When to Consider Running a Small Business for Yourself

By Kelly MangumDecember 18, 2018

If you want to make serious money, starting a small business is perhaps your best shot. It’s a great way to become your own boss, take your side hustle to the next level, and, more importantly, secure your financial future. The bigger question, however, is: what’s the best time to start? Is there a wrong time or good time to do it?

There’s no outright answer to that. In fact, it all depends on you. Are you ready mentally, financially, and physically to start and run a business? While recent statistics show that over 51% of American small businesses are owned by older adults aged between 50 and 88, age actually doesn’t matter.

Your readiness to run your own business depends on a number of factors:

Where You Are in Life

Slightly more than 15% of small businesses in the US are owned and run by young adults (under 35). Often times that means that those 35 or younger are still busy building their careers, going back to school or actually looking for a job. In other words, they are not in good place financially and emotionally to start running a small business.

It’s not just where you are in terms of your career that determines if you are ready. It could be that you are experiencing stress, challenges or turmoil in your life. Are you dealing with a messy divorce? Have you just lost your job?

Starting or running a business in and of itself is stressful enough. That’s why additional stress like divorce, illness or job loss can make the entire experience overwhelming, if not down right daunting.

Are you ready and can face a new challenge? If you are in the process of moving, for example, you might want to hold off until later.

Your Personality

Not everyone is cut out to become a successful owner. Having the right capital isn’t always enough; there are some personal qualities that can help you thrive better in the world of business. Besides having plenty of experience in that particular niche, you need to be a self-motivated person with great attention to detail, as well as exceptional leadership, management, organizational, motivational, and marketing skills.

As a potential owner, you must also possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills. These will come in especially handy when dealing with partners, suppliers, and customers. Ultimately, you must be resilient and have a great entrepreneurial spirit to successfully run a small business.

Your Financial Situation

Your financial status plays a key role when it comes to determining whether you are ready or not to tackle the challenges of running a small business. Sufficient startup capital is crucial for a business to take off without any hassle. You will have to put together funds to buy inventory, pay employees (if you’re planning to hire), purchase equipment, lease office space, and so on.

Ask yourself: how much financial risk can you take without hurting your personal finances and the well-being of your family? Do you have enough savings to cushion yourself in case the business tanks? Is your credit score good enough to secure a small business loan? Do you know any angel investor or equity financiers who are willing to back your business venture?

It’s only when your financial situation is viable that you can and should start a small business. If you are still wrestling with a hefty mortgage payment or student loans, for instance;you probably don’t want to take out yet another loan.

Your Family Situation

When all’s said and done, starting a small business can impact greatly on your family’s financial well-being. Also,running a business means spending long hours or even days away from your loved ones, and it’ll only get worse as it grows. So, when considering starting a business for yourself, don’t forget to factor in how it’ll affect your family.That’s because financial uncertainties, time commitment, and associated stress can put an undue strain on your family connection and finances.

On a more positive note, getting your family members involved in running the small business can certainly make the whole process a little easier. They can not only lend a hand, but family members can also offer sound business advice and bring tax advantages.

About the Author - Kelly Mangum

Director of Marketing at Franchise.com & Franchise Solutions. Experienced at lead generation & project management. Mama of 2, wife, runner, gardener, living just outside of Portsmouth, NH.
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