The contemplation of starting your own business can be a very gratifying exercise. It allows you to create an alternate existence (sort of like what you would do if you had a million dollars) where you are your own boss and have a greater purpose than being a cog in a corporate machine. There are many reasons to become an entrepreneur. But there are just as many reasons not to. As such, the decision to take the plunge into self employment should be considered very carefully. Below are some resources to help with that decision:
This article from Personal Dividends discusses the importance of quitting your job in a professional manner. You should complete outstanding projects, maintain positive relations with your bosses and co-workers and give adequate notice. From personal experience, your former employers are important contacts and could become a valuable part of your network when you leave.
Additionally it is important that you sort out your finances. Most small business owners, when starting out, need to have a nest egg to support them financially while building their business, since the majority of small businesses do not start generating positive cash flow for some time. The article also recommends that you carefully consider alternatives for health and retirement benefits that you might be giving up.
There are many opinions on the personality traits required to be an entrepreneur. It is important to evaluate yourself honestly to determine if you are cut out for the lifestyle, which can be all consuming. This article from Young Entrepreneur discusses some of traits required including patience, being a risk taker and a jack of all trades. I would add that many small business owners need to be comfortable with a lack of structure and the ability to prioritize.
For anyone looking to start a business, but are not sure what to do, this is an excellent review of the different categories of businesses, including Direct Sales, Service Companies, Internet Based, Retail, Franchises and Product Based enterprises, and their pros and cons.
Small business ownership can be extremely gratifying for the right kind of person. However, no matter how tempting it is to quit our job in a spectacular fashion, and forge our own way, a contemplation of the risks and rewards and your own suitability is vital before making what is often a life altering decision.
About the author: Ronika Khanna is an accounting and finance professional who helps small businesses achieve their financial goals. Please sign up to receive articles pertaining to small business, accounting, tax and other occasional non business topics of interest. You can also follow her on Facebook or Twitter.