It’s never as easy as it sounds. Many have tried and failed, and many more will fall by the wayside. However, if you are determined to strike out, start your own business and be your own boss, ask yourself these questions first.
Can I afford to be poorer than I am now?
Most businesses take a year or more before turning a profit. Are you able, during that time, to survive? Do you have enough in savings to make the shortfall in earnings until your business finally takes off? If your answer is no, then take astep back and set this right before taking the plunge. And if you do have enough finances, set a deadline for your business to make a profit, and do so with your financial resources as a consideration. Businesses bleed money at the start, but if you can keep a tight rein on expenditure from the word go, it would give you more time to arrive at success.
Can I get things done on my own?
When you start your business, you’ll be working alone for long periods with nobody to motivate you apart from a few encouraging comments on Facebook. If you’re lucky. You’ll need to be a self-starter and be driven enough to work extremely hard. If you lack the discipline to put in the hours and keep tabs on assignments and deadlines, then maybe being your own boss is not something you should try to do.
Do I enjoy a real challenge?
Being an entrepreneur is a lot more stressful than being an employee in a company. It’s a completely different kind of stress, having to make a business succeed, and worrying about profits and cash flow. But if you truly love a challenge, then being an entrepreneur is something you might enjoy doing. Most successful entrepreneurs are naturally hard-working. They are prepared to slog, work 16-hour days, seven days a week, if required, especially at the start of a new business project. It rarely ever started off as a bed of roses.
Am I ready to learn things that I don’t already know?
So you have your business idea, but what if your training and experience is that of an art director? Are you prepared to learn sales, marketing, management and accounting? Some of these are things you would find extremely tedious and unexciting, but businesses require them and you will need at least some idea how to execute them. If you can’t already hire people to handle these tasks and you are petrified by the idea of having to do these, perhaps you should reconsider the idea of being your own boss.
Can I delegate tasks to others?
If you’re a solo-preneur, it’s all very good if you did everything yourself. However, if you’re running a business involving others, you may find yourself having to delegate work at some stage. You will have to get someone you can trust to do things without you micro-managing all the time. Cast your net wide and look for people with the requisite expertise and experience to do some of the things you are doing so it frees you up for other tasks required in your enterprise.
Will I be a good mentor?
Being the boss means having to manage people. You are the leader of your team, and they will look to you for guidance. And that’s where it’s important to be a good mentor. Does the idea of guiding your employees scare you? Or are you one who cares about your co-workers and are willing to help them achieve their best? If guiding others is not your thing, you could find being the boss a very painful experience.
Do I like making decisions?
Yes, many things that happen in the business will be down to you. If you are a decisive person, and like making decisions, then it’s good. Because you will be making plenty of these. There’ll be mundane things like the colour of your company’s logo to the font of your company’s website, or more serious stuff like the location of your office and your first hire. Bear in mind that while you may get praise for making some important decisions correctly, you will also be blamed for making the wrong ones. Make sure you are able to take the good and the bad of decision making.
If you can say yes to all these, or are prepared to do what it takes to make it a yes, then being a boss is definitely for you. Get ready to strive until you thrive, and with dedication and patience, you will eventually be able to taste the fruits of your labour.