According to a research by Dane Stangler, senior analyst at the Kauffman foundations, more than half of the largest and fastest-growing US companies in were formed during economic sour times. For some, starting a business in a recession seems like a senseless move. However, for others, the recession serves as the momentum for getting their dream gig off the ground.
In its fifth Edition, the ‘Start Your Own Business: The Only Start-Up Book You’ll Ever Need‘ book quoted Robert K. Kiyosaki, Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, saying: “Entrepreneurs enjoy a freedom few ever know. Starting your own business is one of the few remaining paths to wealth—and this book is a valuable road map.” The same book suggests starting with the following check-list items to help the entrepreneur-to-be prepare to take the plunge:
First: Check Yourself
Leaving a full-time job to start a business isn’t something to be taken lightly. You should be sure now is the right time to get started. Ask yourself some questions: Do I have enough money for a business and to sustain my life? If you have a family, are they ready for this? Is there a need for a product or service like mine?
Remember, the rewards of small-business ownership are not instantaneous. You must be determined, patient, persistent, and willing to make sacrifices to ensure those rewards eventually do come.
Second: Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
It’s rare that one person possesses all the qualities needed to be successful in business. Everyone has strong suits and weak points. What’s important is to understand your strengths and weaknesses. To do this, you need to evaluate the major achievements in your personal and professional life and the skills you used to accomplish them. The following steps can help:
- Create a personal resume.
Compose a descriptive resume that lists your professional and personal experiences as well as your expertise. This will give you a better idea of the kind of business that best suits your interests and experience.
- Analyze your personal attributes.
Evaluating your personal attributes reveals your likes and dislikes as well as strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t feel comfortable around other people, then a business that requires a lot of customer interaction might not be right for you.
- Analyze your professional attributes.
Be aware of the areas where you’re competent and the areas where you need help, such as sales, marketing, advertising and administration. Next to each function, record your competency level — excellent, good, fair or poor.
Third: Define Your Business Goals
For some people, the goal is the freedom to do what they want when they want, without anyone telling them otherwise. For others, the goal is financial security. Setting goals is an integral part of choosing the business that’s right for you. After all, if your business doesn’t meet your personal goals, you probably won’t be happy waking up each morning and trying to make the business a success. Sooner or later, you’ll stop putting forth the effort needed to make the concept work.
The most important rule of self-evaluation and goal-setting is honesty. Going into business with your eyes wide open about your strengths and weaknesses, your likes and dislikes and your ultimate goals lets you confront the decisions you’ll face with greater confidence and a greater chance of success.