What Should You Consider Before Starting Your Own Business?

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

A number of things ought to be considered before starting your own business. There are so many things to think about, and obviously the main goal is that a business will be successful and accomplish the things people want. It could be said that thinking about how to start your own business would come down to at least some of the following: likelihood of type of business succeeding, issues regarding money and credit, ability to understand all responsibilities of a business on a government level, and degree of business savvy/education.

Some people pay a lawyer to draw up any types of legal documents needed to start a business.
Some people pay a lawyer to draw up any types of legal documents needed to start a business.

First and foremost, a business type has to be weighed to determine its likelihood of succeeding or failing. Before starting your own business, some market research is needed. For instance, a person might decide to sell Avon® cosmetics, which does require an investment. One question has to be: how many other people are presently selling Avon® in the neighborhood? If the answer is quite a few, this may not be the most successful business venture; the market is already saturated.

It's important to decide if a business can be sustained from the owner's home or if a storefront is needed.
It's important to decide if a business can be sustained from the owner's home or if a storefront is needed.

With any type of business, people can ask: what will be the competition, and is there a proven or likely need for the items/services provided? Sometimes starting your own business means looking at what’s available first, and then determining business type. In other words, people find out what is missing in the market they want to sell to, and look to providing that missing element.

Most businesses require an initial investment of capital to run the business until profitability is reached. When starting your own business, it’s necessary to determine exactly what amount of capital is needed and it should be estimated how long it might take until a business starts making enough money to self-support. People might need to invest their own money to start a business, but if it falters, the money is gone. An alternative is to borrow money. In the majority of cases, this will only be open to people with very good credit, and they will need to repay the money whether or not the business succeeds.

It would make sense then to have an understanding of creditworthiness and also of other funding sources, like private investors. When starting your own business, it’s also valuable to look at finances or personal investment and determine how much it will impact life if investments are lost. Many people are consumed with the idea of how much they can make, but they forget to ask how much they can lose through either loans or personal investments.

Some people pay a lawyer to draw up any types of legal documents needed to start a business. This is expensive, and other people file their own documents like Articles of Incorporation. Similarly, people might need to apply for specific licenses within municipal areas or depending on their product or service. Starting your own business does mean making sure that all legal documents are filed as needed. It also means understanding those documents and how they confer rights and assess responsibilities. A business doesn’t go far if it violates laws, though there are notable exceptions to this rule in big business settings.

There are wonderful stories of entrepreneurs who had little education and made it big with a certain product or concept. While these are inspiring when starting your own business, lack of business knowledge or savvy can obstruct success. Those who don’t have a great deal of understanding on issues like marketing, networking, etc, may be their own worst enemies. If these elements are lacking, consider taking some classes at a business school or community college to brush up. Sometimes there are classes available for certain groups, like women starting a business, and these may be shorter and offered for free.

Starting a business does take a great deal of consideration, but the time it takes to think about things may be well worth it. Constructing a great business plan instead of a poor one, going to the right lenders instead of the wrong ones, and determining exactly what type of business will work, are all worthwhile. Ultimately thinking about the many different things that go into starting a business may give that business a much greater likelihood of succeeding.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen

Tricia has a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and has been a frequent wiseGEEK contributor for many years. She is especially passionate about reading and writing, although her other interests include medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion. Tricia lives in Northern California and is currently working on her first novel.

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