You’ve always dreamed of being the boss, but do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?
Experts at The Maids®, the residential cleaning service that remains a model for the franchising industry, say you should consider the following before starting a business:
1. Can you deal with risk and insecurity? If you are flexible, able to handle unpleasant surprises, and willing to wade into the unknown, you stand a good chance of navigating entrepreneurial waters. You’ll also need a strong business plan that includes long-term and adaptable marketing and sales objectives.
2. Will you take on any task – from bookkeeping to cleaning toilets – and work long hours to keep the business running smoothly? If you don’t want to participate in the daily, sometimes mundane, aspects of a business, you probably don’t have the personality of an entrepreneur.
3. Do you become defensive when criticized? A thick skin and the ability to separate yourself from the business are necessary for any owner. As the top executive, you must take responsibility for decisions, and you must be able to deal with unhappy customers, unproductive employees, and hostile competitors.
4. Are you disciplined? Make sure you love what you do and are willing to do what’s best for the company. Are you ready to re-invest profits into the business rather than in your pocket? Are you good at what you do? If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” you may not be ready to be the boss.
5. Are you a “people person”? You’ll need a community of people to make your dream come true, from engaged employees to a strong network of mentors and other supporters who will help you stay invigorated and true to your goals.
6. Are you willing to make necessary sacrifices? At least initially, you will be placing most of your energy into the business, which can place extra stress on families. Make sure your relationships are strong and that family members understand what entrepreneurship will mean for everyone.