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Thinking of Starting a Small Business?

Part 1: Three Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Small Business

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Starting a small business.

Are you ready to start your own business?

Image (c) Jetta Productions / Getty Images

Thinking of starting a small business? You're on the right track. There's a lot of thinking to be done before starting a small business of your own.

Starting a small business is one of those huge, life-altering events. Think of it as a marriage; running a successful small business takes the same depth of commitment and desire. As in a marriage, you're going to be living with your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Like any relationship, if you want it to be successful, you're going to have to work at it. And it's going to have its ups and downs and surprises.

But on the positive side, if you're the right person with a solid plan, starting a small business of your own can be the most satisfying, exhilarating experience of your life.

This article looks at four aspects of starting a small business so you can make an informed decision about whether it is right for you:

  • basic questions about running a business
  • the characteristics of an entrepreneur
  • necessary abilities for successfully operating a business
  • reasons for business failure

Let's get started.

1) Examine Your Heart: Basic Starting a Small Business Questions

The first step is to examine whether or not starting a business is right for you - not your neighbour, friend, coworker, or whoever else is trying to tell you that you should start your own business.

The main quality that you have to have to start your own business is a burning desire to do it. Running a business isn't for the ambivalent or indifferent. You have to really, really want to be your own boss, transform your dream into reality, or market your product or service.

Look inside yourself and ask these three basic questions

  • Do you really want to operate independently and be the person making all the decisions and shouldering all the responsibility?
  • Are you willing to work hard and make the sacrifices starting a small business entails?
  • Do you have the self-confidence and self-discipline that will enable you to persevere and build your new enterprise into a success?

If you have answered "no" to any of these, you're probably not ready to be your own boss. Overnight success stories are just that... stories. The reality is that success is won through hard work over time. And you want your business to be a success, don't you?

If you answered all three of these basic questions positively, then you're on the right track. But not everyone thinking of starting a small business is cut out to actually run a business. Are you enough of an entrepreneur? Continue on to the next page to see whether or not you have the right entrepreneurial qualities.

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