The 8 Toughest Business Questions


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Do you ever wonder if you will really succeed with your small business? You may have a number of special traits, but how well developed are they? There are qualities of endeavor and achievement that are common to successful business owners. Ask yourself these questions to see if you have what it takes.

1. How will the business affect your family? The first few years of business start­up can be hard on family life. The strain of an unsupportive spouse may be hard to balance against the demands of starting a business. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take months or years. You may have to adjust to a lower standard of living or put family assets at risk.

2. How will you support your family while building up your business? This question must be worked out according to each persons’ individual circumstances. Many people start out on a part-time basis. Then when their incomes reach a certain level they will switch over to full time. Granted, if you take this “safer and surer" approach, it may take you longer to reach the goals you set for your new business, but you will save yourself (and those who depend on you financially) a lot of anxiety. Ultimately, like the turtle in the race who moved ahead slowly yet steadily, you will have a greater chance of reaching the finish line.

3. How well do you get along with different personalities? Business owners need to develop working relationships with a variety of people including: customers; vendors, staff; bankers; and professionals such as lawyers, accountants and consultants. Can you deal with a demanding client, an unreliable vendor or cranky staff person in the best interest of your business?

4. How good are you at making decisions? Small business owners are constantly required to make decisions under pressure.

5. Do you have the physical and emotional stamina to run a business? Business ownership can be challenging and exciting. But it is also a lot of work. Can you face 12­hour work days for six or seven days a week?

6. How well do you plan and organize? Research indicates that many business failures could have been avoided through better planning. Good organization of: financials; inventory; schedules; production; can help avoid pitfalls.

7. Do you have the drive to maintain your motivation? Running a business can wear you down. Some business owners feel burned out by having to carry all the responsibility on their shoulders. Strong motivation can help to survive slowdowns, as well as periods of burnout.

8. Do you have the discipline to do what has to be done? When working for someone else, it becomes routine to rise early, be well-groomed and get to the office on time. However, a significant number of people starting up a small business at home all too often find themselves at 10:00 in the morning in their bathrobes, drinking a second or third cup of coffee.

Make no mistake, starting a successful small business is hard work. BUT, it is also highly rewarding! Attack the challenge head-on and success will be yours.

About the Author

Michael (Mike) Brassil is author of “The Only Business Start-Up Guide You Will Ever Need. " Download two chapters - Starting a New Business and The Home Working Revolution - at:


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