Building a successful business is a major commitment and comes with considerable risk. However, it’s not suited for everyone and you may end up regretting your decision to start a business when things become difficult. To help you decide if you’re a good fit for the entrepreneurial life, here are nine warning signs or red flags you’re not cut out to run a small business.
1. You don’t like being the centre of attention
As the business owner, you should be able to take centre stage and spread the word about your business if you want it to be successful. To get over your stage fright, try public speaking until you become confident and comfortable in the spotlight.
2. You don’t want to take risks
Any kind of start-up business will face a high risk of failure, and success often starts with failure. To see how far your business can go, you should be willing to take risks even if it means failing. You can always learn from your mistakes and find better ways to do things.
3. You don’t want to work very hard for long hours
When you own a business, you should expect to work very hard for long hours. Being driven, single-minded and having the energy to work really hard even at night and on the weekends can increase your chances of success.
4. You don’t want to learn new skills
Starting your own business means carrying out a variety of activities that may require a new set of skills. If you don’t have the money to hire a professional from the start, you’ll need to learn new skills that could put you out of your comfort zone.
5. You don’t want to undertake unpleasant tasks
When you run your own business, you’ll have to do a lot of tasks that aren’t pleasant for you. These can include hiring, promoting and firing employees. If you want your business to achieve growth, you need to be able to fire or refuse to hire individuals if you know they’ll impede the success of your business.
6. You can’t manage money correctly
Despite all the wishful thinking in the world, money won’t be falling from the sky the moment you go into business for yourself. You need to be sensible when managing your funds. If you often find yourself wondering where all the money in your bank account has disappeared to, or if you know you’re a frivolous spender a very harsh reality check is in order before starting a business.
7. You don’t believe in marketing
Marketing is crucial to the success of your business. You should dedicate a lot of time, effort and money to marketing your business using a variety of mediums. You’ll need a marketing plan and knowledge, and consider hiring a professional in the industry to implement your plan so your business can be visible to your desired customer demographic.
8. You’re only in it for the money
A love of money isn’t a sustainable strategy. There’s the old saying, “Do what you love.” That may be making ice-cream, interior designing or running a pub. If you do what you love, your motivation to succeed will be worth more than a motivation by any number of zeros.
9. You don’t have passion
Apathy is not a skill that will propel your business further. Without passion, you won’t be able to convince other people to invest in your idea or to get the right individuals to work with you to make your endeavour successful.
Jasper Wise, freelance journalist focusing business development, finance and crowdfunding