Questions to Ask Before Starting a Small Business

There are many ways to start a small business. Many people are starting them online even. You don’t physically need a brick and mortar store, depending on what it is you’re doing. Are you certified in something? Maybe you’re tired of your boss taking all of the profits and paying you an hourly wage far below what you’re worth. Either way, maybe it’s time to start for yourself.

Before you do, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

Do I have a good enough business plan? People aren’t going to just flock to you because you started a business. Being in business doesn’t work unless you have customers or partners bringing you money. You need to see if you’ve got a plan. That plan may or may not include an existing customer base.

Do I know enough about the business? Maybe you’re already an experienced tradesman like a drywaller. If this is the case, you’ve already got the skills needed to do the job, but do you know about the business end of things? Sometimes knowing how to operate a business is a dramatically different thing than knowing what to do as an employee.

Am I a risk taker? Starting your own business is a huge risk. Can you live without a guaranteed paycheck like you’re getting now? Is it worth tossing the dice and potentially losing it all?

How long might it take to pay myself? As a business owner, you’ll need to make sure you’re paying any employees first. You’ve got to take a back burner to any earnings potential until everything else is paid. Equipment costs, salaries, and cost of goods are a few of the examples.

Can I be a leader? Just because you’re the best barista in the shop doesn’t mean you know how to hire the right people, and when push comes to shove, fire the wrong people. You’ve got to negotiate salaries, deal with employee benefits and employee time off – planned or not.

Is now the right time? Do you have anything big coming up? Maybe you’re getting married or having a child. If there are seeing anything big in the future, sticking with your tried and true 9-5 may be what the doctor ordered.

Understandably, there are lots of risks and the best way to start a business is by mitigating those risks. Hopefully, by asking yourself the questions in the article here, you’ll be able to better understand those risks before jumping right in. Being a good employee doesn’t always mean you’ll be a successful business owner.

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