You are about to hand in that resignation letter that has occupied all your waking hours these last few weeks. You are very excited to start your own business. You could hardly wait for the day you can make your own decisions and be calling the shots instead of just responding to your boss’ instructions. However, before you head to the HR office, have you considered the following issues?
How committed are you to your plan?
Daydreams do not often reflect reality. Beautifully hatched plans in the drawing board of your head will not look the same once they are stripped of romanticism. Starting a business requires the firm resolution to do whatever it takes and this is not always fun. It may entail much inconvenience and frustrations. Are you willing to meet these challenges and more?
How adaptable are you?
Although calling the shots sound fun, it may not always be the case. Being able and willing to adapt to situations is a key factor for success in any business. Perhaps you own the business but it is subject to the dictates of the market you are in. Perhaps, being a revolutionary in your field may be ideal but it has its limitations so you are not as free as you hope you’d be. Expect and embrace sudden changes in business trends because failure to do so may spell failure.
How resourceful are you?
Most business “gurus” dispel the idea that money begets money. However, remember that it is also true that nothing comes from nothing. Even the brightest idea somehow needs funding to lift it from the drawing board. Make sure you are resourceful enough to look for alternative plans to replenish funds when needed.
Do you have the foresight?
You do not exactly need to be a seer to predict the future of your business but you must at least have the ability to read the signs of the market. Being forewarned is being forearmed so be alert to market trends. Being the boss is far from just sitting behind the desk and rattling off instructions to your workers. Your instructions should be well-thought of and carefully studied so never stop studying. Learning is an ever-ending process, even, or especially, when you are already the boss.
Do you have the patience for success?
How willing are you to forego immediate gratification in favour of a later but more lasting reward? This may mean foregoing that vacation you dream of, or buying the latest gadget, or even simple the pleasure of watching that match on TV when it coincides with a business meeting. Are you willing to sacrifice your craving for the latest car model to buy a delivery van instead? How would you feel spending lesser time bonding with your family or friends?
Are you ready for a full-time education in the SHK?
SKH or School of Hard Knocks is where you learn through actual, usually negative, experiences firsthand. Many enrol in business schools to learn about business plans, marketing, accounting, etc. There is no harm in getting formal education to start a business but nothing beats experience in learning the intricacies of business. Whereas business schools teach you based on theories, SKH does it in practice, and therefore, by better learned and remembered methods.
Is your mind open to ideas?
Business is usually learned and developed through careful and intent listening. Feedbacks of customers are effective springboards for you to reach higher levels of excellence if listened to. Your sympathetic ears should be open to understand and meet the market’s needs. Remember that you are not learning much when your mouth is moving so keep your mouth shut and listen. That’s the good way to learn.
Are you ready to stoop down when needed?
Do not think that humility makes you a weak leader. On the contrary, it shows strength when you are ready to take responsibilities for mistakes and willingness to correct them. In running a business, mistakes cannot always be avoided but instead of blaming others for debacles, maintain your cool and be humble enough to face and learn from them. Otherwise, because of your false pride, they may start the end of your business. Heed the advice and opinions of qualified and better experienced business mentors.
So before you hand-in that resignation letter, make sure you have had a closer look into yourself. Starting your own business is wise and most rewarding thing to do. Nevertheless, even the brightest idea requires careful study in order to see it through its successful completion. The above questions, if taken seriously, are excellent guides in your plan to start on your own. Good luck!