Starting your own businessWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Starting a business can be rewarding, but risky. According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are several questions you must ask yourself before you take that first step.
Is Entrepreneurship For You?
While there is risk to starting your own business, chances of success can increase with good planning and preparation. Evaluate your strengths and weaknesses because you will ultimately be responsible in developing projects, organizing your time and following through.
How well do you get along with others?
Business owners need to develop relationships with customers, vendors, staff, bankers, lawyers, accountants or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor or cranky staff person?
How good are you at making decisions?
Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly, often quickly, under pressure, and independently.
Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business?
Business ownership can be fun and exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Can you face 12-hour work days six or seven days a week?
How well do you plan and organize?
Research indicates that many business failures could have been avoided through better planning. Good organization of financials, inventory, schedules, production can help avoid many pitfalls.
Is your drive strong enough to maintain your motivation?
Running a business can wear you down. The SMA reports some business owners feel burned out by having to carry all the responsibility on their shoulders. Strong motivation can help you survive slowdowns as well as periods of burnout.
How will the business affect your family?
The first few years of business startup can be hard on family life. The strain of an unsupportive spouse may be hard to balance against the demands of starting a business.
There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk.
If you are thinking about starting your own business, there are ways to gain support in areas where you may need mentoring, financial advice, or business direction. The SBA offers information and resources on starting a business at www.sba.gov.
Another resource is the Toledo Area Chamber of Commerce (www.toledochamber.com). The Chamber assists nearly 3,700 businesses in economic development, start-up, and networking. It also supports local events and seminars that can turn you in the right direction to a successful start-up.
Look to women’s networking groups to get your foot in the door and develop a core group of women who have been where you want to be. The Women’s Entrepreneurial Network (www.wentoledo.org)
offers regular networking meetings, workshops and seminars to support and promote women leadership in the business field.