The tough job market has forced many people to consider starting their own business. But necessity doesn’t guarantee success. Often, success depends on the reasons you decided to start the business to begin with.
“A lot of times I hear somebody talking about starting a business because they hate their job or hate their boss,” says Gary Shouldis, a small business consultant and coach. “That’s not a reason to start a business. Maybe they need to find a new career or a new company.”
1. You’ve been pondering it for sometime
Starting your own business isn’t an idea that pops in your head one day and the next day you’re marching into your boss’ office to quit your job. For many successful business owners, it’s an idea they’ve considered perhaps for many years. “It’s something they’ve been thinking about for a long time. They’ve explored other avenues, tried to do the career, but felt like for their own personal growth they needed to pursue their own business,” says Shouldis.
2. You can do it better
For some people, the light bulb to start their own business goes off by watching the mistakes of their own boss. Maybe their current employer doesn’t execute correctly or the company mistreats its customers or clients. Whatever the reason, the impetus for many small business owners was the realization they would do it differently, says Jeanne Yocum, founder of the blog Succeeding in Small Business. “If you are questioning the decisions on a routine basis, you may want to go out and see if your way is better,” says Yocum.
3. It doesn’t come from a place of unhappiness
If you think starting your own business is going to bring you happiness because you’ll be your own boss or can set your own hours, think again. According to Shouldis, the people who struggle the most when they go out on their own are the ones who do it because they hate their job. “You’ll never work harder than for yourself,” says Shouldis. “You are going to make demands on yourself and your business that you never experienced.”
According to Shouldis, the people who are successful are the ones that don’t hate their career, but rather have a different calling. They aren’t doing it for money or for more free time, they are doing it out of passion.
They also aren’t shackled by a paycheck. “If you start to see your pay check as a ball and chain rather than a benefit, that’s a real sign,” says Yocum.
4. You have the expertise and confidence
In order to be a successful business owner, you have to know what you are doing and do it well. That’s why career experts say before you go out on your own, make sure you have the expertise and experience to run your own business. If you do have that, you’ll be confident in your dealings with customers and business associates, which is key to running a successful business. “You have to feel confident you can do it,” says Yocum. “It comes at different times for different people.”
5. You have a desire to keep on learning
In a career, chances are you’ll spend your time doing one thing really well. When you own your own business you wear many hats whether its receptionist, sales associate, book keeper or IT manager, which is why you have to possess a desire to learn. If you are the type of person that is always looking to better yourself and wants to learn new things then chances are you’ll do well as a business owner.
“You always have to branch out and grow,” says Shouldis. “As a small business owner, you don’t have a marketing department, a finance department or a janitorial department. The ones that do it well are always interested in learning new things and are always trying to better themselves.”