Are You Ready to Start Your Own Business?

Before the business bank account and legal structure, before the business plan and investment loans, and even before deciding on your amazing business name there are a few things to consider for yourself and the future business you will build. Think of the items listed below as subtle stop points to ask yourself as you venture forward and build your own path in the tall weeds of the Business Cultures that exist today.

These subtle stop points are a few of the things that I've learned over the past 8 years of running my own businesses. The list is not in any order of importance or timing and should be interpreted in more of a holistic approach.

How much support do you have? You can never have enough support from family and social networks. They will be your first line of supporters and critics. Make a list of about 5 to 7 people that you can turn to for both compliments and constructive feedback and make sure you have at least one if not two people who love to play the devil's advocate role.

Are you experienced enough in the Industry? Just because you worked in a managerial position of your organization does not mean you can run the whole business. Step in the shoes of each position that your business will need. I'd suggest starting with the most important shoes; the janitor, because at the end of the day they are always the last ones to leave and they have the keys to everything.

Are you prepared to work odd hours? Most of our lives we are taught to work within the 9 am to 5 pm time frame. Breaking the standardized work routine and realizing when you work best is a critical point since you will discover when you are most creative, most productive, and when you can actually rest and breathe . Moments of inspiration can come at any moment in your day to day activities.

How would you evaluate your Physical Preparedness? I'm not talking about whether you can do a marathon or just finished P90X last month. Look to your basic physical needs and take some time to think about how much sleep you usually need, the type of foods you eat, and gauge your blood pressure. Starting your own business is a self-driven choice, and the last thing you need is to choose to put unnecessary stress in your life.

How would you evaluate your Mental Preparedness? Each of us has learned how to be different types of leaders and/or followers, both which affect our thinking and decision styles. Discovering what type of thinking style you are prepositioned will help you determine your spectrum of learning, communication, and implementation of tasks. Being the owner means you have to know yourself so that you can replicate and grow. Some resources to consider are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument.

How would you evaluate your Financial snapshot? Make sure you have filled out a personal financial statement so that you can evaluate what type of Expense Monster you have created for yourself and your family. If it's a big monster, make sure your Cash-flow is able to over feed the monster. Check Google for Financial Worksheet templates.

Start Networking yesterday. This check point is not a question. It is a must. Networking allows you to learn new skills faster and become aware of more opportunities. In business there is a lot of satisfaction knowing that you helped a fellow business owner achieve more by referring them to another person or organization. Oddly enough you'll find the best networking will be with your "competitors." For shy people; like myself, who tend to avoid large public group settings I recommend groups like Toast Masters, Mastermind groups, or joining Boards of local non-profit organizations that you passionately support.

I really do believe everyone should try their hand at starting some sort of business. In fact I believe right now is a perfect time to start a micro or small business. I know you probably have at least 1 idea that you filed in that "someday" file. There's never a better time for someday projects than today. Of course only you can determine when you're truly ready to cut your own path. Good Luck Entrepreneur!

Jeff Louie is a co-founder of Brand-Aid Media, a custom videography and media group, as well as several other start-up businesses and companies. Visit to learn more about the different projects and companies.