So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur…

We entrepreneurs are driven to continuously create, innovate, and sell. Whether your interests favor accounting, real estate brokerage, or business management, or new untapped markets, such as agriculture software, food e-commerce, or public sector technology.

There are many resources available to help you. I suggest the exercise below, which may be familiar. Frankly much of the following is easy access through the Small Business Administration.  If these questions sound too basic for you, you’ll be surprised by how much data will be generated by your honest, thoughtful answers. 

1.  List your reasons for wanting to go into business. Some of the most common reasons for starting a business include the following. Which are yours?

  • You want to be your own boss.
  • You want financial independence and/or creative freedom.
  • You want to fully use your skills and knowledge.

2.  Determine what business is right for you.  Ask yourself these questions.

  • What do I like to do with my time?
  • What technical skills have I learned or developed?
  • What do others say I am good at?
  • How much time do I have to run a successful business?
  • Do I have any hobbies or interests that are marketable?

3.  Identify the niche or untapped market space your business will fill. Conduct the necessary research to answer these questions.

  • Is my idea practical and will it fill a need?
  • What is my competition?
  • What is my business advantage over existing firms?
  • Can I deliver a better quality service?
  • Can I create a demand for my business?

4.  In anticipation of a business plan, which you will need if you are seeking outside funding, complete the following checklist.

  • What business am I interested in starting?
  • Who and where are my customers?
  • What services or products will I sell? Where will I be located?
  • What skills and experience do I bring to the business?
  • What will be my legal structure?
  • What will I name my business?
  • What equipment or supplies will I need?
  • What insurance coverage will be needed?
  • What financing will I need?
  • What are my resources?
  • How will I compensate myself?

What you now have is a blueprint for proceeding that will detail how your business will be operated, managed and capitalized.

5.  Finally, get personal and ask yourself some difficult questions.

  • Is entrepreneurship for me?
  • Am I a self-starter?
  • How well do I get along with different personalities, including vendors, bankers, customers, lawyers, accountants, and such?
  • How good am I at making decisions?
  • Do I have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business?
  • How well do I plan and organize?
  • Is my drive strong enough to maintain my motivation?
  • Significant others:  how will my decision affect others in my life?

If you are still undaunted, the next step is to DO IT!!!!!!

Mallary Tytel is an author, speaker, and president and founder of Healthy Workplaces (www.healthyworkplaces.com), anationalconsulting firmthat focuses on helping create healthy, productive and sustainable workplaces. HW provides customized coaching, training, and facilitation, and you can contact Mallary at mtytel@healthyworkplaces.com

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