Starting a business is exciting and nerve-wracking. It will be one of the biggest investments you’ll make during your lifetime. Not just financially, but emotionally as well. Doing it right will mean taking on a lot of responsibilities and making a lot of sacrifices. It will also mean working harder than you ever have before.
For these reasons, business ownership is not for everyone. If you don’t have the right skills, personality, and commitment to operate a business, you’ll be in trouble before you make your first sale. So before you begin planning your E-Commerce business, you need to take a hard look at yourself, your family, and your finances and give honest answers to some very important questions.
The following questions will help you weigh your personal characteristics and beliefs against the realities of business ownership. Don’t worry if you find that a few of the questions reveal doubts or weaknesses. Nobody’s a perfect match for any profession. But if you find any of the questions troubling, you may want to rethink your decision to go into business.
Here’s 9 question you NEED to ask yourself.
1) Are you willing to accept the responsibility of operating your own business?
Forget the tidy little set of responsibilities that came with a position in corporate life. When you run a business, you’re in charge of everything–from opening the doors in the morning to cleaning up at night. Then when you go home, you worry.
The hours are long, there’s a high degree of stress, and there’s always too much to do and not enough time to do it. You’ll have to deal with your customers and your employees. You’ll be responsible for the finances of the business and dealing with taxes. And you’ll need to fill out a lot of forms and sign a lot of checks.
Make sure you understand what you’re getting into. As a business owner, you’ll have more responsibilities than you’ve ever had before, no matter what your previous jobs have been. If you understand this simple fact, you’ll be ready to take your responsibilities on.
2) Are you comfortable making hard decisions?
As the owner of a business, you’ll also have to make many decisions that affect the business, your livelihood, and that of your employees. Many times they will be tough to make, including the decision to lay people off if your business falls on hard times. It will require decisiveness, mental toughness, and resolve. If you have trouble when faced with tough choices, this could be a problem area.
Do you think owning your own business is the way to make easy money?
Think again. Many people actually end up sacrificing income to open their businesses, at least at first. That’s the price they’re willing to pay for independence.
If you’re thinking of giving up a promising career and a lucrative income to start your business, be realistic about what your financial needs are and whether or not the business will meet those needs. Remember, you’re building a business.
It may take you a number of years to get to the income level you want or need. On the other hand, you may decide that you’re willing to sacrifice some money for the reward of being your own boss. Many people have found it to be worth every penny.
3) Are you starting a business out of desperation?
This is a very real concern, particularly in light of the huge number of experienced businesspeople who have been cast adrift in the job market through corporate downsizing and the \covid-19 pandemic. If you’re one of these people and are thinking about starting a business because you think it’s your only option, be very careful. Yes, it can be the answer to your future security, but only if you’re willing to make the necessary commitments and sacrifices. The world of business ownership is vastly different from the corporate world. Make sure you recognize the differences before you make the move.
4) Are you well organized?
The day-to-day operation of your business is going to require you to assume many responsibilities. Let’s consider an average day. You may need to do the payroll, talk to suppliers, pay a few bills, work on a new advertising pamphlet, and prepare some tax forms. At the same time you’ll be filling orders and making sure they get sent out on time. Then there’s always the unexpected–your computer bombs or the air-conditioning conks out.
As a business owner, you’ll need to keep many balls in the air at one time. Your ability to juggle all these responsibilities will directly affect your success. If you’re well organized, you’ll have a list of the things you need to do, and you’ll methodically go through it during the course of the day. If you’re interrupted, you’ll pick up where you left off after you’ve dealt with the problem. If you’re still not through at the end of the day, you’ll sit there and work until you’ve finished. Procrastinators do not do well in business. If you get behind, you’re sunk.
5) Are you creative?
It’s an asset to any business. No matter how great your product is, you’re not going to be the only one selling it. Marketing and advertising are critical to getting customers’ attention and encouraging them to buy. If you have a creative streak – whether it be copywriting, graphic design, or even an offbeat sense of humour – it will be an invaluable asset to your business.
This is doubly true in E-Commerce. Since your customers can’t see the items they’re purchasing “in the flesh,” so to speak, they need to be enticed by the visual presentation and written description in your promotional materials.
6) Are you flexible?
In business, if an idea or plan doesn’t work, you can’t let yourself waste time, energy, and emotion bemoaning its failure. You need to quickly come up with an alternative solution. Flexibility and adaptability are key. You’ll need to stay focused to achieve your goal, but you may need to try several different paths to get there.
In E-Commerce order, for example, one marketing approach may work for a while and then stall. At that point, you’ll need to come up with something new. Remember, every business plan and every business
can benefit from a fresh look every once in a while, even when things seem to be going along just fine.
7) Are you goal orientated?
This trait is obviously helpful in all parts of life, but it’s particularly helpful in business. As a business owner, your goals will be defined in very simple, concrete terms – gross sales and net profit.
A good businessperson approaches each year with new goals and uses them as motivating forces throughout the year.
8 ) Have you any experience you can use in running a business?
If you have, it will make learning the business a lot easier. Experience in sales, accounting, advertising, marketing, personnel management, taxes, or any other business-related responsibility is a definite plus for a potential business owner.
Experience with computers is mandatory since in E-Commerce of course computers are your lifeblood.
You have to have hands-on experience with computers both hardware and software and not be intimidated by computer experts but rather be able to work with these individuals who command often unique skills.
9 ) Are you financially prepared to open a business?
Starting any business requires money. The nice thing about E-Commerce is that you can make it about as bare-bones as you care to, particularly if you’re starting a small operation that you’ll operate in your spare time. Many people have started E-Commerce businesses for just a relatively small amount of capital.
But the bigger your dreams, the more money you’re going to need. If you’re planning a full-time E-Commerce business with numerous products, the start-up costs will be considerably higher. Then a whole new batch of considerations comes into play. Do you have the financial reserves to support you and your family for a period of time until business picks up? Some business advisers say you should have enough on hand to survive for a year with no income whatsoever. While that may be an unrealistic goal, you do need to consider what happens if the business fails altogether. Do you have the resources to weather such a catastrophe? Do you need to become more finianlly educated.
Before you begin planning your business, you need to take a careful look at your finances. How much of your available capital are you willing to risk? Are you willing to personally sign for a business loan? What do you have to offer as collateral? How much cash will you have in reserve for emergencies? If you don’t have enough to start the business yourself, are you willing to take on a partner or partners? Are you staking your entire financial future on the business?
Undercapitalization is the main cause of failure for small businesses.. Yet many people caught up in the entrepreneurial fever, continue to start businesses on a shoestring, woefully unprepared to deal with the bad times. If you can’t start your business with a comfortable financial cushion beneath you, you may be taking a risk you can’t afford.
These questions may be heart wrenching and difficult to consider but are essential if you are to consider whether you are ready willing and able to run your own E-Commerce BUSINESS?
Are you are ready to take the first step?
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