The reality of starting a business

Starting and running a business has many benefits. You can be your own boss, achieve your dreams and enjoy greater flexibility. However, it also involves hard work, frustrations and setbacks. An important step in assessing your suitability to start a business is to consider the realities you may face.

Think about your income

Running a business often results in long hours, no holidays and little personal income. Even if your business does make a profit you may choose to invest this money back into the business rather than pay yourself a salary. If you can afford to receive a salary, the amount and frequency of payments may be affected by the profits and expenses of your business.

Consider your family

There can be a big difference between working as an employee for someone else and running your own business. You may feel that you need to spend as much time working on your business as possible. If you do not have set hours and you cannot afford to take annual leave, this can decrease the amount and quality of time you spend with your family.

Assess your personality

While starting and running a business requires many skills, it is also useful to assess your personal attributes. How do you handle pressure? Do you have a positive attitude? Do you work well under stress? Do you enjoy interacting with other people? Answering these questions can help you to decide if you are ready to start a business. Take our business readiness quiz to assess your business viability and personal commitment.

Reflect on your goals

When you run a business, you may find that you simply don't have the time or money to meet your personal goals. Enjoying a dream holiday, paying off the mortgage and spending more time with children and grandchildren are all personal goals that you may have to postpone as you work towards achieving your business goals.

How can you exit?

You need to consider your exit strategies. Ideally, your business should be managed and maintained as if it was for sale at all times. When starting up, you need to plan for your business to be a saleable asset in case you wish to exit or retire. Learn about exiting a business.

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