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With over 40% of businesses, on both sides of the Atlantic, either giving up or failing in their first year, going into business, on your own, is not for the faint hearted. Let us discuss what starting your own business means. This post is not about dissuading you from being your own boss, but showing what qualities and dedication are needed from you to become a success.

Whether you set out to become wealthy, earn a good living, or provide a service that helps disadvantaged people. Becoming your own boss is a tough and rewarding decision if you plan it right from the word go and don’t skip any of the stages.

I have been my own boss since the age of eighteen and I have owned a range of different business’s, and although there have been many hair raising moments along the way I have to admit that I wouldn’t change the experience.

So you want to start a business, preferably Home Based? You have always dreamt of starting your own business, but you don’t know where to begin.

If  you’ve  always  yearned  of  being  your  own  Boss,  then  you  have  just completed the first step. The mere fact that you have that all empowering urge to start your own business and have control over your own destiny, is what will, (if you allow it) drive you forward.

Now lets be serious and consider what it takes to be your own man or woman. Read  through  the following questions and  give  honest  answers. It’s  your future you are considering. Think carefully about your willingness to take on the responsibility of such an undertaking.

Now Ask Yourself:

1.  Do you think you are ready to begin a business?

Where does your idea to begin your own business come from? Do you look at successful businesses around you and think I can do that, or have you always had the dormant idea seeding in your subconscious mind.

It’s time to be realistic and come down to earth. Most business, begin with a thought or an idea. Like a disease it gets hold of your entire being, and grows and grows until you become overwhelmed either with excitement, or trepidation.

The more you think about it the more excited you become until you take action.  It’s like sowing a seed inside your mind. Doubt is a word you cannot entertain, because it will destroy your purpose.

You have to be confident that you can take on the responsibility of running a business, no matter how small they are, they still require commitment and dedication.

Self-discipline is very important. Being in business for yourself means you carry the whole load.

2.  Have you had experience of a business similar to the one are planning to start?

Sometimes already having business experience is not a good thing. Because bad habits that you picked up from a previous business will transfer to your new one. Better to recognize these and get rid of them before they cause your new enterprise to fail before it gets rolling.

Any experience you have from a previous business, whether positive, or negative, if used sensibly, can help towards making your new enterprise a success.  Having the knowledge, of not what to do, in your new business is valuable in the sense, that hopefully you will not be making the same mistakes again.

All knowledge gained from any previous experience (whether good or bad) about the initial construction of a small business is a good thing. It can be used in a sensible way towards making your new venture a success and also help to make your job easier in the initial stages.

But remember that this business you are planning has  not got to be the same, or a blueprint of your previous one, but unique in itself and able to stand alone.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t the experience from a previous business. Your success is not dependent on this. If you begin with a clean slate you can keep it clean.  Success depends on so many things, but mostly about you, your attitude, and determination to succeed.

3.  Do your family and friends support your business venture?

If you are married, or have a partner, do they agree with you starting a business? What do the members of your family think about you becoming self-employed? Do they and you realize just how much your life will change by spending more of your valuable time running your own business?

Is your family prepared to support your commitment to begin a business that may risk their financial security?

Are they also prepared to have you spend less time with them and do they realize that the spare cash that was always available, to spend on luxuries, might be gobbled up by your business.

Ask yourself, if I run the business from home:

What will the business demand from the amount of space I have available at home?  It’s a proven fact, that a shortage of space can cause friction amongst family members.

How will the business infringe on my, families personal space at home? The invasion of someone’s personal space can cause resentment.

Can I develop a management plan to use our household space so that it accommodates my family and my business without causing a major upset? Good planning is what a business needs for success, and planning efficient use of your space at home will give you the experience to begin to organize your business.

Have you any experience, or taken a business course on how to manage a small business? All business experience, at whatever level of expertise, will always help towards you seeing problems in your business before they develop.

Have you discussed your business idea, business plan, or proposed business with a business advisor or counselor, and received any advice?   Good professional advice is a valuable asset in starting your enterprise.  Avoiding and being aware of the pitfalls of a startup business is priceless.

Do you have a family member or relative who owns a successful business, who you can ask advice?   Again having someone experienced to turn to for free advice is a huge bonus.

Questions about your Personal Suitability to run a business:

1. Have you the confidence to be a leader and self-starter and do you understand how this will impact on you? Remember leaders are the one’s leading the way and if you own a small business it will either be successful or not depending on the decisions you alone will make.

2. Do you know if other people would consider you a leader? If you employed other people would they take orders from you and accept that you are the boss. Respect as a leader is hard to achieve, but a valuable asset in a business

3. Would you invest a significant portion of your savings or raise money on your assets to get your business started?  Risking your personal assets has to be seen by other people (the banks, partners) as confirmation of your willingness and confidence in your own ability.

4.  Do you have enough confidence in yourself and in your abilities to sustain yourself in business, if or when things get tough? Again talking about running a business is totally different from actually being faced with everyday decisions that all small business owners have to contend with.

5.  Deep in your heart, are you comfortable with making your own decisions?
Have ever had to decide that a particular job, or project is urgent and you are the one that could cause it to fail simply by making the wrong choice?

6.  Are you prepared, if needed, to temporarily lower your standard of living until your business is firmly established? Most business owners at some stage in their growth have risked their financial future by using their assets as collateral for their business.

7.  Do others around you ask for your help in making decisions? Are you some kind of agony aunt or uncle on every subject under the sun? If you are then this would be ideal for helping you become your own boss.

8. Are  you  willing  to  commit  long  hours  to  make  your  business  work?
Nothing worthwhile is usually gained without some kind of sacrifice and building your own business will certainly test you on this.

9. Would others consider you a team player?  I know every team has to have leader, but a team member has different responsibilities to the captain. If you employ other people in your business then you would delegate responsibility to someone else and expect the job to get done.

Now let us discuss the all-important questions about the planning of your business.

Have you a business plan for the business you are planning to start? A business plan is not just a thought in your head, or a few words scribbled on a piece of paper.  It’s a solid plan of action written and presented in a logical way, which takes you step by step from the inception of your business to it becoming up and running.

Do you know and understand the components of a business plan?

If you don’t, then go out and do some research. Ask your local government business agency for advice, ask your bank, use the Internet, ask any of your friends who are in business for their help. There is plenty of information and help out there, don’t rush your business plan. Treat it as though you were studying to take an examination and learn along the way.

Do remember a business plan for your business will be different from anyone else’s. So don’t copy word-for-word from someone else, in a similar business to you, be your own master and begin as you mean to go on.

A plan should be understandable and concise and give a good idea of its main contents even after browsing the main points. Format: headings, plenty of white space, and illustrations including summarizing. Main points should be bulleted to show up in a business plan as they do in a business presentation. The right length for a plan will depend on its nature and purpose.

Avoid being overly optimistic, and be reasonable in predicting capital requirements, deadlines, sales, and profitability.   Very few business plans anticipate how much money and time will be eventually required.

Every major bank and government business agency has some form of printed, or online business form you can use to get an idea of what information is required for starting your enterprise.

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