Stop…Reality Check Before You Start a Business

Posted On January 18, 2008 | Written by Emmanuel Oluwatosin

Starting a new [tag]business[/tag] is both exciting and rewarding, but it is also full of challenges. The level of commitment that you will need should not be underestimated. The success of your business will partly depend on your [tag]attitude[/tag] and skills. This means being honest about a range of issues – your knowledge, your [tag]financial status[/tag] and the personal qualities that you can bring to your new business.

Commitment, drive, perseverance and support from family and friends will go a long way towards transforming your [tag]business idea[/tag] into reality and will be especially important during the early days. I will be sharing some tips that will help you decide whether you have what it takes to set up a new business. Take a look at these day-to-day reality check before you finalise your plan of starting a business and then outline the skills and qualities that you think you will need.

The day-to-day reality check:

Setting up your own business requires your full commitment. Here are some of the challenges you need to think about. Another valuable way to find out about the day-to-day realities of running a business is to talk to people who are in business already.

Personal sacrifice: The physical and emotional demands of starting up in business should not be underestimated. [tag]Starting a business[/tag] is a life-changing event and will require hard work and long hours, especially in the early stages.

Financial insecurity: There can be times of financial uncertainty and this may have a knock-on effect for both you and your family. For example, you may have to forgo holidays. You may have invested personal savings or used your family home as security and in the worst case scenario you risk losing your investment or even your home.

Loss of company perks: Setting up your own business means that you will no longer be able to take advantage of the usual benefits associated with a permanent job. This includes the loss of “safety net” benefits such as pension rights, sick pay, paid holiday and other company perks.

Pressure on close relationships: You will need the support of your family and friends. So, ensure that they are aware from the outset of the effect starting up a business will have on your life and it is crucial that they are right behind you. Their emotional backing may also need to be complemented by a practical “hands on” approach. Discussing these issues before they arise will help.

Isolation: Being your own boss can be a satisfying experience. However, shouldering all the responsibility for the success of the business can prove lonely. Unless you develop a network of contacts, there will be no one there to bounce ideas off.

Are you ready to start a business? What do you think? Do you think you have all it takes? Do you think you are ready for the challenges ahead? Let us learn from your experience.

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