Becoming an Entrepreneur

Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business

Thinking about starting your own company? Do you have what it takes? Is it worth all the pain and suffering?

There is no way to eliminate all the risks associated with starting a small business.

Becoming an Entrepreneur

However, you can improve your chances of success with good planning and preparation. A good starting place is to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Carefully consider each of the following questions.

Are you a self­starter? It will be up to you - not someone else telling you ­ to develop projects, organize your time and follow through on details.

How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including customers, vendors, staff, bankers and professionals such as lawyers, accountants or consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor or cranky staff person in the best interest of your business?

How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly, often quickly, under pressure, and independently.

Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be challenging, fun and exciting. But it's also a lot of work. Can you face 12­hour work days six or seven days a week?

How well do you plan and organize? Research indicates that many business failures could have been avoided through better planning. Good organization ­ of financials, inventory, schedules, production ­ can help avoid many pitfalls.

Is your drive strong enough to maintain your motivation? Running a business can wear you down. Some business owners feel burned out by having to carry all the responsibility on their shoulders. Strong motivation can make the business succeed and will help you survive slowdowns as well as periods of burnout.

How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. The strain of an unsupportive spouse may be hard to balance against the demands of starting a business. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk.

It's true, there are a lot of reasons not to start your own business. But for the right person, the advantages of business ownership far outweigh the risks.

  • You get to be your own boss.
  • Hard work and long hours directly benefit you, rather than increasing profits for someone.
  • Earning and growth potential are far less limited.
  • A new venture is exciting.
  • Running a business will provide endless variety, challenge and opportunities to learn.

Share this article

Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs

Lists of Venture Capital and Private Equity Firms

Franchise Opportunities


Business Glossary


Conversation Board

Are you thinking about becoming an entrepreneur? Why? We welcome all comments, tips, advice and suggestions.

  • Sam Maropis posted on 4/4/2010
    Sam Maropis
    I find the one thing that a entrepreneur needs is passion. This passion must be greater than all other obstacles then that person will succeed. The entrepreneur needs to have passion to want to succeed in their own business and be willing to grow to the level needed to reach this success.
  • Ketan posted on 6/4/2010
    If you can't make money part-time, you can't make money full-time, so if you have a family to support-DON'T quit your job to start your first venture. Run it part-time and learn all you can about marketing and running a business, and make the shift when the time is right. on why i want to be an ENTREPRENEUR,Yes financial stability as well I am dreaming big, But deep down i want to do some thing for homeless and orphans. I have also promised my Grand mother before she left this earth that i would build a temple for her.She was a true God's mascot. God Please come my way and help me cement my dreams to reality. thanks
  • Madhu.B.M posted on 6/4/2010
    Im just finished engineering...the thing is i dont have interest to go and work in i want to became a good entrepreneur so anyone suggest me how to become and what steps i want to do please...
  • anderw s mafuru posted on 6/14/2010
    anderw s mafuru
    The basic things that can make one be a good entrepreneur is to have no 'FEAR', never think of problems but accept them as 'CHALLENGES', be a risk taker mostly when oppotunities are found. Entrepreneurs believe oppotunities are created from the enviroment so use your enviroment to see the oppotunities available for you to prosper, hence you need to be creative, innovative, smart and sharp in decision making and by that you will be the best Entrepreneur.
  • ana hilvano posted on 7/13/2010
    ana hilvano
    Being an entrepreneur is challenging. It measures your capabilities in decision making and it enhances your character to be optimistic despite the risks your facing. I believe you will really improve in every area if you will take the challenges as an opportunity for you to grow.
  • egidius laurean posted on 7/28/2010
    egidius laurean
    internal desire,ability,commitment,self-confidence and self-motivated can make a person to become a good entrepreneur. look for the new chances and utilize fully resources you will become your own boss, but remember to avoid fear!
  • Bishop McCoy posted on 8/25/2010
    Bishop McCoy
    I'm only 16 but I'm really interesed in becoming an entrepreneur, I want to be the best so I want to know as much as I can about this career choice. This site is phenomenal. Thank you so much.
  • monica rozy posted on 9/3/2010
    monica rozy
    I really want to become an entrepreneur and more so to be one of the best and outstanding entrepreneurs. I have tried small businesses but what brings me down is high levels of debt from my customers. It really demotivates me to the point that I want to quit. What should I do? because my capital didn't even return? am running loss.
  • Ken Gaebler posted on 9/5/2010
    Ken Gaebler
    Monica, it sounds like you have the passion to become an entrepreneur but may need to strengthen your entrepreneurial skills (e.g. avoiding extending too much credit to customers). Read more books on running a business, read our resources for entrepreneurs articles, and find a mentor who can help you turn your loss into a profit. Good luck!
  • Arul posted on 9/28/2010
    I have been really telling to myself for a long time that I want to become entrepreneur.But after reading this article I have started thinking what prompted me to be an entrepreneur, without knowing what is actually entrepreneurship is all about and what kind of sacrifices it needs.It looks like I will lose all my happiness and freedom if I choose my carrier path as entrepreneur. working for 12 hours a day and 6 or 7 days a week would mean no life and only work. Is entrepreneurship that hard?
  • Douglas G. Jackson posted on 2/21/2011
    Douglas G. Jackson
    This article seems to take the pessimistic view when it comes to the entrepreneur. Still, it makes a lot of good points. You must be motivated. It is a time commitment. On the other hand, it doesn't have to be. How much time you put into it depends on a lot of things, such as what you want back from it. For example, if you are working as a handyman for some extra income, you might only work hard enough to bring in an extra $500 per month. On the other hand, if you want to start a company and your goal is to one day end up in the fortune 500, you'll need to work longer hours. Another factor is your support staff. A good support staff can make or break a business. Don't forget, though, a support staff will cost you money. It can be hard to break even, so make sure your company is well-thought out. A well-thought out company will likely have limited liability protection because there is little reason not to have it.

Leave a Reply

Questions, Comments, Tips, and Advice

Email will not be posted or shared
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code

Problem Viewing Image? Load New Code