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Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

Being an entrepreneur is exciting and challenging. Successful business owners find that they can make more money than they ever thought possible, have the flexibility to spend time with family and work in an area where their passion lies. But, starting a business is not for everyone. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself before you start a new business.

1

Am I willing to make sacrifices to run a business?

Owning and running a business takes a tremendous amount of work and effort. You must be willing to sacrifice time spent on personal pursuits, recreation and relaxation—at least for awhile.

You’ll experience some rough patches with your new business. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to be willing to work long hours for little pay in the beginning.

2

Do I have support?

You can’t be successful in business without a support system. If you have a family, it’s crucial that your spouse be on board with the business plans. You will most likely experience a drop in income for awhile, and you’ll be working long hours in the beginning. Is your spouse willing to support you through the difficult start-up period?

If you’re not married, do you have another support system? Having friends, extended family or mentors to cheer you on is very helpful when it comes to success.

3

Do I have the financial means to start and run a business?

Ideally, you’ll have a nice nest egg tucked away before starting a business. In addition to start-up costs, it will take awhile for your business to become profitable and you may have several months without a paycheck. You should have a minimum of 6 months living expenses in the bank before starting a business—12 months is even better.

4

Am I passionate about this business?

Passion is the thing that keeps you going when your business is struggling and you’re working 14-hour days. If you’re trying to open a business in an industry that doesn’t excite you, your odds of success are slim. Find something you can do that really fires you up.

5

Do I have the knowledge I need to get started?

Running a business is often a learn-as-you-go process, which is fine. But you do need to have some basic knowledge before you jump in to entrepreneurship. Do you have knowledge about the industry of your business? Do you have basic accounting, marketing, sales or managerial experience? While you don’t need a degree in any one thing, you might need a small amount of knowledge in everything