20 Mar 2014

Entrepreneurship can be a great idea.

For some people, that is. Not everyone has the right personality to run a business on their own.

Others are happier with the “security” of a paycheque and a boss who tells them what to do.

You might be one of those people who has all the traits to make it in the world of the self-employed. You have the guts to go after the glory, right?

Not so fast.

You need more than the right personality and a sparkling business idea.

Diving into entrepreneurship

Going into business for yourself — whether you have a neat product or a niche service — takes some planning.

You need some preparedness to deal with the risk you’re about to take. After all, if the products don’t sell or the clients don’t come calling, what’s going to pay the bills.

Before you sign up for that business registration number and pen your resignation letter, you should ask yourself a few questions.

Do I have enough savings?

You don’t have any guarantee that the customers are going to come calling. You should have a tidy little amount set aside to pay the bills and fund the business until things get rolling.

It’s also a good idea to put yourself on a strict personal budget and lean how to live lean. Don’t forget to factor in health care (you don’t get eye and dental benefits any more!) and retirement savings.

Do I already have (potential) clients?

Some professions — especially those in the creative industry, like writing and web design — start their freelancing businesses as moonlighting for their full-time jobs. Those individuals may already have a cache of clients and are stepping into entrepreneurship as a way to scale those businesses.

See if you can start building your business during the evening or weekend before you jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Do I have the time?

This isn’t 9-to-5 stuff any more. Building a business can take hours of hard work. It can often seem like you never stop working.

Lori Grenier, the “Queen of QVC,” holder of more than 100 patents and one of the Sharks on ABC’s The Shark Tank, told Entrepreneur.com that success comes from having drive.

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week,” she said.

Can I handle the great unknown?

This can be a terrific risk. You’re investing in yourself, your talent and your go-get-it-donedness. (How’s that for a new word?)

The work may not come right away and clients aren’t always in a hurry to pay their bills.

It leaves a lot to the imagination for your future, immediate and long-term.

Fear of the uncertain can be the greatest impediment to making the leap into entrepreneurship.

If you’re sure and have the right idea for a product or service, though, there may not be a better time to give it a go.

More Canadians than ever are joining the ranks of the self-employed as a way to dodge the shaky job market.

Could you be one of them?