Thinking about starting your own business, or know someone who has?  Well, before you quit your day job, let’s go through a few things that you should know before you effectively pull the plug on your current gig and go solo, as an entrepreneur or business owner.

This may sound simple but you’d be amazed about how many people sit down and make a list of things they need to start a business as opposed to a list of the things they already have to offer it – meaning:  their skills. So that’s where you need to start – by making a list of your skills — starting with those things you are best at. At this point, it is important to ignore any voices in your head that might try to convince you that something is irrelevant. If you’re good at it, write it down. Consider this: When Otis Redding recorded (Sitting On) The Dock of the Bay following the Monterrey Pop Festival in 1967, he whistled the outro as a placeholder, intending to replace it with a scat rap, but died in a plane crash before he could fix it. That whistle is one of the things people like best about that song today and may be argued is more recognizable than the actual song.

Go and get out a pen or pencil, or sit down at your computer or laptop right now and answer the following 6 questions you need to ask yourself before starting a business:

  1. What are you best at?
  2. What do other people think you’re best at?
  3. What have you done, personally or professionally, that people might pay you to do for them, and why would they hire you instead of someone else?
  4. Is there anything you’ve retained from your previous work experience that would help you build your own business?
  5. What credentials have you earned that would make others consider you an expert?
  6. What else do you own, or know, that you can use to your advantage in starting a business?

Review your answers. Consider them carefully. Set them aside and come back to them later to see if anything else has come to mind that you might like to also add to your final list.

Whether you are a Start-up or if you’re already up and running and are just looking for ways to run things better, keep that paper with you. That paper represents the best in you — your greatest natural assets. If you are already making the most of those things in your business, you’re on the right track. If you’re not, you need to ask yourself why not, and figure out a way to leverage those assets.

What ultimately separates great businesses from also-rans is the ability of the owners to maintain their focus and the focus of their business on those things they do best, as outlined in the exercise above. Business ownership presents so many different challenges on a day to day basis that paradoxically, perhaps the biggest challenges of all is maintaining focus on what you and your company do best. This is the topic of another discussion, which I’ll be sure to come back to, but suffice to say that spending your time doing what you do best, is one of the surest ways to business ownership success.  

To learn more about the benefits Factoring offers to business owners, please check out some of the other blogs on this website, or you may contact us directly at [email protected]. You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thank you and best wishes for success, Ernane