Be your own boss, but answer these questions first.
There are several things to consider before starting your own venture, least of all what type of business you would like to get into. Among other things you need to think about the legal and financial side of registering a company, consider the financial implications of striking out on your own, and have a Plan B in place lest things not go as planned. This quick quiz will reveal whether you have put enough thought into your idea and are ready to take the plunge, or whether you need to spend more time at the drawing board first.
1. Do you have an idea in mind as to what type of business you want to start?
A. Yes, I know exactly what type of business I want to start.
B. I have considered a few ideas but not yet settled on any one of these.
C. I am not at all sure yet what type of business I want to start.
2. Have you drawn up a business plan?
A. Yes, I have put together a formal and thorough business plan.
B. I am still working on my business plan.
C. I have not yet put any sort of plan in writing.
3. Have you considered whether your intended business meets an identified market need?
A. I have and I am confident that it does.
B. I have thought about it and I believe there is a need for it.
C. I have not really given this much thought.
4. Have you undertaken any market research of your own or have you studied existing market research?
A. Yes, I have done extensive research.
B. I have looked at one or two studies.
C. I have not done any of this.
5. Have you fully considered the financial implications of starting a business?
A. I have a detailed financial plan in place and know exactly what costs to anticipate.
B. I am still in the process of working out the financial implications.
C. I have not yet put much thought into what costs starting a business would entail.
6. Do you have enough money saved to float or fund your business for the first three to six months?
A. Yes, I feel confident I could still pay all of the bills while I get my business up and running.
B. I have some money saved, but probably not enough for the period mentioned.
C. I do not have much – or any – cash set aside.
7. Have you elected who will manage your business's books and records, and complete and submit the relevant tax returns?
A. I have considered this and am confident it is sorted.
B. I have someone in mind to ask to handle this but have not yet finalised things.
C. No, I thought I would think about this after starting the business.
8. Have you identified your business's target audience or customer?
A. Yes, I know exactly who my ideal customer or client is.
B. I have starting thinking about it but am not yet 100% clear on my exact target audience.
C. I have not given much thought to my ideal target audience or customer.
9. Have you established what registrations, licences, permits or similar legal requirements you need to have in place for a new business?
A. Yes, I know exactly what I need.
B. I have started researching this topic but have not yet finalised everything I need to apply for.
C. No, I have not even thought of this as yet.
10. Have you considered where your business will be based, if not from home, and what you need to secure premises?
A. I have just the place in mind.
B. I have looked into it but have not yet decided.
C. I am not yet sure.
11. If your idea is something you need to copyright, or which will have intellectual property rights, have you researched this thoroughly and consulted a lawyer?
A. Yes, I believe I am all set.
B. I have looked into what might need doing but not yet finalised matters.
C. No, not yet.
12. Do you have a plan in place should your business fail?
A. Yes, I have a back-up plan.
B. I have put some thought into this, but not yet finalised a Plan B.
C. No I do not.
13. Have you defined goals for your business, be they short term or long term?
A. Yes, I have mapped out what I would like to achieve after around six months, as well as after 12 months and beyond.
B. I have outlined a few small goals, but have not focused much on this as yet.
C. No I have not, or I do not think such goals are necessary.
14. Do your friends and family support your decision to start a business?
A. Yes, and they are all behind me.
B. I have not yet told many of my friends and family and do not know if they all support the idea.
C. No, nobody knows as yet.
15. Are you ready for all the stress – and the risk – that comes with starting a business, such as long hours, financial pressure, uncertainty and possible failure?
A. Yes, I know what I am in for and I feel confident, passionate and up to the challenge.
B. I am hesitant about it, though I think I know what I'm in for.
C. I thought starting a business of my own just seemed like fun.
- If you answered mostly As, congratulations, you are well prepared and ready to start your own business. We wish you luck and look forward to helping you wherever we can.
- If you answered mostly Bs, you are on track, but not quite there yet. We suggest you focus on those areas where you are still undetermined and do more research before striking out on your own.
- If you answered mostly Cs, you are still a long way from being ready to take the plunge. Undertake more extensive research and spend time fleshing out your ideas and plans to ensure you can make a success of it once you get started.