Business ownership - self assessment

Sick of working for someone else - feel you want to get into your own business? There are many options - you may look to start a business, buy a franchise, or buy an existing business.

Business ownership requires that leap in faith that you have the personality and ability to enjoy and succeed in your choice of business - in other words some self-assessment to see if you are self employment material. Review the following points to see if you possess some of those key characteristics that are helpful in owning and operating a successful small business:

Are you independent? Taking the initiative recognising when things need to be done? As owner of your business there will be many things that need doing. Are you usually aware of what needs doing, or does someone else have to point these out?

How's your health? In running your business you're are there driving, motivating, and continually doing the things to keep your business on track. It can involve some long hours, and the need to work hard under sometimes demanding conditions. Does your health allow you to go the distance?

Money management - Can you operate within budgets, saving money regularly, putting some away for a rainy day? In business you will need to forecast, budget, pay the bills, and be able to return a profit after having paid yourself. How do your skills stack up? Sometimes the unexpected will happen, a major supply problem, a sudden loss of custom - would you have put aside some financial resources? (Find out more on what you can afford at NZ business finance.)

Dealing with people will be an essential part of many businesses. What level of social interaction are you comfortable with? While you may feel like you're in business on your own, how would you get on with directing one, or maybe ten employees? What about working with customers, do you like dealing with the public?

Are you enthusiastic? It's your business. If it is your business and you can't be enthusiastic about it, who will be? Having your own business should be exciting and fun. If you're out there running it, loving it, sharing you enthusiasm - it will be contagious bringing you greater success. It will now be you who'll be setting the standard.

Are you organised and decisive? Do you understand the dynamics - how people and processes work in together? Can you see and decide on ways to structure things to complete tasks efficiently? To get the most out of your resources, you will need to be able to define tasks and direct staff to get the best from your business.

Do you possess high levels of drive and energy? So you're busy doing something important, and something else pops up, then something else. Do you cope identifying what has to be done, then set out and do it smartly? Or do you tend to feel overwhelmed and give-up, or avoid the issues moving to something easier and more interesting. You're the boss, and the solution is likely to be sitting with you!

What's your vision? Do you recognise commercial opportunities, knowing where you would want to take your business, and what your business would look like. Are you ambitious - do you really desire to see this happen? Without vision, how can you plan to get there, and then know when you've arrived?

Planning - the setting and achieving of goals, the road map directing you to your vision. Do you have the discipline to plan and carry out the necessary activities to grow and develop your business? Ideas are fine, however, to succeed they need to be well researched, developed, and marketed. If you have no plan - how will you get there?

Have you the commitment, not to be deterred by failure or setbacks? When times get tough, do you persevere, or look to walk away? Your business is your money - you can't just quit. There will be days that are long and difficult - some things will go wrong, especially in the early stages as you learn the ropes. Have patience, persevere, and remember your vision.

Are you optimistic and flexible in times of uncertainty - have you the ability to change your game plan and get on with things? Business doesn't always go the way one intends or plans; the rules may change or the market move - the business world is very dynamic, and you must be able to change tact, modify your plan, and move on to creating a successful but different business.

These points are intended to act as prompts to assist you in seeing if business ownership and self employment are for you. They do not provide any guarantee of success.

By Richard O'Brien - nzbizbuysell
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