Prepare for Takeoff

Think you're ready to start your biz? Ask yourself these six questions to ensure all systems are go for launch.

By Nichole L. Torres

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starting a business is a huge under-taking. How can you possiblyknow if you're ready for that step? Small-business experts Jeffand Rich Sloan of, a business-advice website, suggestanswering these questions before you get started.

  • What is your goal in creating the business? Says Rich,"It's very important to understand what your end-game isin order for you to start out the right way."
  • How does the business idea fit into your broad lifeobjectives? "We advocate doing your life planning beforeyour business planning," says Rich. You should have arealistic idea of what you want and how your business willcontribute to your lifestyle.
  • What is your tolerance for risk? While any startup hasrisks, some are riskier than others. A franchise, for instance,already has a set plan to follow, whereas mortgaging your house toopen a retail store may carry more risk.
  • How much money do you have? How much are you willing toput into the business to see it through to a self-sustaininglevel?
  • What kinds of financial resources are available to you?Think about the types of funding sources that would fit well withyour business model--such as family members, angels, VCs, SBA loansand so on--and how you can tap into them. Also, ask yourself whatkinds of resources you're willing to obligate yourself to.
  • Are you ready to handle the challenges? "You'regoing to have to be tenacious and determined to overcomethem," says Jeff. "If you feel weak at all, I wouldsuggest that now is not the time."

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