10 things to think about before starting your own business

I recently read an article on WikiHow titled, How to Start Your Own Business. It all makes sense. In seven succinct phases you can have a business up and running. From getting the idea to getting paid for that idea. It all sounds so simple. But there is one thing missing from the check list. This may fall under the section of determining impediments.

One impediment not usually mentioned when discussing a business plan is you. That’s right. You. The most important thing to think about when considering starting your own business is your personality.

1.  Do you have the right attitude, ambition, and tireless drive to make this idea work? You will be required to live your new business 24/7. You will dream it. Are you married? Have children? Can you go without seeing them for extended periods?

2.  Do you have the support — mostly moral — from your family (but money would be useful)? Part of 1 above. If your family is behind you and willing to make the sacrifice of not seeing much of you then you’re off to a good start. But relatives with money can come in handy.

3.  How easily are you disappointed? How to you handle failure? You will fail. You will not get some of the clients you want. If you can deal with set backs then proceed to number 4. If not—give up now.

4.  Are you easily depressed? Similar to 3 above but more intense. Periods of depression can last longer and effect everyone around you and everything you do. Be healthy. Eat right, get exercise. Take time for yourself.

5.  How well do you take criticism? Rejection? Face it. Some people will not like what you do. And they will likely tell you about it. (Been online lately. Read the comments section to any article. People are mean.) Many clients/customers will not chose your service or product and not tell you why. They may not even tell you they are going elsewhere. More than likely, they will just ignore you.

6.  Are you quick to anger? Ever find yourself ready to blow up when people are stupid? Do you ever think people are stupid because they disagree with you? Consider doing something else that does not involve working with people.

7.  Can you write? Well? You don’t have to be a grammarian. You just have to write so people can understand you and make it look as you can string together a few sentences.

8.  How good are your phone habits? Can charm a prospective a client on the phone? When you answer the phone do you immediately sound engaged and ready to listen? Do you identify yourself right away? How much humor can you inject into a conversation with a complete stranger without angering them? All of these are important phone skills, especially if you may want something from them. Such as a sale.

9.  How good are your leadership skills? Have you ever managed employees? Remember back in 1st grade your report card said things like “plays well with other,” or “is respectful of others.” This is a lot like that, except it’s not play and you get to be the bossy kid on the playground. There are plenty of businesses where you can be the only employee. However, there’s a good chance that you will have to hire some help at one point.

You will likely spend more time with your employees than you do your family. At times, it may seem as if they are like your family. Trust me. They’re not. Try a simple experiment: tell them they won’t be getting paid anymore. Then, as they all head toward the door, tell them it was all a joke. Your employees are looking for a leader. Give them direction and let them do the work.

10. Can you listen to others? Really, listen. Actively listen (and know what that means). Ask the right questions at the right time. If you don’t have the patience to let someone else talk then you shouldn’t be in business.

This self-evaluation is one of the most important details you need to go through when starting a business. For most. it’s the most important detail. So many businesses fail because the company founders didn’t have the personal characteristics needed to keep their business going.

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