Running a business is tough. Whether you're a brand-new startup or an operating company, it’s important make sure you've considered your own strengths, weaknesses, and reasons for wanting to be an entrepreneur.
In the NaperLaunch Academy, participants use an entrepreneur profile questionnaire to reflect on whether entrepreneurship is a good fit with their interests, skills, and life circumstances. For those who have already started a business, this profile can provide deeper insight into how they and their organization affect each other.
If you’re considering starting your own business, ask yourself these seven questions to assess whether you're ready to take the leap.
- Why do you want to start a business?
What brought you to this point? Is your reason personal, opportunity based, or a mixture of both? For example, do you want more flexibility with your time and energy? Do you want to be your own boss?
- What do you know how to do?
Do you have any specific skills or experience that can help you in this business? Are you a quick learner? Can you gain the skills you need in a timely manner? Do you have expertise in finance, operations, sales, or marketing? How well do you know the market you are entering? Do you know what it takes to make your product or service successful? Are you a good problem solver?
- What do you love to do?
If you have free time, how do you spend it? Do your hobbies fall in line with the business you’re thinking of starting? Does your personality match up with the type of business you’re thinking of? Will you still like what you do when it becomes your source of income?
- What personal and professional relationships do you have that can support your business?
Would you want to partner with someone who has similar or complementary skills? Do you know people with skills, tools, capital, property, or connections that could help you? If you seek help from someone you know, can you accurately gauge their skills or resources?
- What kind of support network can you rely upon?
Building a business can be very stressful; on whom can you rely for emotional support? If your business doesn't take off financially right away, how can you make sure basic needs are met for yourself and your family?
- What are your resources?
Do you have enough cash on hand to get started? Is there anything you can use as collateral if you need a loan? Do you have investors lined up to fund your business, or do you know any in case you need investment in the future?
- How do you handle setbacks?
Do you set realistic expectations? How do you manage your blind spots? How have you learned from past mistakes? In what ways have you shown resilience when facing challenges?
If your answers support your desire to start a business, NaperLaunch can help! Register for an upcoming NaperLaunch Academy workshop or schedule a one-on-one mentoring session with a business librarians, NaperLaunch coach, or SCORE mentor.