Starting a business requires a lot of effort and commitment. Before you start, it’s important to know what's involved and if you're suited to business and self-employment. We recommend you take some time to critically evaluate yourself.

Consider these key areas to make sure you are ready.

1. Do you have the right skills?

Aside from having knowledge in your chosen industry, running a business requires a wide range of skills such as business, personal and interpersonal skills. Now is the time to find training opportunities to help you build relevant skills.

2. Are you prepared to sacrifice your lifestyle?

Your lifestyle will change a lot as a business owner. You will need to work long hours and even weekends. You need to prepare yourself that you may have less free time.

3. Do you have the discipline to continue through tough times?

Passion and motivation can wear off during hard times. Make sure you’re prepared to keep working even when things are hard. You will need to rely on your discipline not to give up.

4. Do you have access to the money you need?

Make sure you are in the right financial position to start a business. Starting a business is exciting but also expensive. There will be a number of up-front costs you will have to consider, as well ongoing fixed and variable costs involved in running a business.

You may not start making money from your business for some time. It’s important you have enough financial backing to take on and support your new venture.

5. Are you prepared not to have a salary?

You should have enough savings or an alternative income to use whilst establishing your business. It may be a while before you can pay yourself a stable salary or income again. This may have a significant effect on your lifestyle and daily living.

6. How good is my business idea?

It’s important that you assess your business idea with a critical eye. Make sure that there is a need or desire from customers for your product or service.

Use our lean business plan template to quickly focus your business idea and set some goals.

7. Are you prepared to seek help?

It’s important that you are comfortable seeking help. Running a business isn’t a simple thing to do and you don’t have to do it alone. Make sure you reach out to professional business advisors or other trusted business professionals.

Talking to a business adviser or trusted accountant or tax agent can help you solve business problems and connect you to grants and programs.

8. Are you prepared for the risks including not succeeding?

Unfortunately, you need to be prepare yourself that your business may not be successful. This might mean that you could lose money, time and investments.

Before you start a business, be aware of all the business risks you might face.

9. Deciding not to start

It’s okay if you don’t feel ready to start a business. There are other pathways you can take.

You can:

  • continue your business idea but as a hobby venture 
  • think of another idea and assess your new business idea
  • reassess your situation again in the future – you might be ready then!