Starting your a business can be a great way to create your own career path, especially in today's tight job market.
But while launching a successful startup is never easy, the current economy can make a startup even more challenging.
"It is amazing how a down economy can really inspire the entrepreneurial spirit inside of people," says John Cerasani, author of Paid Training.
"Many people, both employed and unemployed, have the skills and training necessary to go into business for themselves. However, there a few things to consider before branching out on your own."
How good are you and/or your business concept?
It's common for entrepreneurs to rush the launch of their business based on misperceptions regarding their personal skills or business concept. In the current business climate, there is little margin for error, so the time for a personal reality check is now – before you invest big bucks in your business idea.
Does your new company have the ability to compete over the long-term?
Another common error is for startup entrepreneurs to launch businesses in industries based exclusively on past industry performance. The industry might have been thriving for the past ten years, but what is it doing right now? Is it on the upswing, stagnant or in decline? Before you launch a startup, determine how long your new company can stay afloat in the present and future economy.
What is your projected market share?
How much business can your startup realistically generate? You don't necessarily need to dominate your industry, but your startup needs to be capable of generating enough business to survive in the short-term and thrive over the long-term. Do your research and incorporate your findings into an accurate market share projection.
What differentiates your business from the competition?
Successful businesses differentiate themselves from the rest of the marketplace. Ask yourself why someone should choose your company over established competitors. If your plan is to simply duplicate the products or services that are already available, you could be in trouble. Instead, identify the needs that aren't being met by competitors and orient your business plan toward addressing those needs.
What are the financial risks and rewards of business ownership?
Evaluate the amount of income your current employer generates from your efforts. In most instances, your earnings will be significantly less than the amount of revenue you create for your employer. If so, you may be in a position to eventually increase your personal earnings by working for yourself.