You’re not alone.
In any given year, tens of thousands of Minnesotans dive headlong into business for themselves. It’s part of an overall trend toward entrepreneurship. Startups, mostly small businesses, have been rising steadily for the past two decades in Minnesota.
Have You Got What it Takes to Succeed?
But should you take the plunge? This is no time for impulsive decisions. Think it through carefully.
The first step is to decide whether you really have the right stuff to be a successful entrepreneur. We’re talking the right skills, the right training and the necessary commitment.
The U.S. Small Business Administration has identified some basic characteristics commonly shared by successful small business owners. See how you stack up.
You may be ready to be an entrepreneur and start your own business if …
• You like a challenge and are comfortable taking risks. There are no guarantees in business. The financial risks are considerable and the shadow of failure can loom large for the first few years. Does that uncertainty terrify you? Thrill you? Your ability to endure and manage through the uncertainties of business is crucial.
• You can make tough decisions with confidence. Do you trust your own instincts? You have to be willing to think and act independently.
• You’ve got lots of good ideas. You have an eye for spotting and capitalizing on new opportunities or solving old problems in a new way.
• You’re outgoing and persuasive. Convincing customers to use your products or services is important, but it’s just the beginning. Are you comfortable selling yourself to lenders and potential partners? Can you motivate employees?
• You dig the art of the deal. Negotiation is a way of life for small business owners. Leases. Credit with suppliers. Contract terms. Interest rates. Salaries. You’re going to have to tackle them all with an eye on protecting the bottom line.
Get the Right Guidance
Having ready access to business expertise and sound advice is essential as you’re making crucial decisions about whether or how to start your own business. Every year thousands of people launch startups with little or no expert guidance. And many face serious — and needless — setbacks and failure because of it.
Fortunately, there’s no need to share their fate. There are many excellent resources available for people starting a business in Minnesota. Many consulting services are free of charge or are offered at extraordinarily low cost.
Consultants at the Small Business Assistance Office at https://mn.gov/deed/business/help/sbao/ can help you understand more about all the factors you’ll need to consider before you start a business. And our network of Small Business Development Centers at https://mn.gov/deed/business/help/sbdc/ has experts located in nine main regional offices and several satellite centers statewide.