Are You Ready (YET) to Start a New Business?

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Sheryl Maywood

Sheryl is a marketing whiz and an analytics expert. She's currently studying for her PhD in computational linguistics. She spends most of her time crunching numbers and developing new analytical models to help clients find the best way to market their products. Sheryl also has a knack for creating witty copy that gets people to buy things they never knew they needed!

Why do you want to be in business? This is a valid question, whether or not you’ve already entered the entrepreneurial world. Surprisingly, money may’ not be the primal’ motivating factor for many people. Freedom is often ranked first. Whatever your purpose,you will want to review your reasons so you can best determine what type of business you want to enter.

Before embarking on your own business, you must take the following factors into consideration:

• Your primary reason for being in business for yourself.
• Amount of risk capital available.
• Amount of credit available to you.
• Your skills
• Your likes and dislikes
• Amount of effort you are willing to expend.
• Your financial goals.
• Whether you plan on beginning full- or part-time
• Inventory of business management experience and knowledge

• Capacity for meeting new challenges and following through on commitments.

Personal Planning

An old proverb states, Business don’t fail, People do”.Sure, Businesses are affected by strategies employed by competitors. market saturation and so forth,but planning and adjusting to market conditions are all functions of the people running the business. A business is merely an extension of the people managing and mirrors their abilities. If the individuals running the businesses are strong in one and weak in another, the business will reflect this. This correlation is even more apparent in small businesses. As an entrepreneur,you have to know your strengths and weaknesses so you can compensate in some way for the areas where you will not be proficient. You can determine your strengths and weaknesses he evaluating the major accomplishments in your personal and professional Life and the skills required to complete these tasks.

To perform this evaluation. you should do the following:

1. Create a personal resume.

Start by listing your professional experience. For each job you have held, write short descriptions of the various duties you were responsible for and the degree of success you experienced. Next, list your educational background and any extracurricular activities you participated in during your scholastic career. Finally. write down your hobbies.

2. List your personal attributes.

Are you personable? Do you feel comfortable around other people? Are you self-motivated? Are you a hard worker? Do you possess Common sense? Are you good with numbers? Do you have effective verbal and written communications skills? Are you well organized?

3. Detail your professional attributes.

Write down the various management roles and tasks within a business such as sales,marketing, financial planning, accounting, advertising, administrative, personnel management, and research. Beside each function. write down your competency level—excellent, good or poor.

By putting together a resume and quickly listing your attributes. you will have a fairly good idea of your likes and dislikes as well as your strengths and weaknesses. Once you identify these characteristics, you will have a good idea of the qualities you will bring to the business and the areas that may require training or assistance.

If you don’t think that knowledge is important, think again. Not only do areas of expertise and track records of yourself and any partners play an important part in assessing your strengths and weaknesses as they apply to businesses in general and specifically any opportunity you are researching, but they are also determining factors when approaching lenders and investors In fact.

Gerald Benjamin, president of International Capital Resources.a venture Capital firm in San Francisco says that angels. or private investors, invest in people as much as they do the business concept, and if you don’t have the type of expertise you need to effectively start and operate the business, you should definitely recruit that help.

Setting Objectives

Many people go into business to meet personal goals they’ve established for themselves. For some people. it’s as simple as having the Freedom to do what they want. when they want. without anyone telling them otherwise. For other people, achieving financial security is a major personal goal. Whatever your goals, setting specific personal objectives is an integral part of the selection of a business that is going to be right for you. When you form goals, whether personal or business.related. they will work best when you break them down as follows:

Specific and detailed.

Whether your goal is to start a business, raise capital or lose weight, you must be very specific (size, shape, color, location, and time)

Positive and present tense

A financial goal is not to pay bills or get by,but to be financially secure. This is set with a specific minimum of at least X amount of dollars in a given period.

Realistic and attainable.

If you set a goal to earn $100000 a month and you have never ever earned that in a year, this goal is not very realistic. Some people may not be able to conceive complete financial Security. whatever that may mean to them. You should begin with a “first step*, a percentage increase you feel comfortable with that represents the realm of reality. Once you meet your first goal. you can project larger ones.

Short term and long term.

Short term goals should include the preceding characteristics and be attainable in a print of weeks, months. or one year. The long term can be much greater, but it should still be realistic. The only one who can set these parameters is you. You must decide what is a realistic time frame and what is not.

After establishing parameters, you have to decide what exactly you want to achieve by going into business for yourself. Most people set objectives according to specific areas in their life that are crucial for survival and self-satisfaction. These areas usually include:

Be your own boss.

One of the foremost reasons people go into business for themselves is that they have what they think is a great idea and are, tired of working for someone else. Because they’ve built up certain areas of expertise, they want to “call the shots: Generally, this area centers around control issues. If you are the type of person who likes to have completer and total control over the direction of the business. you need to consider this issue when determining management responsibilities. especially if you are dealing with partners.


Many entrepreneurs go into business to obtain financial security, not only for themselves, but for their families. When setting financial goals, consider what you would like to make during the first year of operation and each year thereafter, up to five years.


This encompasses several areas related to your personal assets and life including travel, physical labor. work hours, investment of personal assets, and location. When setting lifestyle goals- you need to consider whether or not you want to do a lot of traveling, whether physical labor is a priority or even something you can do, what type of hours you want to work, the amount of personal assets available for business.such as your house or car, and how close to the business you want to be located.

Type of work.

It,s no secret that the more you like your work. the greater satisfaction you will derive from your efforts and the more successful you’ll be. When setting goals (or type of work)you need to determine whether you like working outdoors, in an office environment, with computers, on the phone, with a great number of people, and so on.

Ego gratification.

Let,s face it. Many people go into business to satisfy their egos as well as their bank accounts. Owning a business can be very gratifying because of the perception other people have of you. Owning a so-called glamour business such as a software development firm can be even more ego-gratifying. You need to decide how important ego gratification is to you and what industries will fill that need. Once you’ve set your personal goals. you can prioritize them according to the importance you place on each. This will help you examine your entrepreneurial desire and how it matters to other important aspects of your life.

Risk Assessment

Every business venture, regardless of timing, products. personnel. and capitalization has some inherent risks. The first task you should complete is assessing those risks: then you can begin taking steps to diminish then. Here are some techniques for assessing risks:

• Research similar businesses. Look at their locations. advertising, staff requirement , and equipment. These will be your competition, so you will want to know what you will be up against.

• Research the current market trends. What seemed like a hot idea in the past few months may have been a fad. Find last year’s phone book and call several of these businesses. Are they still around? (if you live in a small community or want to expand your research, your local telephone company must have a library of phone hooks from other cities.)

• Know your strengths and preferences.Does this type of business you? Is it too physical? Not physical enough? Does your staff have the experience to handle the areas that you have little or no expertise in?

• Create a family budget. How long can you live without a paycheck in case you need to put it all back in the business? What other income can you reasonably expect while you’re in the start-up phase? Make sure your family understands what you are doing and engage their support. Since they are also sharing in the risk they will be more willing to assist you if they understand exactly what you are doing.

Know how changes In the economy will affect your business. Is this the type of business that could be damaged if inflation rose by two points? What is its history during prior economic waves?

The business plan

Once you are serious about starting, this will be your blueprint. It can be simple or complex, depending on the type of business, the number of investors and so on that you may be dealing with. But, it is necessary if you want to increase your odds of success.

The first step to brand equity

Now that you have embarked on your business, employ the services of a digital agency like viralify to upscale your online and offline presence and skyrocket your brand equity.with web and social signals. You will need to rank faster. You will need to get noticed and that should be your priority.