Gearing-Up to Start-Up

Commerce

A start-up business is an exciting, heady affair. The early days are full of challenges, successes, and the adrenaline rush that comes from too many late night lattes. And when you’re in these initial planning stages, it’s easy to have your head so far up in the clouds that you forget to keep your feet on the ground. So, set aside your scheming for a moment, and make sure you are really ready to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

First, examine your motivations. Why do you want to get involved in a business start-up? Are you tired of sitting in rush hour traffic? Do you hate your boss? Are you looking for easy money? Do you want to spend more time with your kids? Evaluate all the relevant motives carefully. For every perceived benefit, there is also a downside. For example, while being the owner of a business frees you from mandatory work hours, it also requires that you invest way more time than any 8-5 deskjob ever did. If you know your motivations are solid, than keep going! But if the potential downsides and risks would throw rain on your parade, then maybe you’d better think a bit more before trying to be a CEO.

Second, know thyself. Heading up a small business isn’t for every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there. Frankly, some personalities just aren’t cut-out to be small business owners. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I stress easily? Do I enjoy challenges? Can I get along with people? Do I have the ability to keep up with a demanding schedule? Is my family ready for this? Am I prepared for financial loss? Remember, it’s better to count the cost BEFORE you start, rather than waiting 2 years and $10,000 down the line.

Third, remember that a small business startup requires more than just money. Yeah, yeah, without those greenbacks, nothing will be accomplished, but unless you’ve got a business plan in place, those greenbacks will just get sucked into a blackhole. Before you get too caught up in looking for funding and maxxing out your credit cards, make sure you have a well thought out business plan. Who is your potential market? How are you going to position your company? Is there a need for your service? What competitors do you have? How can you improve on what everyone else is doing? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself. And until you get the answers, don’t keep going.

Fourth, make sure this is a match made in heaven. What kinds of skills do you bring to the business? Write up the job description for your ideal CEO candidate. Does that description fit you? Or are there some serious gaps in what you need to be versus what you are? Don’t feel bad if you don’t have what it takes at the moment. Use this time of life to learn, grow, and develop the skills needed to eventually head out on your own.

Remember, starting and maintaining a successful small business requires knowing yourself, knowing the market, and knowing the business. This checklist will get you started! If you can pass all these mile markers with flying colors, then sit down with others who know you well and whose advice you trust. Get their input and be open to suggestions. The more knowledge you can gain, the better off your start-up venture will fare. Owning a business can be a rewarding experience. So make it the best it can be by starting out right!A start-up business is an exciting, heady affair. The early days are full of challenges, successes, and the adrenaline rush that comes from too many late night lattes. And when you’re in these initial planning stages, it’s easy to have your head so far up in the clouds that you forget to keep your feet on the ground. So, set aside your scheming for a moment, and make sure you are really ready to embark on the entrepreneurial journey.

First, examine your motivations. Why do you want to get involved in a business start-up? Are you tired of sitting in rush hour traffic? Do you hate your boss? Are you looking for easy money? Do you want to spend more time with your kids? Evaluate all the relevant motives carefully. For every perceived benefit, there is also a downside. For example, while being the owner of a business frees you from mandatory work hours, it also requires that you invest way more time than any 8-5 deskjob ever did. If you know your motivations are solid, than keep going! But if the potential downsides and risks would throw rain on your parade, then maybe you’d better think a bit more before trying to be a CEO.

Second, know thyself. Heading up a small business isn’t for every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there. Frankly, some personalities just aren’t cut-out to be small business owners. Ask yourself the following questions: Do I stress easily? Do I enjoy challenges? Can I get along with people? Do I have the ability to keep up with a demanding schedule? Is my family ready for this? Am I prepared for financial loss? Remember, it’s better to count the cost BEFORE you start, rather than waiting 2 years and $10,000 down the line.

Third, remember that a small business startup requires more than just money. Yeah, yeah, without those greenbacks, nothing will be accomplished, but unless you’ve got a business plan in place, those greenbacks will just get sucked into a blackhole. Before you get too caught up in looking for funding and maxxing out your credit cards, make sure you have a well thought out business plan. Who is your potential market? How are you going to position your company? Is there a need for your service? What competitors do you have? How can you improve on what everyone else is doing? These are just a few of the questions you’ll need to ask yourself. And until you get the answers, don’t keep going.

Fourth, make sure this is a match made in heaven. What kinds of skills do you bring to the business? Write up the job description for your ideal CEO candidate. Does that description fit you? Or are there some serious gaps in what you need to be versus what you are? Don’t feel bad if you don’t have what it takes at the moment. Use this time of life to learn, grow, and develop the skills needed to eventually head out on your own.

Remember, starting and maintaining a successful small business requires knowing yourself, knowing the market, and knowing the business. This checklist will get you started! If you can pass all these mile markers with flying colors, then sit down with others who know you well and whose advice you trust. Get their input and be open to suggestions. The more knowledge you can gain, the better off your start-up venture will fare. Owning a business can be a rewarding experience. So make it the best it can be by starting out right!

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