So you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. That’s awesome!
But now you’re wondering…
Is it the right time? Am I even ready for this?
The truth is that there’s no “perfect time” to start a business. But before you throw caution to the wind and dive in head first, you’ll want to make sure you’re building your business on a solid foundation. Ask yourself these 7 questions to determine if you’re ready to start your business right now or if there are still a few things you need to do before launching into entrepreneur mode.
(Psst…the regular text version is below the infographic, and don’t forget to grab your free workbook!)
Are you ready to start your business? [Text Version]
Q.1 What’s my why?
Why do you want to start a business? Be really specific here. Don’t settle for the first answer that comes to mind. Dig deeper until you get to the core reasons for wanting a business.
Remember: Your “why” for starting a business is what’s going to help you stay committed and keep going even when things are difficult and your motivation levels are sub-zero. It has to be strongly connected to your values and life goals, and not based on a fleeting whim or temporary interest.
Q.2 Have I done my homework?
As exciting as it is to launch a business, make sure to do some research before rolling up your sleeves and getting started.
Do you know what you need to do to get your business up and running? Have you researched your target market and your competitors? Is there anything you need to learn? And, most importantly, is there a market for your product/service?
Q.3 Have I got a viable business idea?
Do you know exactly how your business is going to make money? Have you tested the viability of your idea? Will it actually work in the real world?
Remember: Just because you have an awesome idea for a business does not mean you have a viable idea.
You have to get out there and “test the waters” to make sure that (a) your target market is looking for your product or service, and (b) they’re willing to pay for it.
Q.4 Can I afford it?
Crunching numbers isn’t the most glamorous part of starting a business, but you have to go into this with a clear and realistic idea of how you’re going to afford everything.
What costs are involved in starting your business? How will you cover these costs? If your business doesn’t make money for a while, how long can you afford these costs? If you’re going to use your day job to fund your business, will you have enough left over to cover your living expenses and any emergencies that might arise?
Q.5 Do I have the time and energy?
It’s absolutely possible to work a full time day job (and/or be a mom or dad!) and run a profitable business, but you have to be smart with how you use your time and energy. Both are limited resources and both are essential to your business success.
Look at your schedule and current demands. How long can you realistically dedicate to working on your business every day, week and month for the next year? It’s OK if you have only a tiny amount of time available. The key here is, are you willing and able to block out that time and set boundaries to make sure your business hours are a non-negotiable part of your schedule?
Q.6 Have I got support?
Building a business isn’t always fun and easy. There will be times when you feel stressed out, frustrated, discouraged, and confused. You might think that your business is a one-person show, but it’s vital that you have people you can turn to for practical and emotional support.
Before you dive into the entrepreneurship, make sure you have a strong support network filled with people who will encourage you, lend you a helping hand, give you honest feedback, and keep you on track so that you reach your goals.
Q.7 Am I willing to make sacrifices?
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be 100% committed and willing to do whatever it takes to grow and improve your business. And that means having to make sacrifices. You may have to sacrifice a good deal of your weekends, wake up earlier in the morning, forgo your daily Starbucks caffeine fix, or say no to certain social events.
Be really honest with yourself. Are you comfortable with the sacrifices you’ll have to make or will you start to resent them?