Too often people fail in business because they make avoidable mistakes! My Own Business is an online, twelve-session course providing the basic do's and don'ts for entrepreneurs. The course is intended for both start-up and already operating entrepreneurs. With audio sound bytes, quizzes, feedback and a tool to create your own business plan, the site is fully interactive.
See this site for free internet course on how to start a business: http://www.myownbusiness.org/course.html
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:
Do I have what it takes to own and manage a small business and am willing to give it?
An objective appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses is essential. For example:
· Am I a self starter? i.e. Am I used to having someone else tell me what needs to be done and when? Will I be willing to work even when I'm sick or tired?
· Am I willing to work long hours everyday for several years? e.g. can I open and close the business each day and, possibly, perform the janitorial and bookkeeping even after a long workday?
· How well do I get along with a variety of personalities? i.e. Can I always please the customer even when I know 'they are wrong'? Can I be perceived as providing good service to difficult customers?
· How good am I at making decisions? quickly?
· Do I have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business?
· How well do I plan and organize?
· How well do I pay attention to the details?
· Are my attitudes and drive strong enough to maintain motivation?
· How will the business affect my family?
· If I used someone else to do the accounting would I be able to recognize that they are making mistakes or cheating me?
· Do I have enough money to pay my family's monthly expenses, buy or start the business, pay employees and their benefits and taxes, and afford an accounts receivables balance from my customers?
What are some of the characteristics of an Entrepreneur versus being an employee of another firm?
Enjoys: Other than work Passion for work
Experience: Defined and limited Never enough
Hours of Work: Defined and limited Never enough
Time off: Fixed: 2-7 weeks None – Very Little
Risks: Worst: Lose your job Worst - Lose everything!
Rewards: Moderate Negative – Very High
Responsibilities: Defined and limited All of them
Satisfaction: Low - High Lower – Higher
If you don’t know for sure then you are not ready to be an entrepreneur!
What do I need to succeed in a business?
Besides a lot of luck, there are four basics of success in small business:
1. Sound management practices
2. Industry experience
3. Technical support
4. Planning ability
Few people start a business with all of these bases covered. Honestly assess your own experience and skills; then look for partners or key employees to compensate for your deficiencies.