You’ve had a great idea for your business. You’re also pretty confident that there’s a demand and that you can make money. These are important steps, but it’s just as important to make sure you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur.

What being your own boss really means

Being your own boss might sound like it is the ultimate ticket to freedom and financial success – and it can be. But don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be able to put in a few hours each morning and spend the afternoons networking over a round of golf. The reality is that most businesses require a lot of hard work. Typically more work than a standard 9–5 job. And, it’s usually a number of years before they start to make a reasonable profit.

Potential small business owners should sit down with their family and discuss what starting their own business will entail. Essentially, as an entrepreneur you’re looking at committing to a lot of working hours with little time for anything else. And while the idea is that it’ll pay off in the end and you’ll have more freedom, the beginning requires sacrifices from everyone. Often it requires financial sacrifices too.

Our checklist looks at the essential attributes that are needed to become a successful business owner:

  • Persistence
  • Self-esteem
  • Networking abilities
  • Discipline
  • Resourcefulness
  • Passion
  • Industry experience
  • Decisiveness.

Our "am I suited to running a business" checklist (Excel 36 KB) will help you rate yourself on each one of these, and then add up the score at the end. That score will be a pretty good indicator if you have what it takes to run a business.

Important information

The information contained in this article is correct as of July 2018 and is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends that you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

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