Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is Entrepreneurship The Best Path For You? (Guest Contributor - Doug Barra)

Becoming a successful business owner requires more than just a great idea and the investment required to get you started. There are certain qualities behind every successful entrepreneur. Ask yourself- is entrepreneurship the best path for you? Are you truly ready to become a business owner? Below are some quick questions to ask yourself – to look before you leap if you will. These questions will give you an idea of where you sit right now and tell whether you’re ready to take the next step towards becoming your own boss.

  1. What is your previous business experience? The best way to learn is on someone else’s dime. Working in various areas of business, and for various types of businesses can be very helpful in preparing for running your own business. Think about your past employment and how these experiences could help in running your own business.

  2. Are you a self-starter? Simply stated, are you motivated and do you have the chops to be your own cheerleader in good times and bad? Can you count on yourself to get the job done, no matter what?

  3. Do you thrive on achieving results? Think about how you feel after you’ve completed a task that has been lingering on your “to-do” list for way too long. Are you satisfied? Happy? Proud of yourself? Or do you spend time thinking about all the other things you could have been doing with your time?

  4. How good are you at making decisions? As the business owner, staff and customers will be looking to you as the expert. Do you make quick decisions, or do you suffer from ‘Analysis Paralysis’?

  5. How well do you relate to other people? This question involves all people you interact with, not just family and friends.

  6. What hours do you prefer to work each week? Be honest about your time commitment and availability – is this a side business or something you will be working on full-time? Are you prepared to work long hours in the beginning to get things started? Entrepreneurs rarely work 9-5.

  7. How well do you plan and organize? Think about short-term and long-term goal setting. As a business owner, you are responsible for both.

  8. Do you have strong motivation and drive? Even on the darkest days, your team will look to your for enthusiasm and motivation. Is this part of your personality?

  9. Do you possess the stamina to run a thriving business? Running your own business is a marathon, not a sprint. Think about your ability to accept a learning curve and having patience.

  10. Are you committed to building a successful business? Think about your business concept and how you imagine it looking in 10 years – are you committed to all it will take to get to your vision?

  11. Does your family support your decision to start a business? Very important thing to think about. The last thing you want to spend time on is convincing family and friends to believe in your dream.

  12. How would you rate your sales and marketing skills? When you own your own business, sales and marketing are keys to your success. How comfortable are you at selling your goods or services?

  13. How would you rate your accounting and finance skills? Understanding your numbers is essential to starting, growing and sustaining your business. This is a skill you can learn, but it is important to be honest about your skill set before you open your doors.

  14. How would you rate your administrative skills? Spelling, grammar, multi-tasking, organization…these are all important skills that you will rely on to grow your business.

  15. How would you rate your leadership skills? Think about past experiences where you’ve been responsible for others actions – how did you fare? Did you like being a leader or did you prefer to only be responsible for your own actions?

  16. How much capital do you have to invest in a business? Starting a business costs money, be honest with yourself about how much you can initially invest and how long you can wait for a return. Most businesses take 5-7 years to produce a return on investment, is this possible for you?
These questions will help you assess your mind frame and skills before opening your own business. For a detailed, personal report you can visit and take the entrepreneur test.
    About Doug Barra After a successful career in software development, Doug Barra left corporate America to pursue his passion of helping business owners invest more time working on their business and less time working in their business. As co-owner of ActionCOACH Team Sage, Doug takes a hands-on approach to teaching his clients that the key to business success and growth is not the business or the industry sector; it's the knowledge, mindset and skill of the business owner.