Should I Start My Own Business?

People start businesses for many reasons, but in a weak economy some feel forced to start a business because they see no other opportunities. Too often it doesn't work out, and financial problems are compounded. In these uncertain economic times, it is critical that people looking to start a business ask themselves, "Should I or shouldn't I?"
Until you can truly answer these questions, don't start a business.

Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Do you have experience and knowledge on how to operate a business? Are you willing to work the hours it will take to make the business successful and can you assume the risk involved?

Cash is the lifeblood of a business. The majority of business startups are undercapitalized and too many die a slow death from being undercapitalized. Are the needed funds in place to not only start the business, but to keep it going until it is profitable?

Have you determined if there is a demand for your business and taken the time to write a realistic and feasible business plan?

These key points will help decide whether you should or shouldn't proceed.  If your answer is "no," it doesn't mean you'll never be able to start your own business, it just means all the pieces of the puzzle aren't in place yet.

Lastly, don't go it alone.  There are resources available, including the Center's Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (, that can help answer these questions, and more.

Jeff Reynolds is Program Director for REAP, the Center for Rural Affairs' full-service microenterprise development program for rural Nebraska. See or contact Jeff at 402.656.3091 or for more information.

Get The Newsletter?