This isn’t another feel-good blog post about why it’s a great time to start your own business. Think of it instead as a cautionary paean — a “look really hard before you leap” admonishment to, well, think twice about getting into business for yourself.
While it’s arguably easier than ever to start your own business, that doesn’t mean you should run out and do so tomorrow. Being your own boss is hard work, and it’s easy to get in over your head before you quite realize what you’ve done.
DashBurst has a nice tongue-in-cheek roundup of all the reasons you shouldn’t start your own business in 2016 (or any other year, for that matter). Here’s a look at the highlights:
- You Can’t Beat a Passion Deficit
It’s often said that business owners need to believe in their business even more than they believe in themselves. If you aren’t totally sold on your own concept, how can you possibly sell it to others?
Before you set out on your own, make sure you’re fully committed to what you’re doing. Spend some time trying to poke holes in your business case, and ask yourself a simple question after each trial: Am I willing to do what it takes to fix this?
- Talent Is Scarce
It’s a seller’s market for talent, particularly in high-skill tech industries that feature multiple open positions for every truly qualified applicant. If you’re going into business in a tight talent marketplace, you need to be prepared to pay top dollar for qualified employees. You also need to recognize that, depending on your staffing needs and the qualifications you’re seeking, you might literally be unable to field a full team. If that’s the case, you’ll need to take drastic measures — up to and including putting your plans on hold.
- Funding Is Tough to Find
Money makes the world go ‘round. If your business doesn’t have enough of it, you could find yourself belly-up before you ever have a chance to make it.
Entrepreneurs who aren’t fortunate enough to have seven-figure savings accounts or deep-pocketed friends and family need to go hat in hand to investors and lenders who literally hear dozens of business pitches per day. Securing funding from such sources isn’t a sure thing.
- You’re Worried About Your Personal Life
This one’s real simple. If you’re a workaholic without close family ties or major non-professional responsibilities, by all means spend every waking hour attending to your business. If you have a spouse, kids or parents who need your time, or if you’re simply not willing to forgo me-time for the next few years, think twice about going all-in.
Now for the Optimistic Case
Ready to throw in the towel on your business idea? Not so fast. If you’re not fully invested in your business idea or worry that your decision to start a company will adversely affect other important facets of your life, it’s best to think twice before jumping in headfirst. But if you can look yourself in the mirror and confidently make the case for why each of the factors listed above shouldn’t stop you from getting into business yourself, you’re well on your way to making an affirmative case for your entrepreneurial dreams.
Scott Vollero is an international entrepreneur and expert in the precious metals and automotive parts recycling industries.