The times have changed. Gone are the days when young Nigerians fervently pursue their studies with the aim of eventually getting a great job that offers a good salary, job security and ultimately, a mouth-watering retirement package. Young Nigerians now dream of being independent, building on their ideas and starting up their own businesses.
However, having the desire to start your own business (no matter how small), as well as the required startup capital, is no guarantee that you will actually succeed. There a number of other factors that come into play, and determine if you are cut out for the trade.
You may have created a business plan, talked to other business owners and basically done plenty of homework…but that may not just be enough. Before you take the entrepreneurial plunge, you may want to take an honest inventory of your personality and/or skill set and check for any of these clues that point to that fact that starting your own business is not right for you.
Your key motivation is “Money”
Basically, everyone starts a business with hope that they will come into good money when they start making profit, but making profit should not be the main reason why you are in business… if you want to be successful. If your aim when starting a business is to make quick cash rather than solve problems and serve others, chances are you will get discouraged and your business will fail even before it has a chance. You are probably better off not starting the business.
Building a successful business takes time, and profit does not come immediately. You will need an intrinsic ambition or motivation that transcends getting a fat pay cheque.
You are indecisive and like to procrastinate
To start and succeed in building a small business, you must be able to confidentially make the necessary calls when needed… without undue hesitation or delay. Also, you cannot deliberate for hours over things you should quickly.
When it comes to business, he who hesitates is lost. If you know you are a procrastinator, or you are not the kind of person who can confidently take decisive action, you have business being an entrepreneur.
You don’t take risks
To successfully take the entrepreneurial plunge, you must be a risk taker. You can’t be one who likes to take refuge in the comfort zone.
Nothing is certain in terms of product demand, distribution, processes and technology, and you would be required to take bold new steps per time. If you know you are the type who cannot to let go of the familiar and deal objectively and fearlessly with the new (which will present itself to you every day as a business owner) then you have no place starting a business.
Forging ahead with such attitude will ensure your stay obsolete and your business dies a quick death.
You are extremely disorganized
You may have been able to pull off certain tasks while maintaining a world of clutter and chaos, but a small business is nothing like any of those simple tasks. As insignificant as they may seem, being disorganised can actually lead to the doom of your small business. You need to be able to keep accurate records, pay necessary bills e.t.c if you want to stay on track of your business.
Being disorganised ensures you operate an inefficient system. You really do not want to start a small business, if chronic disorganisation is your thing.
You don’t have a support system
To start a business, you cannot be a loner. You need a network of friends- people who can offer personal or emotional support. You also need mentors – proven business experts, who can advise, guidance you and keep you on your toes.
Being a business owner is difficult. No matter how strong and independent you think you are, without a support system to help you wade through the difficulties that will arise, chances are you will give up before you know it.
You like to make excuses
If you are the type who likes to play the blame game rather than take responsibility for your actions, you may want to think twice before starting your business. For a small business to succeed, you must learn how to take responsibility for everything – especially when it involves your customers or investors.
Your customer does not want to hear that the service was not rendered properly because your employee has not finished his training, nor does your investor want to hear that you haven’t achieve certain set goal because the president is still in London. You must be able to claim responsibility for what happens in your business as a small business owner. On the bright side, you are in charge so when thing go really well as well, you receive the praise.
While these signs highlighted above are bad for building a small business, it is not necessarily a guarantee for failure. The good thing is that, even if you show some of these signs, you can work on them, overcome them, then tackle business ownership afterward.
Photo Credit: Dgilder | Dreamstime