It seems that most people are starting or at least thinking about starting their own business. While the history of entrepreneurship is as old as humanity, today's economic climate and booming Internet marketplace have brought even more people interested in venturing out on their own.
Sadly, while many people dream of starting their own business, all too often those dreams fail miserably causing professional and financial devastation for those involved. How do you know if you have what it takes to start your own enterprise and make it a success? While some people like to point to the market idea, economic climate and other outside factors, I believe success and failure are determined by one essential factor -- the entrepreneur involved. Successful new business owners bring three essential qualities to their dream. I call these the MAT factor which simply stands for Money, Attitude, and Time.
Money is an important factor when you start a new business for three reasons. The first consideration is of course the old adage that it takes money to make money. While it is possible to start an Internet enterprise with nothing, it is easier to have at least a little start-up capital. Another important financial factor is your personal financial standing. If you need to hold down a full-time or part-time job while also trying to start a business it could be too much to handle especially if you have other personal obligations. Finally, your attitude toward money is a big factor. If you are a wise personal financial manager then you will likely be able to apply those same skills and knowledge to your business finances, but if you can't manage your personal finances then likely you won't be able to manage your business finances. Businesses with a good cash flow can sometimes forgive a little financial mismanagement but new businesses struggling to get off the ground often demand very wise financial management to survive.
Time is also an important element in new business success or failure. Many new entrepreneurs far underestimate the time they will need to spend on developing, growing, and maintaining their business. Many entrepreneurs who fail are not good managers of their time. It is important for you to know that you can dedicate a certain number of hours each day or week to your new venture -- and that time can be spent on all areas important to the future success of your business such as planning, ongoing work, and promotion and marketing. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the actual servicing of existing customers that you forget to cultivate new customers. Sometimes it is easy to become overwhelmed by the day-to-day work and overlook planning for the future. Both these mistakes are time management problems that can lead to business failure.
Finally, the most important quality involved in the success of new ventures can be summed up in one word -- attitude. Do you possess the right attitude to become a successful entrepreneur? One of the most important qualities that determine a successful attitude is self-direction. Can you work effectively without supervision? Are you goal-oriented and self-sufficient? Can you make effective decisions on your own? Self-direction is not enough though. You must also be flexible and open-minded to recognize opportunity when it knocks. Some entrepreneurs have worked their new businesses right into the ground because they were not willing to modify or change their business plan. The right attitude also encompasses the ability and willingness to learn. Successful entrepreneurs are constantly learning and evolving. They learn more about their market niche, they learn more about marketing, they learn more about general business skills, and they learn more about themselves.
And so, if you are considering whether or not you have the right stuff to start your own business then you should consider the MAT factor. Where do you stand when it comes to Money, Attitude, and Time? Really consider all the angles before venturing out on your own. You can be a successful entrepreneur and make all your dreams come true, but you need to start with the right ingredients.