Starting a Business – Part 1 – Is it the Right Choice For You?

Before you even think about buying or starting a business there are 7 Important Questions you need to ask yourself if you want to make the best possible decision. Once you have considered these questions you will have enough information to decide whether the business you have in mind is the best one for you and if you don’t have one in mind, then this will serve as an excellent checklist for you to review possible options.

‘The E-Myth Revisited’ by Michael Gerber states that every year in the USA alone more than 500,000 businesses are started. Unfortunately, his statistics indicate that more than 40% are out of business in the first year and a further 80% of those remaining are out of business within the first 5 years. It doesn’t end there, he says that 80% of those that survive the first 5 years will fail in the second 5 years leaving and overall total of 4% of business that succeed beyond 10 years! Throughout the report we will reveal some of the reasons that Gerber believes that those 4% succeed.

How do you maximise your chances of getting into that 4%?

The key is to choose a business that fits your life and that will bring you the outcome that you need. Exploring this information before you make any decisions will ensure that you choose a business that requires the right amount of hours each week, has the right level of risk, will deliver the expected returns and provide you with the right level of challenge, satisfaction and recognition that you are looking for.

One great way to achieve success is to study those who have been successful in business. To help you with the critical step of choosing the right business this report will reveal some of the secrets of successful business people.

No-one would dispute that you need a solid foundation to succeed in life and business – a positive attitude, good health, clear goals, a passion and willingness to work hard to achieve your goals…

What are your life goals?
What is important to you?
What does your ideal life look like?

Stephen Covey is well known and regarded for his philosophies on personal management and one of his most well known concepts ‘Putting First Things First’ draws out two important considerations for you to consider when assessing your business through the analogy of the clock and the compass.

The ‘Clock’ represents your commitments, appointments, schedules and activities while the ‘Compass’ represents your life vision, values, principles, mission, conscience, direction and what you feel is important in how you lead your life.

In assessing whether your business suits your life it is important to identify what your ‘First things’ are so that you can make a choice that is in line with your ‘Compass’ as well as your ‘Clock’.

What are the ‘first things’ in your life?
What are your responsibilities in life?
Who are the people you have commitments to?

What amount of time and effort can you realistically give to this venture now and in the future without neglecting your priorities? A business that requires putting in long hours everyday to get it started may not suit you if you have significant responsibilities to your family and if you value time with your family, constant absence from the people you love will eventually lead to unhappiness which may ultimately undermine your success.

Some of the most successful and happy people are entrepreneurs who created a business that is in perfect synchronicity with what they want out of life. If you do something that you enjoy you will work harder, better and more happily.

What do you love doing? There is nothing like being excited by what you do, it fuels your success and there are many periods during the growth of the business when you will need extra energy to carry you through. This business is not just a financial investment. Many entrepreneurs say that the profit part of the business opportunity is only one of many reasons for launching their businesses.

Gerber says that people who succeed in business do so because of an insatiable need to know more about what they are doing so make sure you choose something that excites you!

What are you good at?

Not just from a work perspective but personally and socially. It helps to build a business that takes advantage of your experiences, knowledge and skills.

What is your most valued talent?
What training have you had that you could capitalise on?
What do others people in your life say that you are best at?

And if you don’t know what they would say…Ask them!

Focus on finding a business that builds on some of the skills, experience or qualities that you already possess – this gives you a ‘head start’ with your venture!

The answers to these questions become the basis for thinking through your business choices….

And always remember, as Gerber quotes:

‘Your business is not your life, the primary purpose of your business is to serve your life.’

Next week – Part 2!

Helen.

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