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The 13 questions you should ask yourself before becoming an entrepreneur

Will your business idea work as an actual business? Are you ready for the hard work and stress that comes with entrepreneurship? Starting a small business isn’t easy, and the failure rate is high. Before you make the leap into entrepreneurship, assess your readiness with these 13 questions.

The 13 questions to ask before you start a small business

  1. Is making money more important to me, or is it more important that I do what I love?
  2. Do I have management or technical experience in a business similar to the one I plan to start?
  3. Do I have a long-term plan for my small business?
  4. Do I have a business model?
  5. Do I have any accounting or bookkeeping knowledge?
  6. Are my finances strong enough to support me if my small business doesn’t turn a profit right away?
  7. Do I have the support of my family and friends?
  8. Am I willing to work longer than usual to start my small business?
  9. How well do I lead or manage others?
  10. How well do I handle risk?
  11. How well do I adapt to changes?
  12. How do I cope with stress?
  13. How do I make difficult decisions?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to pass this little test with flying colours! It’s actually a good thing if you’ve identified areas where you might not be ready right now. Knowing what you don’t know is important, and can help you find – and fix – critical gaps in your knowledge. Training in entrepreneurship skills will also increase your odds of success. After all, nearly one half of all small businesses close within two years of start-up in Canada, so equipping yourself with as many business skills as you can is always a good thing.

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Starting a small business during a recession can lead to success

In last week’s interview on the Orange Files Small Business Podcast, Dr. Leslie Roberts talked about starting a small business during a recession. Contrary to what you may think, starting a business in a recession can actually improve your chances of small business success!

Advantages of starting a small business during a recession

As Dr. Roberts mentioned in her interview, entrepreneurs who start their small business during a recession have several advantages over those who start a business during “boom” periods. If you’re thinking of starting a small business in today’s economic climate, here are some advantages you might have:

  • A better understanding of what your business can handle during more challenging times.
  • Increased fiscal responsibility.
  • Knowing very quickly whether your product or service is viable in your market.
  • Often cheaper prices on things such as office space and supplies.
  • Your product or service potentially fulfilling a need that your customers still have, even if your competitors are backing away.
  • Learning how to be flexible out of necessity.

Successful businesses started during a recession

To bolster your confidence, here are six well-known businesses that were started during, or just after, recession periods:

  • Hewlett-Packard
  • Wikipedia Foundation
  • Microsoft Corp.
  • FedEx Corp.
  • CNN
  • Hyatt Corp.

Today’s economy might not be the strongest, but starting your small business in a recession climate can actually improve your chances of business success. As always, good small business training is essential for a strong foundation, no matter the economic climate – so get your education and get started!

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