Many people at one time or another have had thoughts of escaping the 9 to 5 and stepping out on their own. Could 2015 be the year you finally launch your business?
While you can’t prepare for every eventuality in your business, asking yourself tough questions beforehand can help you prepare for what’s ahead says Nellie Akalp in an article for Mashable, Questions to ask before starting a business in 2015. Akalp is a small business expert, entrepreneur and the CEO of CorpNet.com, an online legal document filing service.
Here are Akalp’s 6 tough questions:
1. What’s your motivation?
Your original motive will have an impact on the success of your business. If your motives extend beyond just money, you are more likely to stick to it when things get tough.
What she says: “The problem is that wanting to be the boss or make lots of money generally aren’t viable reasons for launching a business. A true entrepreneur starts a business in order to improve people’s lives and contribute value to the world”.
2. How developed is your business savvy?
A business plan is not a business. A great idea is not a business. A business is finding customers who are willing to fork out money for your idea and that requires business skills like sales, budgeting and planning, among others.
What she says: “Just because you develop something cool doesn’t mean that customers will instantly bang down your door to buy. Entrepreneurs get that”.
“Once you have gotten something to 80% or 90%, it’s go time”
3. How thick is your skin?
Many of the world’s most successful business people have at one time or another faced failure and criticism. Many have also been open about their failures like Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, whose attitude is epitomised in his well-known motto and book title: “Screw it let’s do”.
What she says: “Bad news and rejection are part of the game, and you can’t afford to dwell on the negative or take anything personally”.
4. Do things need to be perfect?
“Done is better than perfect”, this quote by Sheryl Sandberg, bestselling author and Facebook CEO, illustrates the importance of maintaining progress and not being held back by the need to make every single detail perfect.
What she says: “Whether you are launching a product, app, website or blog, if you wait for perfection, you’ll never get out of the starting gate. Once you have gotten something to 80% or 90%, it’s go time”.
5. Are you willing to get your hands dirty?
Entrepreneurs have to be good at juggling many balls in the air. During the startup phase, almost every aspect of your business will be your responsibility which takes some skill, time and energy to maneuver.
What she says: “Before setting off on your own, make sure you’ll be comfortable handling a variety of functions, including the less glamorous ones”.
6. What’s your financial situation?
The hard reality is that it will take longer for your business to start bringing in money that you may expect. During this period you will need some form of income to survive. Plan ahead to give yourself a financial cushion.
What she says: “The best time to lay the groundwork for your startup is when you’re working at another job and have some kind of income coming in. When you’re getting a steady paycheck from another source, you have the freedom to experiment and build out your product before going solo”.