Secrets to your Business Success

Going into business and being self-employed requires certain characteristics. Not everyone is suited to be a business owner. Take some time to think about your motivations, personality, and abilities.

As a first step, ask yourself why you want to own your own business.

  1. Freedom from the 9 to 5 work routine
  2. Being your own boss
  3. Do what you want when you want to do it
  4. Improve your standard of living
  5. Boredom with your present job
  6. Having a product or service for which you feel there is a demand

Some reasons are better than others; none are wrong. Be aware, however, that there are tradeoffs. For example, you can escape the 9 to 5 daily routine, but you may replace it with a 6:00–10:00 p.m. routine.


Try to be objective in the following self-analysis. Remember, it is your future that is at stake!

  1. Are you a leader?
  2. Do you like to make your own decisions?
  3. Do others turn to you for help in making decisions?
  4. Do you enjoy competition?
  5. Do you have will power and self-discipline?
  6. Do you plan ahead?
  7. Do you like people?
  8. Do you get along well with others?

Think about the physical, emotional, and financial strains you will encounter in starting a new business.

  1. Are you aware that running your own business may require working twelve to sixteen hours a day, six days a week, and maybe even Sundays and holidays?
  2. Do you have the physical stamina to handle the workload and schedule?
  3. Do you have the emotional strength to withstand the strain?
  4. Are you prepared, if needed, to temporarily lower your standard of living until your business is firmly established?
  5. Is your family prepared to go along with the strains they, too, must bear?
  6. Are you prepared to lose your savings?

Certain skills and experience are critical to the success of a business. Since it is unlikely that you possess all the skills and experience needed, you’ll need to hire personnel to supply those you lack. There are some basic and special skills you will need for your particular business. Identify your strengths and weaknesses with the following questions.

  1. Do you know what basic skills you will need in order to have a successful business?
  2. Do you possess those skills?
  3. When hiring personnel, will you be able to determine if the applicants’ skills meet the requirements for the positions you are filling?
  4. Have you ever worked in a managerial or supervisory capacity?
  5. Have you ever worked in a business similar to the one you want to start?
  6. Have you had any business training in school?
  7. If you discover you don’t have the basic skills needed for your business, will you be willing to delay your plans until you’ve acquired the necessary skills?

This questionnaire below was adapted from the SBA booklet Checklist for Going into Business.


  1. Develop a business plan
  2. Consult with the necessary professionals
  3. Decide on a legal structure
  4. Select a business name
  5. File a fictitious business name statement
  6. Obtain a business license
  7. Check the zoning laws and other land use ordinances
  8. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses from your city and county
  9. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses from state and/or federal governments
  10. Apply for a state employer ID number
  11. Apply for a federal identification number
  12. Develop a financial plan
  13. Develop a marketing plan
  14. Obtain insurance coverage
  15. Decide on an accounting system
  16. Seek out assistance if needed