Checklist: Are You Ready to Start a Business

This assessment tool is designed to help you better understand your readiness for starting a small business.

General Questions

  • Do you think you are ready to start a business?
  • Have you ever worked in a business similar to what you are planning to start?
  • Would people that know you say you are well suited to be self-employed?
  • Do you have support for your business from family and friends?
  • Have you ever taken a course or seminar designed to teach you how to start and manage a small business?
  • Have you discussed your business idea, business plan or proposed business with a business coach or counselor, Small Business Development Center counselor or other economic development advisor?
  • Do you have a family member or relative who owns a business?

Personal Characteristics Questions

  • Do you consider yourself a leader, self-starter and a team-player??
  • Are you willing to invest a significant portion of your savings or net worth to get your business started?
  • Do you have enough confidence in yourself and your abilities to sustain yourself in business, if or when things get tough?
  • Do you like to make your own decisions?
  • Do others turn to you for help in making decisions?
  • Are you prepared, if needed, to temporarily lower your standard of living until your business is firmly established?
  • Are you willing to commit long hours to make your business work?

Skills, Experience & Training  Questions

  • Do you have a business plan for the business you are planning to start, understand its components, and why some consider it to be the most important factor determining business success?
  • Do you know what form of legal ownership (sole proprietor, partnership or corporation) is best for your business?
  • Do you know if your business will require a special license or permit and how to obtain it?
  • Do you know where to find demographic data and information about your customers?
  • Do you know how to compute the start-up costs and financial ‘break-even point’ for your business?
  • Do you know about the various loan programs that are available from banks and financial institutions in your area?
  • Do you understand how a business loan can impact your credit and why small business loans are considered more risky than loans made to large businesses?
  • Do you know basic accounting or know how to prepare and/or interpret a balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement?
  • Do you know your target market, and are you sure your planned business fills a specific market need?
  • Do you understand the tax requirements associated with your business?
  • Do you know how to prepare a marketing strategy for your business, and understand marketing trends in your business industry?
  • Do you know how to learn about your business competitors?
  • Do you feel comfortable using a computer or other technology to improve business operations?
  • Do you have a customer service strategy in mind or in place?
  • Do you know if your business should have some form of intellectual property protection?
  • Do you know where to obtain information about regulations and compliance requirements that impact your business?

If most of your responses to the questions above is YES, then it indicate that you are well on your way to being an entrepreneur. When you are in the beginning stages of starting your business, find and invoice factoring company to help you with your finances and making sure you can make capitol off of your product.

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