Before you commit to starting or buying a business, be sure you are genuinely interested in what the business does. If you aren't, you are unlikely to succeed in the long run - no matter how lucrative you think the business could be. Yes, going into business with a firm plan to make a good living is important, but so, too, is choosing a business that fits your life goals in an authentic way. Here are a few things you might want to consider before you take the leap:

  • Do you know how to accomplish the principal tasks of the business? (Don't open a transmission repair shop if you hate cars, or a restaurant if you can't cook.)
  • If the business involves working with others, do you do this well? If not, look into the many opportunities to begin a one-person business.
  • Do you understand basic business tasks, such as bookkeeping and how to prepare a profit-and-loss forecast and cash-flow analysis? If not, learn before - not after - you begin.
  • Does the business fit your personality? If you are a shy introvert, stay away from businesses that require lots of personal selling. If you are easily bored, find a business which will allow you to deal with new material on a regular basis (publishing a newsletter, for example).

Copyright 1999, Inc.

Published on: Oct 25, 1999