There is a huge gap between our wants and our shoulds. When it is about eating that ice-cream or fatty burger, buying a car, the decision is of little importance to our future, but when it comes to launching a business, it is a life changing one.
I often hear people saying, “I want to have my own business / Be my own boss“, trying to help them, i usually answer: should you ?
Should You Launch Your Own Business ?
This question is really important, and it is often neglected by enthusiastic entrepreneurs. What makes it worse, is that friends and family can rarely ask the entrepreneur this question without being seen as non supportive.
Let me share a video that address these points quickly before going into the details:
A previous post covered the subject in a different way : Check list: Are you ready to have your own business?
Now, let’s plunge into the details:
- Do you have something to offer ? A simple question, but you would be surprised how many go into business without having this part figured out. Do you have a product or service that people or businesses actually want or need? If not, you need to figure it out before you launch your business.
- Do you have the skills needed for the business? If you want to launch your landscaping business, you need at least to know the minimum about this domain. Sure you can hire employees and managers, but it will not replace the need for you to know about this domain. Most businesses start small, thus the owner needs to be the salesman, if you don’t have sales skills, it will be difficult.
- Do you have the capital needed? Do not underestimate you capital needs. You will need money to set up an office & maybe rent. You will need money for production and distribution – if you have a product. You will need money for branding, marketing and advertising, because otherwise no one will find you, unless you rely solely on Sales.
- Are you ready to work 24/7? Yes, you will need to work very hard, especially in the first year. Some founder log a 60 to 80h per week, that’s roughly 10h per day. Are you ready to do that? You will also be often under pressure, and might have to kiss the clients but$$.
So, the fairy-tale of entrepreneur working less is just as such, a fairy-tale. You need to be ready to work hard, long hours, be under stress and probably spend a nice amount of money before finally being able to reap the benefits of being your own boss.
And with all this, you should never forget the risk of failure, but that’s an entirely different subject.
See my article about Why startups fail.
For most people they stop at this point, they assess the risks and decide not to take the jump. Some acknowledge the risks and decide to move forward in their entrepreneurship road, and that exactly what distinguish entrepreneurs from the rest.