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Are you ready to take the plunge?

Business Buzz is a monthly column presented by the Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation. Every month, read about entrepreneurship, obtain business management tips, and find out what's going on in the small business sector.

You've been planning to start a business for a while now, but have not taken the steps that will make your dream come true.

You've been thinking about the business, developing the idea, getting ready, watching the market, examining the trends, evaluating your competitors.

You've been looking into your own capabilities and questioning whether you are actually ready for self-employment, challenging your assumptions about your business idea, yourself, your strengths, and your abilities.

You've been wondering: “Am I ready to start my own business ...?”

Unquestionably, that is a very good question, and the five questions below will help you answer it. Take the time to honestly answer them: they will help you to figure out whether you are indeed ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship.

1. Is my business idea an incredible opportunity that will allow me to pursue my passion?

2. Am I ready to put everything in this business (time, money, resources...)?

3. Could I survive for months with little or no income from this business?

4. Can I start and develop this business without sacrificing the things that matter most to me (family, health, another hobby...)?

5. Would I wake up every day and be excited to go to work?

If your answer is a resounding “Yes!” to these questions, then you are ready to take the plunge. Your priorities are clear and the initial financial ups-and-downs of starting a business are not a significant deterrent to you.

Now what remains to consider are your talents as an employer and as a leader. What will you bring to this business? How will you make it grow and thrive? How will you make sure that you still enjoy it when the going gets tough?

To answer these questions is where your own self-analysis comes into play. Look at your strengths, and identify your opportunities for growth. Utilise those in your environment to help to mitigate some weaknesses you may have. There are many places where you can find the expertise, and the advice that you will need to help start your business. BSBDC provides free guidance and advice to help you answer some of your questions. There are other local organisations and consultants that can also help you answer these questions although they may charge a fee. However, to pay for advice at the start can be a small price to pay for success in the future.

Some challenges that you may face include keeping track of finances. If you are not very good with numbers, consider one of the many user-friendly accounting software packages like QuickBooks that can help you to develop templates to help keep track of your income and expenses. You may also find that you are uncomfortable with the idea of firing someone. Rely on advice and guidance from a mentor. He or she may share some tips and hints from his/her own experience that can help guide you.

In the end, what matters is that you took the time to evaluate your readiness to start a business. By doing this you create the opportunity to give yourself the best chance at success. So, are you ready to take the plunge?

Jamillah Lodge is a Business Development Officer for Bermuda Small Business Development Corporation. She specialises in providing aspiring and existing entrepreneurs with business development advice and loan guarantee assistance. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and should serve a general guide and should not be considered as replacement advice from a lawyer, accountant or other professional service provider. Readers should consult with the appropriate professionals as necessary.

If you have questions about starting a business in Bermuda, e-mail us at info[AT]bsbdc.bm or call 292-5570.

Jamillah Lodge

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Published December 07, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 13, 2010 at 2:24 pm)

Are you ready to take the plunge?

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