Explore Business Ownership Like Your First Trip to the Candy Store!

Like a kid entering a candy store for the first time, exploring business ownership for the first time presents many options and stimulates a multitude of emotions – excitement, joy, uncertainty, doubt, and frustration are just a few.

First, let’s think back to your initial candy store experience. Your eyes were wide open in amazement as the candy on the shelves and behind the counter looked extremely tempting and certainly, all the colorful wrappers eye-appealing. However, with a limited amount of money to spend, many items were immediately eliminated from consideration. The field diminished further, as you were trying to decide between chocolate and other candies. The possibilities were reduced even more as you then had to choose between plain chocolate and chocolate with nuts or marshmallows. If you chose other candy types, was it going to be hard or chewy candy or, maybe even bubble gum… and what flavor?

After all that was said and done, guess what? That’s right, the decision-making process continued and possibly even became more complicated or emotional. Sometimes a quick decision resulted in regret or one of your earliest feelings of buyer’s remorse as you exclaimed, “Geez, I should have gotten the chocolate instead of the licorice.” You may have actually left the candy store planning on saving your money and along with next week’s allowance you’d be able to buy some baseball cards instead of candy. Who knows, baseball cards might have your favorite player in a pack and the [sentimental] value of your purchase would skyrocket? Or, maybe you were actually counting on it and when it didn’t pan out, you were disappointed, AND with no money left? Talk about an emotional roller-coaster!

Exploring business ownership is certainly a more important task than buying candy but in the minds of the eight-year old and you, the process can be very emotional, relatively speaking, of course. 

Here are 10 steps to minimize the emotional ride of exploring business ownership:

  1. Determine your investment level. Is this amount a stretch? If it is a stretch or if you’d be interested in a business with a higher investment level, would you consider a partner? If so, an equal partner? Is your “financial house” in order?
  2. Sooner rather than later, determine if your spouse or significant other will be involved in the business. Is this truly a possibility and if so, could you see yourselves working together day in and day out? Who would be responsible for decision-making? What are the defined roles? Would they be partners or just working in the business? What would potentially happen to your relationship if the partnership or business failed?
  3. Define what you love to do. What is it – in detail? Could you see yourself doing this every day, every week, every month? Would this be a determining factor in your decision?
  4. Identify various aspects of business you don’t like doing, feel you’re unable to do or would hate doing. How would these items be addressed under your ownership? Would you be willing to handle some of these items even if it meant having to learn how? Could you see yourself helping out as necessary?
  5. Think about your comfort level in starting a business. Could you see yourself starting a business generating the first dollar in revenue and building over time towards profitability? Would you be more comfortable purchasing an existing business with solid financials? 
  6. Explore what is fast becoming the norm in business venues – home-based offices. Would you be diligent in owning and operating a home-based business or would a bricks and mortar business provide you with structure? Would you be comfortable with employees working remotely?
  7. Explore various business models. Whether starting from nothing or in purchasing an existing business, explore franchising as a possibility. Would you be more comfortable owning a business within a proven business system? Could you see yourself being part of a larger brand albeit with certain restrictions, limitations and expenses than if you were to operate independently?
  8. Research various personal assessment tools and take the tests in order to provide you with a true snapshot of your personality and abilities, especially as they relate to business ownership. Are you suited for business ownership? Would you need a team around you or could you operate as a one-person operation? Are you suited to lead a team and delegate effectively? Are you risk-adverse?
  9. Identify individuals that can help you explore business ownership. Do you know any successful small business owners, including franchisees? Could you be honest sharing with them information, including your responses and assessment results identified above? Would you be willing to seriously consider their advice and recommendations?
  10. Compile all the above information. Review it in detail. Once that is complete and your emotions are in check, you’ll be closer to determining if business ownership is right for you and well on your way towards determining the business and business model that may work best for you. 

Yes, that means another trip to the candy store but this time, you’ll be better prepared to make a decision that you will be more apt to enjoy long after the purchase. 

Have a great day. Make it happen. Make it count!