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Before you make the decision to start a business, take some time to assess whether you’re truly cut out to be a business owner. Here are five key questions to ask yourself:
- Am I self-motivated? As an entrepreneur, you’ll be your own boss. This means you need the discipline to keep going through long days—and nights. If you depend on others to motivate you to work hard, owning a business may not be the right choice for you.
- Am I persistent? Business success does not come overnight. Entrepreneurs need the patience to keep going despite obstacles and setbacks. If you’re the type who keeps plugging away at challenges until you beat them, congratulations—you just might make a good entrepreneur.
- Am I a good manager? It takes people to get a business up and running—and more people to help it grow and thrive. Some type of experience managing and motivating people, whether it’s managing a fast-food restaurant or a department within a corporation, is very helpful for would-be entrepreneurs.
- Am I self-aware? Successful business owners are keenly aware of both their strengths and their weaknesses. They hire people who balance out their skills and help compensate for the areas where they’re weak. It’s important to be honest about where you excel…and where you need help. Otherwise, you’ll keep running up against the same problems.
- Am I financially prepared? In most cases, the reality of entrepreneurship is that you won’t begin breaking even for 12 to 18 months. Writing a business plan will help you determine your startup costs. Make sure you have adequate sources of financing to carry you through those lean startup months, and that you are prepared to make some personal financial sacrifices to put cash back into the business.
The Mentors at SCORE can help you assess your business readiness and prepare in the areas you’re lacking. Visit the SCORE website for help and to get matched with a Mentor who can advise you 24/7.