There are more than four things to consider before starting a business. But there are certain things which are fairly important for long term success and happiness. For starters what kind of business do you want to run? What would make you happy while working on something for the long term. Many people start down a path only to later realise that they’re miserable working in their business.
Does your business have growth potential? Here’s another major factor to consider. Is it scalable? A scalable business can give you more freedom back later on. Do you want to sell your business eventually, or is it a lifestyle choice. If so, does it offer the lifestyle you want, or is it going to get in the way having to work on it? Lets look a little deeper into why these are the four things to consider before starting a business.
Four Things To Consider Before Starting A Business
I have a couple of businesses. One is a martial arts business and the other is a lifestyle/internet business. I love the martial arts and always have. It wasn’t until 20 years into my martial arts training that I started my own proper school. I always knew I wanted a martial arts school and I love teaching. Despite feeling a little trapped by it at times, it’s been a good decision.
I’ve also tried out many other small business ideas. I ran an eBay business for a while and eventually stopped. It didn’t give me either the income or the lifestyle I wanted and it kept me working almost all the time! See my eBay strategy here.
The main takeaways I’ve learned are that if you start up a business, choose something you love or which you have an interest in. Otherwise you’ll have a ‘ball a chain’ to carry around for a long time. If you choose a business just for the sake of the money, you’ll probably end up resenting it. This leads to the first of four things to consider before starting a business: what kind of business do you want to run?
1 – What Kind Of Business Do You Want To Run?
There are all kinds of businesses. These days too you can own and operate an online business from anywhere. If you want a lifestyle/internet based business take a look at this video series to learn how you can get started. An online business can be built up around existing work and run from anywhere.
But it’s not for everyone. Not everyone has the patience to learn new skills or the ability to work on their own under their own steam. For some, an online business would be the opposite of what they want. Some are far better suited to be around other people all day and to be working within an office environment. To me that’s my idea of hell!
Knowing yourself is the first step toward deciding what kind of business would suit you. Sometimes you just have to try lots of things to get an idea of what you want. If you have an idea for a business, the best thing is to get started and get your hands dirty.
Think about what environment you work best in. Do you work better around others or by yourself? Would you like to build a business up to sell it, or because you want to work in it? Think about the long term implications of running a successful business. Do you want a lot of responsibility? Do you want to be in charge of others or be working on your own? What are you good at which can be useful in your business? What do you need others for? Take stock of your good points and bad points.
2 – Does Your Business Have Growth Potential?
How will your business grow over the long term? Can you outsource your business and grow it without being trapped by it? Are you building your business simply to earn a crust or a fortune? How much automation works in your business model? What do you want from it? Is your business sellable or scalable. If a business is scalable, you will need to think about whether you want to scale it up. An online business, for example, can be scaled up with automation and by selling digital products globally. Can your business do this?
Unless you have a growth mindset for both yourself personally and your business, it’s quite possibly that your business will stagnate. The glass ceiling of a business will always be its owner.
If your intent is simply to start a business in order to escape an unhappy situation, you may be focused on negative motivators rather than positive ones. This can impact your business. Some small businesses too are simply jobs that you own. A job that you own is a business, but it can be just as tiresome as a job over the long term when you become trapped by it.
Having a plan to grow and escape your business when you need to or want to is a good strategy. An online business lets you automate much of the process so it has built in flexibility and freedom. Does your business offer growth potential and the ability to escape it (and keep the income); or is it simply a job that you own?
3- Do You Want To Sell Your Business Eventually?
If you want to build up a business and then sell it, you need to make sure you’re not the essential ‘hub’ which can’t be replaced. Is your business model sellable? A martial arts business is difficult to sell because it’s built around the instructor and the relationships they have with their students. You need to be able to automate your business and make it work without you, to build it up and sell it.
Think about the business model of your business. If it’s a franchise, you can’t sell it either because you don’t own the business. An online business can be sold if you own your website and have built it in such a way so you can hand it over once it’s doing well. Martin Lewis had successfully done this with the website moneysavingexpert.com. But if your website is built around you, like a travel blog for example, it might be more difficult to sell on, once it’s doing well.
Thinking about whether you will want to eventually sell a business, before you get into it, can make a difference to the business model you decide on. Don’t rush into it without thinking about the four things to consider before starting a business.
You might not be able to sell an online business franchise, but if it offers an automated and scalable income, you won’t want to either. Particularly if you can increase and automate your income and create a flexible lifestyle around it.
4 – Does Your Business Offer You The Lifestyle You Want?
Your business is ultimately going to take up some time in your life. Does this fit in with your family, relationships and other lifetime goals and plans? Does it get in the way? Do you have an exit strategy or is your business going to be your main focus for the foreseeable future? Do you want start your business around other commitments or do you have the resources to make it your main living immediately? What is your current situation right now in terms of finance?
Some businesses will require more input than others. What do you think is required to make a success of the business you want to start? Is this realistic? Are you going to make a lot of money from your business or are you just needing a focus to keep yourself busy?
Look closely at your motives for starting a business. Is it to avoid a situation or create one? Do you secretly wish you could do something else? Are you going to enjoy both the process and the outcome of owning your own business?
Not all businesses are alike. Some will require a lot more time and effort than others. Some are scalable and allow you to build them up around exisitng commitments until they are profitable. Other require more financial input initially to get them up and running. What’s your financial position and how much can you invest in your business?
A lifestyle/internet based business will require a couple of years of hard work before you can expect to be profitable. For some it’s sooner and for others it will take longer. It depends on how much time and money you can put into it. Like anything, you get out of a business what you put in.
Learn How To Build A Lifestyle Business From Scratch
Lifestyle is what will happen while you’re building your business, as well as the lifestyle you can afford depending on how successful you are. Once you have it up and running, an internet based business can offer much more freedom and flexibility than most other businesses. A ‘bricks and mortar’ business, for example may require you to continue working for years to come within your business.
Is this your idea of what a business should give you? Or do you want more freedom and flexibility from a business? Lifestyle, both during the building and after your (hopefully) successful outcome are important factors to consider. Do you have space in your life for a business and will it affect your most important relationships? There are more than four things to consider before starting a business. Which is most important to you: your business or your friendships and relationships?
An online business can offer anyone the opportunity to build and develop their own business from scratch. It also offers a lot more flexibility and freedom because it can be built from anywhere globally from a laptop and scaled up. Once systems are running correctly and you have done much of the setting up, your business can run on ‘autopilot’.
This kind of online business system is already allowing many online entrepreneurs to live a much more flexible life from anywhere globally working from their laptop with an internet connection.
Learn how you can do this. Start here with this 7 day video series.
What are the most important four things to consider before starting a business? Please leave your comments below starting with the most important.