Should I or Shouldn’t I?

Fear of the Unknown
Almost every day, I meet clients who have very interesting business ideas. While some of these clients are so enthusiastic with their concept, they want to start immediately, others have fears that manifest in various ways:

  • They may not want to talk “out loud” about it because they don’t know whether it’s a good idea;
  • They don’t know how to go about deciding whether it’s worth exploring; or
  • They are worried that others may think they are “crazy” just thinking about it.While fear is natural, there are ways to ways to overcome it.

We recommend to all of our clients that they write a business plan. Taking a concept from the idea stage and putting it down on paper is an important step in addressing issues, clarifying expectations, evaluating the potential for success and mitigating risks. Our Business Plan Development Workshop Series helps with this step. There are many reasons to write a business plan and we suggest the series to anyone thinking about starting a business.

Research and planning often help alleviate that feeling of fear. It is easier than ever to conduct research about the industry, competition, and your customers which in turn will help you assess the feasibility, viability and profitability of your idea. NAICS and the SME Benchmarking Tool are two very good places to start for industry related information.

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used to collect, analyze, and publish all types of useful data about various industries. Initiated in the U.S., both Canada and Mexico also use NAICS, thereby creating a “standard system” of measuring the economy across North America. The SME Benchmarking Toolprovides financial performance data that is useful as you develop the financial component of your business plan. It provides information on the cost structures of similar businesses in your industry.

About the financing . . .
Starting a business takes money. The financial section of your business plan is very important because it will help determine the amount of funding you require to get started and what might be required to sustain the operation in its early days.

Should I or shouldn’t I – here are a few questions

  • Do the benefits of being your own boss outweigh the disadvantages?
  • Do you have entrepreneurial traits and characteristics?
  • Is your idea unique? Is it feasible, viable and will it be profitable?
  • Do you have the background, training and experience?
  • Do you have the time commitment to develop a business plan?
  • Do you have the finances?

Writing a business plan will help you answer these questions and make the decision if and when to move forward!

– Pat Sargeant