Ask Yourself These Questions Before You Start a Business

If you are a great photographer, the best cook among your friends, or a talented musician, you probably have heard that you should make a living from it. And hasn't everyone had the dream of gaining lots of money doing something they love? Sigh, it is much easier said than done.

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credit: Wallpaperup

Passion is an important ingredient for any company. You will be more motivated, dedicated, and creative than if you just started any old business. While it's enough to get you started, passion isn't enough to succeed -- you'll also need a business plan, a thick skin, and a deep desire to success against odds.

Are you sure you really want to do this?

You need to be honest with yourself when answering this question. There is a big difference between being very good at something and managing a business.

If you open a restaurant because you love cooking, it also means you will have to deal with suppliers, cash flow, managing staff, and a zillion other things. An entrepreneur has to be aware he will often work more than 8 hours a day. A lot more. So if you decide to start a business, you have to weigh the pros and cons.

Besides being talented in your hobby, you need to be aware that you behavior has to change when you are an entrepreneur. You are not dealing with family and friends, but paying customers.

Do you know enough about your market?

Pursue your dreams is something admirable, but to succeed you need to know well the market you are aiming. Is there space for another business like yours? How will you be different among your competitors?

Research the market you are serving and be sure people will be willing to pay for your product or service.

Who can you go to for help?

You may have a great business idea but you don’t know how to start. That’s the moment your network can be very useful. Try to contact other entrepreneurs and listen to their experiences. Listening to people who had to face similar challenges can be enlightening and also motivating.

Don’t be afraid to seek the advice of a mentor when you have doubts or don’t know how to deal with an specific situation. Another option is to hire a business coach or sign up for a basic business administration course online.

Will anyone buy this?

If you are considering making a living of your hobby, you probably have heard compliments from people that are close to you. However, you should not be limited to their opinion. Try to get in touch with people who are not part of your social circle and have they same hobby. See if everyone likes your idea...or just your mom. Be open when listening and learn to deal with criticism, this will help you to improve your work.

Am I ready?

Turning your hobby into a business doesn’t mean you will do things you love all day long. Once you begin, you have to handle all the business strategy: Market research, dealing with finances, staff issues, customer issues, shipping, etc. It all falls on you! You will need to identify your weak points as an entrepreneur and always improve. Read books, make courses, keep yourself updated.