By David Solomon
How do you know if you have what it takes to start or run a business? While there’s no foolproof test, here are six signs to see whether you possess some precious entrepreneurial DNA.
- Your parents or close family had a business or worked for themselves. This is one of the best predictors that you’d be a “natural” as a business owner. You’ve likely subconsciously inherited the entrepreneurial mindset from older family members, and instinctively understand the commitment necessary. Business would probably have been discussed at the dinner table, giving you an informal education in the basic principles.
- Your family and friends support your endeavours. It can be very tough in the early stages of a business and invariably great sacrifices or compromises need to be made. Without the understanding and encouragement of your close support network, getting a business off the ground would be near impossible.
- You’ve done the necessary research already. You know there’s a market for your product or service, and you have evidence to back this up. No business idea has legs until you know there’s a demand for it, and that people will pay for it. You’re also sure that your business will run at a profit, otherwise you know it’s not worth it.
- You don’t see working for someone else as a very secure option. Getting a job with a company might be easier than starting a business, but working for the same employer for 10 years – let alone 25 or more – doesn’t sound secure to you. Market dynamics, poor management, politics and corporate takeovers mean putting your job security in the hands of others is risky. You’d much rather take control of your destiny and create your own version of security, even if it may potentially be a bit more volatile at times.
- You have difficulty working for someone else. Whether it’s the idea of being a cog in someone else’s machine, or you’re simply not a “model” employee, you don’t thrive when working for a boss. It’s highly likely that the only person who can effectively motivate and manage you is YOU, or possibly a business partner.
- You know you can’t do it alone. You’re aware that – while you have many great skills, there will be some aspects of your business that will be better handled by others more skilled than you. You might have unique creative or technical know-how, or you might be a star at selling or administration. But you know where you excel, and look for help from employees, partners or consultants for those areas in which you are not an expert.
These aren’t the only indicators of entrepreneurialism, and you certainly don’t need to possess all six. But if you don’t have at least three you should think hard about whether running your own business is the right path for you.