This seems to be the year of the entrepreneur. In a previous post, I spoke about the vast opportunities for women entrepreneurs. Everywhere I turn someone is saying they want to start a business. The corporate climate and job market are leaving people with the strong desire to launch out on their own and pursue their version of the American Dream. I love it. I am inspired by the many friends, colleagues and peers that I meet up with at various conferences, networking events and social media who bounce business ideas off of me. But before you get ready to make the big leap, I have three questions for you to ask yourself before a business launch.
1. Am I Passionate About This?
Passion and purpose when properly aligned will eventually lead to profit. Businesses have good days and bad days; sometimes those days are the same day of the week. But at the end of the day, you still have to pick up the pieces and run your business. You can never rest on your laurels. Yesterday’s win can quickly turn to tomorrow’s defeat. So are you passionate about your business idea? Also, some people are passionate about the idea but not about running a business. When both of these align, it’s a ripe situation for business. If passion for the idea or passion for business in general are lacking, don’t quit your day job.
2. Do People Need My Product or Service?
It’s the age old law of supply and demand. If no one needs or wants your product or service there’s no market for it. Sure, you might be passionate about the idea. Your friends and family might tell you it is brilliant and the next best thing since sliced bread. But would they purchase from you? Will they evangelize for you? Is there a larger market beyond your immediate circle who could use your product that would pay for it? If not, again, don’t quit your day job. There’s a huge difference between a hobby and a thriving business.
Why do you want to be in business? Is your why and your passion enough to sustain you during down times? This is an offshoot of number 1, but it delves a little deeper. It gets to the core of why you started thinking about business in the first place. Is your reason that you would like to have more freedom to spend your time as you please? Do you want to build a family legacy and transfer wealth to your children? Have you had this idea for years and you feel incomplete without at least trying it? These are the reasons you should keep in the forefront of your mind. Consider them the gas to your engine.
When your passion, your “why,” and the need for your product or service in the marketplace align, it’s time to push out your idea. Another consideration to be made is whether the timing is right (we’ll cover that in another post). I hope this article helped you consider some things before launching out into the deep. Entrepreneurship is very rewarding. It is also hard work. Make sure you are armed and ready before jumping into an enterprise.