LIFE

Become Your Own Boss: 14 Signs You’re Ready To Start Your Own Business

by Desirée O

Have you ever dreamed of going on out your own, taking a chance on your passion, or being your own boss? Then starting your own business might be your career-related path to happiness. And now might be the perfect time to take the leap.

According to Fortune, in February 2017, the percentage of new job seekers starting their own businesses was the highest it had been in four years. This is partly because at the current moment in time, people are apparently optimistic about the potential success of their ventures (and credit is cheap, as well). And if things don’t end up going the way they’d hoped, the risk-takers are pretty confident that they’ll be able to reenter the traditional workforce.

It can be really exciting to start your own business, but there are a lot of risks involved, too. If you’re among those thinking about starting your own business, here are 14 ways to know you’re ready to take the leap.

1. You Have an Amazing Idea

1. You Have an Amazing Idea
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The first thing you need when you’re considering starting your own business is an idea. And it can’t just be any old idea; it has to be something that’s original and doable and (ideally) has a good chance of success. But if you haven’t been struck by inspiration just yet, then don’t worry!

According to Entrepreneur, Stephen Key, cofounder of InventRight, says that “you have to come up with a lot of ideas to be successful.” He says that you can come up with those ideas by doing everything from thinking about what technology is on the horizon to developing a solution to something that bothers you. “You just have to look at what frustrates you,” he says. “There’s your business idea right there.”

2. You See an Opening in the Market

2. You See an Opening in the Market
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Starting a new business doesn’t necessarily mean coming up with a totally new idea. According to Stephen, in 2003, he started a company called Hot Picks after realizing the major brands in the guitar pick industry weren’t making collectible novelty picks. Take a look at the industries you love, and consider whether or not they’re missing a key product or service or if there’s a twist you can put on an existing product or service.

3. You Have a Realistic Business Plan

3. You Have a Realistic Business Plan
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Before you start your own venture, you need to have a good idea of how you’re going to tackle the entrepreneurial challenge ahead. According to the US Small Business Administration, a business plan is one of the most important steps when it comes to becoming your own boss. Your plan should span the first three to five years and account for goals, milestones, and revenue projections.

If you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to a business plan, the SBA offers a step-by-step guide to get you on your way.

4. You Have Money to Invest or You Have Investors

4. You Have Money to Invest or You Have Investors
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Starting a business takes money — usually a lot of money. If you want to start a company of your own, then you need to have the funds to do so. That means that you either have a hefty amount tucked away in a savings account or you have investors lined up who are ready to provide the cash you need to get things off the ground.

5. You’re Able to Support Yourself Financially While You Get Started

5. You’re Able to Support Yourself Financially While You Get Started
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There are some businesses that you can get rolling on the side while also managing to keep your full-time job. But if the business you want to start will require the bulk of your time and energy, then you’ll need to quit your current job before your big launch. If that’s the case, then you definitely need to have enough saved up to cover your bills for the first year or more.

6. Your Debt Is Under Control and You Have Good Credit

6. Your Debt Is Under Control and You Have Good Credit
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While it’s helpful to be financially secure before you start your own business, you also should be sure that your credit is in a good place. As you delve further into setting up your company, you’ll come across more instances where good credit will work in your favor, such as when you’re securing a loan or leasing an office or retail space.

7. You’re Willing to Continually Learn New Skills

7. You’re Willing to Continually Learn New Skills
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Running a business means taking on the tasks that you planned for as well as managing all of the unexpected responsibilities that pop up along the way. To be a successful business owner, you need to be willing to continue to learn new skills.

8. You’re Able to Be Your Own Boss

8. You’re Able to Be Your Own Boss
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Unless you intend to hire a CEO to run your new business, then you’re going to be the new boss. That means you have to hold yourself accountable, manage your own schedule, and handle the big issues that pop up, since there will be no one above you to take over when things get tough.

9. You’re Able to Be a Boss of Others

9. You’re Able to Be a Boss of Others
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Along with being your own boss, you’ll also be the boss of any employees you take on. That means you need to effectively navigate the hiring and training process, mediate any problems, and boost morale, just to name a few of the top-of-the-ladder requirements.

10. You Have a Network

10. You Have a Network
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If you already know a lot of people in your industry (or the industry you want to work in), that can be a key factor in launching your business successfully. Tapping into your network can help you access advice, get reliable recommendations, and even connect with professionals and potential clients or customers.

11. You Have a Support System

11. You Have a Support System
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Starting your own business isn’t easy, but having family and friends who are willing to be there for you will make the process so much better. Not only will you have someone to lean on when things get rough, you’ll also have people around to celebrate your milestones and success.

12. You’re Willing to Endure the Highs and Lows

12. You’re Willing to Endure the Highs and Lows
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If you want to start your own business, then you need to be prepared to ride the roller coaster. With every successful step forward, there could be two failures that force you to take a step back. But bumps in the road don’t necessarily end up being total roadblocks, which means that you need to roll with the punches and keep going.

13. You’re Prepared for Failure

13. You’re Prepared for Failure
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Despite all of your planning, dedication, and hard work, countless other factors will affect the success of your venture. That means that as hard as it is to face, your business could fail. If that happens, you could face all sorts of financial and emotional repercussions that you need to be able to handle. Before you take the leap, be sure you fully understand the risks.

14. You’re Prepared for Success

14. You’re Prepared for Success
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While you should be prepared for what comes along with a failed business, you also have to be prepared for success. If things take off the way you surely hope they will, then you’ll be in high demand, and your schedule will likely be jam-packed. You’ll have to juggle ever-growing responsibilities and make increasingly daunting decisions. You might have to manage more employees than you ever bargained for and more money than you ever imagined. Before you launch your venture, be sure you fully understand what comes along with success.

If you can check off all 14 items from the list above, you’re probably ready to start your own business. Good luck!