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How to Know If You're Ready to Start a Small Business

Know your strengths and the staying power of your business concept before taking the leap.


  • Step 1: Interview others Interview other entrepreneurs and honestly assess whether you have the drive, vision, and emotional strength to run a small business. If you are a motivated, resourceful, and flexible, you might be going in the right direction.
  • Step 2: Handle stress Consider your ability to deal with adversity and work with antagonistic people under stressful circumstances that could result in litigation and worker conflicts.
  • Step 3: Ask if you're organized Ask yourself if you're organized enough to run a business, control stock, pay taxes, and keep a lot of balls in the air at once.
  • Step 4: Define the business Define the purpose of your business and create a mission statement as an exercise, before using the statement in your business plan to get a loan. Explain the purpose, function, and goals of the enterprise.
  • Step 5: Investigate need Investigate whether there is a need for the business through market research, focusing on whether your product will fill a void or niche.
  • Step 6: Develop the plan Develop plans for employee compensation, personnel policies, business insurance, accounting services, and management strategies. If the detail and work load is too daunting, you won't be ready to handle similar drudgery in a business.
  • Step 7: Plan balance Plan for your work and life balance, limiting stress and managing time. This takes discipline, vision, sacrifice, and stamina.
  • TIP: Don't rely on positive thinking alone. Without a realistic plan, positive thinking is just dreaming.
  • Step 8: Make a decision If you've determined you can persevere and jump through hoops under pressure, possibly forgoing a paycheck, you're ready!
  • FACT: As of 2007, minorities owned 5.8 million non-farm U.S. businesses.

You Will Need

  • Assessment
  • Capacity for stress
  • Organizational skills
  • Mission statement
  • Business plan
  • Market research
  • Balance

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