There is only one easy thing when it comes to starting a business - the idea. Ideas are now a dime a dozen, or perhaps even less. There are very few people that haven't had that mental light come on at one point or other in their lives. Usually, these ideas are born out of some pain or frustration that a person is feeling over the current market offering for their problems. A very large majority of people will have the idea, talk about it for a few minutes, and its over. A passing thought that would require too much work to ever become truly fruitful.
A select few, however, will take that idea, mull on it, talk to others about it, do a little research. A small number of them will quit their job and try to make their idea a reality. And finally a few of those people will succeed, some beyond their wildest imaginations. Here are a few things to think about before you take that plunge into the unknown.
Why you're doing it
This question is incredibly important to ask yourself. Why do you want to start your own company so bad? Is it the money? The freedom and autonomy? Is it that your idea is so great that it will help millions of people? Or is it something else? There are plenty of different reasons a person chooses to start a business, and most of them are pretty valid. Most of them, but if your reason is purely money, it's probably not a good choice.
Money can only inspire for so long. It is highly doubtful that your venture will be making a lot of money in the first few years. This means you will likely be living poor and frugal for quite a while with no guarantee of reward. Typically, entrepreneurs who are in it for the money do not last long enough to see the fruits of their labors.
It is also pretty easy for customers and clients to see through this motivation. No one wants to work with someone who's just in it for the money. They want to see passion and feel excitement when talking to you. If you are passionate about an idea and want your business to succeed for the right reasons, pieces will often just start to fall in place and success will come naturally.
What to do when it succeeds
Most entrepreneurs don't have a very good vision of what to do once they actually start to see success. Should they use the money to hire new important positions? Pour it into R&D? Marketing? Should they just start to cash out once their business reaches a certain point? There are a lot of different ways to handle success. Having a plan beforehand for what to do with profits is vital to your new ventures success.
One interesting route many entrepreneurs without employees don't know about is called a solo 401(k). These are not the sexiest things you could do with the money, but a great idea, especially if you are thinking about your retirement. A solo 401(k) allows a self-employed business owner to contribute a significant amount of their profits to their retirement fund with quite a few tax benefits and much higher contribution limits. While not for everyone, they are definitely worth knowing about and researching.
Can you step out of your comfort zone
Being an entrepreneur is all about networking. If you do not like talking to people, going to networking events, and making connections, you have three options. Learn to love it, learn to bear it, or don't be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are salesman. They are required to sell their business idea and business model virtually every day. A lot of people quit their job and start their business, only to realize they do not enjoy the life of an entrepreneur, instead missing the quieter, more stable life that comes with a steady job. Fortunately it starts to grow on people and many people find their outlook and demeanor completely changed after spending a few years as an entrepreneur.
There is plenty of more advice that could be given to people thinking about making the big leap. What is really important is that you understand what you are getting into. Once you have a good grasp on what being an entrepreneur will mean, and what life will be like, if you still want to give it a try then do it! Most entrepreneurs love what they do, even when they don't succeed. Give everything you have and you will likely be surprised by the fun you have.