Your personal commitment and ability to start and run a business is the first place to begin.
Why have you chosen this particular business? Do your reasons make good sense? How does your family feel about the time, money and effort you and they will be required to contribute to the business?
For many, the answer is that they are tired of working for someone else. That is not enough to make a business succeed. That is why we have included the third question. For the answer to the second question, you may need to answer the questions in the below categories first and then determine if your reasons make good, logical sense. Starting a business is a family investment. Even if your spouse and children don’t interact directly with the business, they are the ones who will have to suffer the loss of your time for them and your direct contributions to the household. Their willingness to make a commitment to your business’s success can be as critical as your own.
What is your background in the business you have chosen? Why do you think you can succeed where others have failed? What are your strengths and weaknesses and how can you best use them to your advantage?
If you have no background in the area, go back to question #1 and re-analyze your position. If you have, is it sufficient to make the business succeed or will you have to bring in people with more expertise in certain areas? Are you a good organizer, marketer, manager, salesperson, etc.? What qualities do you have that others don’t? What can you bring to your business that is unique and what areas do you need to work on? Are you willing to work extended hours and do most of the work yourself, or will you have to hire employees to assist you?
What financial resources do you have both to start and to maintain the business until it pays for itself? Can you afford to lose everything if you fail?
Can your family survive without your income for at least a year if not longer? Collect information on how long this type of business takes to pay for itself because you’ll not be able to take any out for yourself until it does. Are you going to need to take out a loan, and, if so, what type (SBA, Signature, etc.)? What type of credit will you need, if any, to keep your business running smoothly? You must be prepared to lose everything if the business folds, especially if you have taken a loan for beginning capital.
So, have a working contingency plan for failure.