The question of “what do you want to be when you grow up” is one that starts at a very young age. And when you first answer, it’s typical to pick careers that don’t even exist. As you grow up and learn more about yourself and your skills, suddenly the question starts to carry more weight and you start thinking a lot harder about your answer. So, what happens when the answer is that you want to be your own boss? You want to create your own company, be in charge of your future, and be the one to call all the shots? How do you know you’ve got what it takes to climb the mountain of entrepreneurship? Let's take a look at some telling signs that may show you’re ready for the challenge, and some considerations and tips to follow along the way…
It Starts With a Great Idea.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself before you pursue the goal of being a business owner is this: do you have a great idea? You don’t have to invent a new product or service, but you do need to have an idea that solves a problem or presents a unique perspective. What is your product or service, and why does it differ from what’s already out there? How can you make your offering better than the competition?
The initial idea is what can take the longest to form. Spend time thinking through it, doing research and really diving deep into your “why.” Once you’ve come up with a fabulous idea for your business, often the rest of the pieces can start to fall in line very quickly.
You Have a High Tolerance for Taking Risks.
Another thing that business owners tend to have in common is that they are willing to take risks. Now, that isn't to say that you take risks all the time without any care or thought of the outcome – it's all about calculated risks. You have to be willing to go out on the ledge once in a while when you see the potential for great returns.
Hearing “No” Doesn't Get You Down.
You also need to be the type that isn't easily persuaded from their beliefs and ideas. When you are first trying to launch a company, there is no doubt you will encounter your share of negativity, apprehension, doubt, and questions from potential partners, vendors, suppliers, financial lenders, and more. You need to be able to stay true to your vision, keep that passion and drive in you, and let that act as the fuel to your fire.
You've Done Research on Various Business Structures.
While much of starting your own business requires drive, passion, and motivation, there is also research that needs to be done. It’s important that you take the time to look into the various business structures that you can choose from, picking the one that best suits your goals and the needs of the company.
One of the simplest structures to use is an LLC – or a Limited Liability Company. What is an LLC, you may ask? This is a way that you can set up a business that is separate from your personal assets, which means they stay protected no matter what happens with the business. You have the option of owning the LLC all on your own, or you can bring in additional people that would then be called LLC members.
Truic has posted a highly-informative blog on howtostartanllc.com that takes a detailed look at what an LLC is, how to form one, and the various types. It can shed a lot of light on the structure and how it can benefit your goals of being an entrepreneur. Truic offers free guides, has its own informative YouTube channel, posts all the necessary LLC legal forms, and so much more on its website. It can be a great source of information for budding business owners.
You're Prepared to Forfeit Your Free Time.
A big draw in owning your own business is that you’ll have the freedom to work when you want, take the clients you want to work with, and basically control your destiny. Here’s the thing though, that freedom doesn’t happen on day one. In fact, those who are busy starting their own business are often the ones working the hardest and the longest hours.
Think about it, the very success of your venture depends on you and you alone. This means you need to be prepared to forfeit much of your free time, at least in those early months. Working seven days a week, 12 hours a day is the norm, and something you should expect to do. The goal is to give the business the attention it needs to make a mark, grow, and start to build a loyal following.
You're Ready to Craft the Ultimate Mission Statement.
Then there is the mission statement. No business should be created without one, and if you plan on bringing in any partners and/or lenders, they are going to want to see that mission statement. Your mission statement is what defines the purpose of the business. It lays out the structure and goals of your company and essentially acts as the blueprint.
Not only is it important to lenders and partners, but it will also prove to be important to you. That same mission statement should contain short- and long-term goals and milestones. This will give you something to work towards and help you to stay on track towards the ultimate success.
You See Challenges As Opportunities, Not Problems.
Finally, you need to ask yourself how you will deal with challenges. It’s not a matter of if challenges will arise – it is a question of when they will happen. What you choose to do in those situations will dictate how the business does in the future. When faced with a problem, think about how it highlights places to grow and improve the business.
Each of these considerations and pieces of advice can help you to be honest with yourself and decide if you’ve truly got what it takes to go ahead and open your own business. Remember, owning your own business may be filled with challenges, but it can also be one of the most rewarding career ventures out there.