A lot of people think or want to have their own business. Some think they can make a go of it after being in the corporate world for a while, while others think they have the next great idea for mankind. What many people do not realize is that starting your own business has more to do with your personality than it does your skills and experience. I know that may not go over well, and will have opposing views, but that is the general rule.
We are not talking here about just starting a business, but creating a successful business. The opposite of that is a crap business, meaning one that really never had a chance from the beginning. A good idea does always translate into a successful business. One sure fire way of having a crap business is to think small and start big. That is often seen with people who open bookstores or “antique” stores that are nothing more than someone else’s leftovers from days gone by. These types of businesses are often seen in strip malls or small brick and mortar stores. In the 21st century, a brick and mortar business better have a solid idea, business plan, and some backup financing to get it off the ground.
The successful business, or one that has a better than average chance of succeeding, needs to fill a gap that exists in the consumer market. One example is to build a better mousetrap, that is, to take an existing product and make it significantly better. An astute businessperson will recognize these possibilities every time they shop. Another example is to see a small niche market in a large existing one, such as noticing that a better surface for a computer mouse than a desktop is a mouse pad. It is not very expensive, so many people may think there is not a lot of money to be made. But it has filled a gap and even with touchpads on laptops, the mouse pad is often seen.
But the most important part of a successful business is what you see when you look in the mirror. The reality is, at the beginning, you are the business. Therefore, you need to ask yourself whether you have the drive and commitment to endure in the long term, when things get difficult, when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, when everyone is waiting for you to fail and call it quits. Beyond tenacity, it takes mental flexibility to change with the times, the ability to manage people and projects, the willingness to do multiple tasks equally well, and the foresight to know when to expand the business and when not to.
You can take self-employment evaluations on a number of web sites to determine if you have the basic personal and professional tools to start your own business. But in the end, there is no guarantee of success even if you have the right product and personal make up. Sometimes it is a bit of luck, and other times it is being in the right place at the right time. Above all, recognize it is taking a risk with your money and time.