small business of your own: Is it worth the trouble?
By Nilooka Dissanayake
Only you can answer that question. Only you will know whether it
is worthwhile to start your own business; and whether it is worthwhile
to keep going on.
I am in the
habit of asking such fundamental questions because I come across
so many people who are dreaming of business. They are often clueless
as to what they want to do and where they want go. All they know
is that they want to "get into business". And it pains
me to think that they will simply add to the statistics on business
business is a serious matter. It is an investment, not only of your
money, but also of your time, energy and commitment. It is also
a major lifestyle decision for you and your family. It should not
be taken lightly as most people seem to want to do.
there are a few persons who are seriously interested in getting
into business. They have weighed their pros and cons on the decision
to go into business and understand the magnitude of what they are
about to do. They have built for themselves a firm foundation in
once they have made up their minds, will not stop at anything. As
a result of that mental reinforcement, they have the potential to
go very far. And unlike their vacillating counterparts, they do
not take their undertaking lightly. They will not "just try
and see" when making decisions. They value their own money
and time too much for that. They will try to read, do some research,
talk to people they know and find information to help them decide
if their decision is indeed the right one.
It is vital
that they make the right decision. Once you go into business, you
are there on your own. There will be times when it will seem like
a long battle, against all odds. There will be times when you question
whether it is worth the trouble. Once, a reader of this column called
me, all the way from Jaffna and said: "Thank you so very much
for the inspiring article. I was on the verge of giving up. But,
your article encouraged me to go on." And I perfectly understand
her situation. It is a natural one in business and you should be
ready for it.
If you are
already in business, and especially new to business, you will understand
our reader's response. If you are dreaming of a business, think
about it carefully. If you decide that it is worthwhile going into
business, make sure you make a fortress in your mind to help you
withstand the battles of the business world.
not for the faint hearted. If you are faint hearted, just get a
job or stay at home. Put your money into a bank account or some
equally safe investment vehicle. As they say in Sinhala, do not
build your house in a graveyard if you are scared of ghosts.
I would probably
receive a lot of criticism for "discouraging" would-be-entrepreneurs.
And those criticizing will not be businesspeople. Although I am
in the business of helping entrepreneurs to start, manage and develop
their businesses, my missionary creed does not include building
castles in the air for your benefit. We believe in making you think
before you leap. We wish you luck in thinking and then in leaping
too once you make a decision.
If you need
some assistance in deciding whether you have what it takes and are
suited for business, we have a questionnaire that will guide you
on making that decision. You can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org
or call on 075-552524.
Recently a reader asked how he should access back issues of Business@Home.
Most of these are available online at www.sundaytimes.lk. You will
also find some early articles in www.smallbusiness.lk together with
several of my other articles.