thinking of starting a small business? What is your “burning desire” and how can you shape it into a reality that will provide you with both satisfaction and a profit? That’s really the only question you have to answer to start your own small business.