Do you have what it takes?

The dream of owning your own business and the reality of actually running it may be polar opposites. A better work-life balance, a substantial income and simply the satisfaction of being your own boss may be offset by long, arduous hours and slow turnovers until your business is fully established.

Not quite a walk in the park and a long game, setting up and running your own company from scratch can be a rollercoaster ride. Do you have what it takes?

There are a number of things to take into account before diving into the deep end; consider the following questions to see if you’ve got what it takes to run your own business.

Have you got a plan?
Throwing yourself towards something as daunting as starting and running your own business is perhaps inadvisable if you have no definite plan. For starters, do you know how you intend to turn your business idea into something tangible? There are plenty of things to consider before making a plan of action, including whether or not you expect to continue your full time job, if you can live on your present savings until you have a regular and stable stream of revenue, and if at all your business idea is a viable one.

Moreover, it is absolutely vital that you have a game plan for how to scale your business, and what to do each step of the way even before you’ve reached that stage. As with everything, it is best to start small and grow your business accordingly. Assess the situation on a day-to-day basis and budget for your worst-case scenario, and ensure that you have a Plan A, B, C, etc to maintain a level of security through all stages of establishing a new company.

Have you done your research?
Going in blind is a big no-no, so it is imperative that you do your research thoroughly before building your empire. You will need to gather details regarding your finances, staff, competitors, marketing strategies and potential risks to plan ahead for each stage of the way.

Draw up proposals and ensure that your balance sheets and financial documents are in order and have been examined with a fine-tooth comb; banks and money lenders will want to see commitment and diligence when it comes to setting up your new venture and so it is best to have all the relevant materials lined up and ready to go if necessary.

Prepare to be asked a number of questions and thoroughly grilled by all those involved in the process. Know your company, its Unique Selling Points (USPs) and the industry you wish to enter inside-out so nothing catches you off guard.

Are you emotionally prepared?
As we’ve discussed before, running your own company from start can be a rollercoaster, so the question remains: are you prepared to handle the stress and tears before seeing any results? Consider your financial situation, realistic prospects of maintaining and scaling the business in the long-term, and the support you can and will receive from family, friends and staff – if any of the responses are negative, it is worth taking a step back to evaluate the situation.

Quite unlike anything you would have experienced at a nine-to-five desk job, being an entrepreneur does not necessarily come with a manual. You need to be ready and emotionally stable to make big decisions and learn every step of the way. The final results can be incredibly rewarding, but certainly expect to experience sweat and tears along the way.