By Dan Boudreau
Financial concerns are front and centre for most people when deciding whether or not to start or buy a business. While money and profit are critical to the success of any business, there are a few other things to think about before taking the plunge.
Depending on your priorities, family, fun, health and life style can be far more important criteria to consider before setting that grand opening date. Here are a few questions to help you determine if you’re cozying up to the right business..
- What impact will the business have on your family? Whether you like it or not, your family will be involved and affected by what goes on in your business. At the outset, you will want to assess how supportive your family is of your decision to start a business. You might also discuss with your family the effect of you working long, possibly erratic hours. A business will usually find a way to extract its pound of flesh from a family.
- Will the business allow you to live the way you want? Many small businesses are far more about life style than profit. Business ownership will always entail risk and stress and a number of unwanted tasks, but these things are made more bearable if you enjoy the bulk of the work you’re doing each day.
- What impact will your health have on the business? Make sure you’re healthy enough to give the business the energy it needs. On the flip side, the ideal business will have a positive impact on your health as well.
- Has it been a life-long dream that will preoccupy you until you do it? Studies have shown that a high percentage of adults dream of owning a business. If the business has long haunted your thoughts and you can’t rest until you give it a try, this might be the critical factor in your decision.
- Will the business enable you to live in a desirable area? Is your goal is to relocate to a different community or neighbourhood? If owning the business makes it possible for you to achieve your goal, this might be the most important factor.
- Are there more attractive opportunities for your investment? Whatever business you tackle will require an investment. If the amount you’re investing could bring a higher return with less risk, perhaps you’d prefer to place your money there instead.
- Will the business pay you enough to survive? Start with your personal expenses to determine how much the business needs to pay you each month, and then calculate the amount of profit you want the business to earn after all expenses have been paid.
Once you get into business, it will insist on devouring as much of your time, energy and life as you allow. You’ll devote many waking hours, including quite a few that might have been spent sleeping, to its success.
If you’re going to shoulder the responsibility of owning a small business, you will want to consider all of the items above—money, family, fun, health and life style. If you’re going to invite an elephant to share your life, it may as well be one whose company you enjoy.
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