Cold Facts of Starting Your Own
Author: Cynthia Macy
Do you have the right stuff to make it work? Ask
yourself these five questions before making that leap
from steady paycheck to entrepreneurial uncertainty:
1. Are you a self-starter?
You must have the self-discipline to plan, set goals,
not procrastinate and stay focused.
2. What are your expectations?
Do you think you’ll work less and have less stress and
more money? Think again.
3. What are your financial goals?
Be prepared to work more for less money, at least in
the beginning. Set up your retirement plan in the
beginning and stick to it. Forget vacations and be
sure to keep your health insurance going….now there is
no one but you to take care of these things.
4. Can you plan and organize?
You’ll be making countless decisions each day. Can you
make a workplace for yourself that is free from
distractions, where you can think, plan and
To be a success, you must combine your fantastic ideas
and business tools with solid planning and
Success is never guaranteed and the variables and
factors can sometimes be out of your control. But if
you ask yourself honestly, before taking the plunge:
Do I have what it takes to run a business? The answer
should tell you if the “American Dream” is right for
95% of small businesses fail within the first five
Here are a few reasons why:
1. Mistaking a business for a hobby.
Just because you “love” to cook doesn’t mean you
should/could start a restaurant.
2. Poor planning.
Have you researched all aspects of start-up costs and
on-going expenses? Do you know what your monthly nut
is going to be and do you have enough capital to carry
you through for several years? Do you realize the
sheer number of hours you’ll be working? Do you have
the management skills to wear all the hats necessary?
3. Only one product, one service or one big client.
Markets change and needs change…will you have the
foresight, flexibility, resources and ingenuity to
change with the times? Diversification will cushion
you against the ebb and flow of business tides.
4. Poor record-keeping and financial controls.
If you don’t know how to keep records and do
accounting and file taxes and other business filings,
find an expert to do it for you! Learn how to review
your revenue and expense reports each month so you
always have your finger on the pulse of your business.
5. Poor money management.
Be prepared to plow all revenues back into your
business for the first several years. No frills, no
thrills, stick to a budget and a plan and forget
vacations. Don’t use any of the business income on
personal spending and watch your business and personal
debt, it can kill your new business faster than a
6. Wrong location.
Can your customers easily find you? You know the old
saying “Location, Location, Location!” What about
visibility, image, parking, room to expand?
Check out your competition. Know who they are, what
they offer and what makes your products or services
better (or worse).
8. Poor time management.
Wearing many hats is a reality of an entrepreneur.
Learning how to manage your time means the difference
between success and failure. A daily “To Do” list is
essential, with the top priority items at the top of
the list. Hire help for those things you don’t know
how to do or hate to do.
9. Lack of Marketing and Sales Skills
Keep track of what marketing/sales ideas work and
don’t work and quickly drop those that don’t work.
Hire a pro if you need to.
10. Poor Customer Service.
Once you have a client, you need to keep them. This
means you have to pay attention to the customer,
fulfill their needs in a timely manner, return their
phone calls and emails promptly, bill them properly,
utilize a win-win problem-solving attitude and BE
11. Entrepreneurial burnout.
Owning your own business requires a huge investment of
time, money, energy and emotion. Take time off for
yourself, you are your greatest asset!
A lot of people do not realize that entrepreneurs play
a big role in our society.
When you put the total number of entrepreneurs
together, they count as the biggest financial
contributors to our nation’s wealth. If only
politicians would give grants to finance small
business start-ups, the economy’s growth could be
Knowing the obvious financial rewards and the
important role to society of business owners, many
individuals aspire to be entrepreneurs. The fact
remains, however, that several business start-ups fail
and never take-off from the ground because of one
thing: the lack of adequate and sufficient knowledge
on how to start and run a profitable business.
With proper planning and research and the necessary
professionals to help you in the areas that you are
lacking in, accompanied by adequate capital and
resources, and fed by imagination, energy, excitement
and self-discipline, you could be one of the many
successes that is the backbone of the American
Cynthia Macy has been successfully self-employed since
she was 28 years old. She has traded foreign
currencies and has co-authored 3 forex training
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