Should you start your own business? Four things you need to consider

Thinking about starting your own business? Here are four things you need to consider first.

The last ten years have seen an entrepreneurial boom. The rise of ecommerce platforms and online marketplaces has made it easier than ever for anyone with an internet connection to turn a business idea into a reality.

Today it feels like anyone can start a business. You even don’t need experience or education to turn a business idea into a long-term and profitable venture.

However, there are still risks to a business launch. Not everyone has the aptitude to run a business, and there are many pitfalls that you can fall victim to. If you’re considering turning an idea into a business, here are some factors that you will need to consider.

1) Can you work for yourself?

There are some important pros and cons when it comes to working for yourself. While you get more control over your work life and your client lists, as well as the satisfaction that comes with building something yourself, there are risks.

An unpredictable revenue stream, finding the right motivation, and dealing with every issue that arises all by yourself can be tiring and stressful. Assess the pros and cons of a new business launch before you move forward.

2) Have you conducted market research?

Most people start thinking about starting their own business because they have an idea. Before you rush to start selling, you need to do your research.

It can also be helpful to follow a guide on starting a micro business, because starting is hard in every environment. You need to evaluate the value of your idea and determine if there is an audience for it. All businesses exist to make money, and if there are no customers out there willing to buy what you offer then your business will simply not work.

Get thoughts and advice from friends and family, or from your business connections on social media. Use market research tools like Google Insights to research interest in your idea, and your potential competitors.

3) Do you have the right skills?

Despite how easy it is to launch a new business model in the digital age, if you lack some key skills then you increase your chance of business failure. You’re going to need focus, drive, and long-term commitment, and some technical skills as well.

Many businesses fail because the entrepreneurs behind them rely too much on gut instinct and hope. Instead, consider adding to your skill sets with training.

Methodologies like 6Sigma, created by expert Peter Peterka, can improve your chances of business success because it teaches you how to “…improve business processes by utilizing statistical analysis rather than guesswork.” Make sure that you have the skills and character to give your business the most impact.

4) Have you tested your idea?

One of the best ways to ensure that you are making the right decision is to start small with a testing period. Don’t leap into a huge venture immediately.

Start part-time if you are currently in employment so that you have a safety net should your business idea fail to land. Start selling your product or idea on a small scale so that you don’t have to invest huge amounts of time or money on the venture.

This will give you a clear idea of whether there is a place for you in the sector. Take your time to build from small beginnings and you will have fewer risks.

Build the right foundation before you leap

More new businesses fail than succeed. The more time that you spend on research and building a foundation, the more likely that your business will grow.

If you want to take control of your career and your finances, starting a business is a good option to consider. However, be aware of the risks and your chances of success will be much higher.

Photo by Evan Dvorkin