Sometimes, the gospel of starting your business ignores one important question; can you handle running a business? As much as we would like to make out that running a business is for anyone, it isn’t for everyone. If you’ve been considering starting a business or find yourself struggling with running a business its time to ask yourself the question. Let’s look at what the question entails and help you find out if you can, in fact, run a business.
Do you love business?
One sure sign that you are ready to run a business is that you find yourself in love with business. This is not the same as loving the advertised benefits, such as being your own boss or potentially unlimited income. Do you find yourself looking deep inside businesses to figure out how they tick? Do you think about the people and processes involved in a business? If the answer is yes, then there’s a good chance you have what it takes.
Are you determined?
When it comes to running a business, many with experience will cite determination as an essential quality. Determination looks like persevering through difficulties. Determination also looks like working through the basics until you master them and understanding how important this is to performing. Why is this important in running a business? Running a business is really two manoeuvering moves that occur in tandem. Leadership is the act of dealing with change to find your way through it. The second act is management which deals with the complexity of competing for limited resources while convincing customers that you are the right provider for the solution they seek. Determination will see you through both these things.
Can you take criticism?
Unless you start the mythical perfect business, you will receive criticism. Your products will be criticised. Your business processes will be criticised. Your people may even be up for criticism. This is especially difficult to deal with because our businesses are prized creations and we can see little-to-no fault in them. However, some criticism is warranted and it is up to us to see where criticism can build us and when it does not add to the bottom line. The ability to objectively look at criticism is a skill in itself as is the ability to act on criticism to improve ourselves and our businesses.
Do you have the money?
This is where it starts to get tricky for many people. Most, if not all, of us want to go into business to make money. While that is a valid reason to want to start a business, getting a business right requires money. You will be required to invest in things like assets, branding and customer acquisition. While the needs of businesses differ, there are very few cases where you will not need money to start and run a business. Furthermore, businesses need to be nurtured and take time to grow. Do you have the money to cover the expenses of the business while it is still finding its feet? Not having the money at present doesn’t immediately disqualify you. You can save up, seek funding, seek investors and use many other methods to raise the money. Do you have a solid plan to raise the money required?
Do you have healthy coping mechanisms?
Running a business sounds like a lot of stress, right? That’s because it is. So it’s really not a question of whether or not there will be stress but rather a question of how you will deal with the stress. How do you deal with stress? What do you do when things aren’t going your way? Do you lash out in anger, sometimes at people who have nothing to do with the stress? That is an example of an unhealthy coping mechanism. Observe yourself and see how you deal with stress. The ideal attitude is to deal with the source of stress. So if it’s customer feedback that rubbed you the wrong way, perhaps addressing the customer concerns, so they don’t appear again is better than going on a social media rant about customers. You will need healthy ways to deal with stress to succeed in business.
Do not take these questions lightly and dismiss them with a simple yes answer. You need to take time to observe your real reactions in situations and be honest with yourself about the answer. If you find yourself answering no to any of these questions, do not despair, as they are all qualities that can be nurtured.