Starting a Small Business Blog Series

Oct 03, 2016

Part I: Is starting a business right for me? 

At Washington Federal, we believe in keeping business local. We first got our start in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood by a group of community members that believed banking should be done a little differently. And although we’ve grown beyond serving just the Puget Sound, there’s still nothing we love more than seeing our neighbors succeed at their craft and make their business ownership dreams a reality.

Over the next month or so, we’re going to be taking a look at how you can determine if starting a small business is right for you, tips to get started, and suggestions about how you can grow your customer base once you’re open for business. First things first…

Is starting a business right for me?

Fair warning: it’s impossible to answer this question for everyone in one blog post. But we can help get your wheels turning so that you’re better prepared to address this on your own.

If you’ve got an idea you’re passionate about and you’re ready to start out on your own, here are a few things to consider.
Photo of a business owner

Personality traits of business owners.

Whether you’re considering starting a partnership, or going at it alone, starting a business takes determination and a willingness to take risks. If you’re the type of individual that likes structure, a clear path and predictable outcomes, then starting a small business may not be right for you.

Entrepeneur.com came out with a helpful article about the personality traits that typically lend themselves to being a successful business owner. In fact, these common traits are the predominant indicators of their success – outweighing education, family ties, skills and experience. Naturally, most successful owners are often natural leaders and strong problem-solvers, and they work well under pressure. Being curious, future-focused and tech savvy (or having the ability to learn!), also plays well into becoming a successful business owner.

BusinessNewsDaily.com also provides a help article listing 10 personality traits needed to start a business.

Don’t give up hope if you’re not resonating with these personality traits! Business owners come in all forms; but by knowing and understanding your personality type, you can anticipate potential struggles and pitfalls. And work to surround yourself and hire people that complement your needs.

Finances.

The financing required for a new business is often the biggest stumbling block for would-be entrepreneurs. The amount of money required to start a business varies greatly depending on the type of business, number of partners and the amount of your own money that you’re able to invest.

Regardless of the type of business that you hope to start, you will need to be sure that you’re in a strong, stable place with your personal finances first.

According to one article by Forbes, 90% of startups will fail - a bleak number, but one worth contemplating. Before you quit your reliable day job to start a business, you should take a hard look at how much you have in savings and how much equity you have in your house in case the business doesn’t get off to a profitable start.

If you’re still working on building a personal nest egg, then consider starting slow and investing time in your business in the evenings or weekend until you’re ready to make it a full-time commitment.

Stay tuned throughout the month of October for more tips and thoughts on starting a small business.