Thinking about starting a new business? Running a company can be an amazing adventure, and it can even give you more security than a regular day job. Being your own boss may sound like heaven on earth, but what you have to remember is that it’s still a lot of hard work.
It’s easy to feel ready much earlier than you actually are, and it’s equally easy to let fear hold you back long after you should have jumped. Here are 15 signs that show you might be ready to start your own business:
1. You have a passion for your new venture.
Passion is often overhyped. It’s not enough on its own, but it is essential. Make sure you have something you’re excited about starting, rather than just frustration with your current job.
2. You’re a true believer in your idea.
You’ll face a lot of closed doors and “no”s as you start your new venture. You need to have a tenacious belief in your product or service to give you the ability to weather the storm.
3. You have a product or service with a good market.
A great business exists where what you love meets what other people will pay for. Before you leave your day job to start a new company, be sure that your product or service has a market.
4. You know your players.
If you already know who you want on your team and you have their agreement, you could be ready to launch. On the other hand, if your intention is to start as a solopreneur, you can jump in at any time.
5. You have a plan.
Cashing out your 401(k) and expecting a new venture to suddenly appear is not a great idea. Before you leave your day job, make sure you have a plan for your new business -- whether that involves a full business plan or a back-of-the napkin outline.
6. You have a good brand idea.
Your brand is the way your company connects with the world. Are you irreverent, funny, professional or classic? Make sure you know your brand and how it connects with customers before taking the leap.
7. You’re ready to learn -- a lot!
The experience of starting a business will teach you more than you can imagine -- about yourself and the marketplace. Be ready to learn these lessons, even when doing so forces you to confront your ego.
8. You can face the fear of failure.
Being afraid to fail can paralyze you in business. We all feel it to some extent, but if you can’t face it, you aren’t ready to start a new business.
9. You can face the fear of success.
It sounds strange, but many people are also afraid of success. Success brings higher expectations, more work and more visibility. If you aren’t ready to deal with these things, you aren’t ready to launch.
10. You have some cash available.
While there are businesses you can start with very little capital, the fact remains that it takes time to be successful. If you have some cash saved up or have another way to access the money you need while your company grows, you’re more ready than somebody who’s deeply in debt and counting pennies.
11. You’re not in the midst of major life changes.
Major changes often bring clarity that make us want new work. That’s great, but make sure you move through the change before you launch. Only after you’ve given yourself time to recover should you think about launching a new business.
12. You have experience in your new industry.
If you have experience in the industry you’re going into, you’re more ready to make the jump into entrepreneurship. If not, consider a side job to gain experience before you quit your day job.
13. You know a lot about business itself.
Not everyone who’s a great baker should open a bakery. There are so many extra demands on business owners beyond simply doing the task itself. If you already know a lot about business -- including things such as hiring, leasing and marketing -- you’re in a much stronger position to start your own venture.
14. You’re good at managing your time.
Many times, people want to start a business because they don’t like their boss. But are you skilled enough to be your own boss? Being in business take self-discipline, and if you already manage your time well on your own, you’re much closer to being ready than if you rely on others for motivation.
15. You understand the risks of owning a business.
Business owners understand that they’re taking a risk. It’s possible that you’ll never make a profit, and it’s possible that you’ll grow so quickly you’ll be overwhelmed. Being ready to understand and manage those risks is a sure sign you’re ready to launch.
Certainly, this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start to determine whether you’re ready to start your own business. If you’re not, consider this your guide to the steps you need to take to get there. Have fun, and good luck!
Have another “ready to launch” sign that should be included on this list? Share your suggestions in the comments section below!