15 Signs You Aren’t Ready to Start Your Own Business (and What To Do About It)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

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You want to start your own business, but you’re just not sure if you’re ready for all that a business entails. Before you can truly ascertain if you’re in the right place and mindset for starting your own business, you need to make sure that you don’t display many signs of not being ready. 

Today, we’ll take a look at the tell-tale signs that you are just not “there” yet to start your own business and see if there is a way that you can turn things around. If you can, you will be a few steps closer to being ready to start your very own business. 

15 signs you just aren’t ready to have your own business:

1. You don’t like risk and avoid it at all costs.

Starting a new business involves a considerable amount of risk. You might have to quit your job to run your own business, which is a risk. You might also risk all of your money by investing it in the business when there is no guarantee that it is going to be a success. 

If you want to start your own business, you need to get comfortable with risks. You need to ensure that you plan meticulously to keep the level of risk as low as possible. 

2. Numbers and finances just aren’t your thing.

You might not be an accountant or a numbers person, but you will need to familiarize yourself with some of the financial operations of a business. Not being familiar with financials is one thing; being unwilling to learn means that you just aren’t ready to have your own business.

There are plenty of courses you can go on (paid and for free) that can give you some basic insight into bookkeeping, how money should be handled in the business, and so on. 

3. You over-estimate how quickly you will make a lot of money.

This is something that many people do before they get started. If you find that you have stars in your eyes and are prone to dreams of grandeur with your new business, you might not be ready yet.

You are only ready to start your own business when you dial your expectations of your money-earning back a bit and be more realistic about the course/path your business will take. When you are moderate in your thinking, it stops you from putting too much pressure on yourself and your business and gives it the opportunity to grow at a healthy pace. 

4. You don’t have a business plan.

Many will argue that you simply cannot start a business without a business plan. If you are thinking about starting a business on a whim, with no plan, you are certainly not ready to get started. A business plan shows the concept of the business and how you plan to reach your goals. Without it, the business will just haphazardly trundle along, which could end in financial disaster. 

If you truly want to start your own business, get started on creating a business plan. There are many online resources that offer free advice as well as templates to help you get started. 

5. You don’t like dealing with customers and working with people.

Customers are essential to your business. If you don’t want to deal with them and also don’t want to deal with other people, your business is going to likely suffer. 

You will have to deal with customers, employees, and suppliers. If you are nervous about this, spend some time getting comfortable with this, or look for some courses that you can do online. Customers will be at the center of your business, and you have to be ready to help them if you want to start your own business. 

6. You don’t like the idea of responsibility.

When you’re someone else’s employee, the true responsibility of mishaps or problems in the business never really falls on you. As a business owner, you might be worried about the responsibility. If there is flack to handle, you will be the one expected to handle it. 

Business management courses can really help with this particular issue. Taking responsibility is something that requires motivation, dedication, and confidence. If you want to run your own business, you have to be ready to be fully responsible for all business operations and outcomes. 

7. There’s no product or service that’s well thought out and documented.

If you want to start your own business but haven’t determined exact products and services, then you aren’t ready to start your own business.

You need to put a great deal of time and planning into ensuring that you have everything you need ready to present to your target audience. Your products need to be decided on and planned along with your service offering. When you have this in place, you’re a step closer to being ready. 

8. You don’t have capital, savings, or a plan for funding.

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If you don’t have a financial plan of sorts, you aren’t ready to get started. Financing is essential to starting up a business. Without it, you won’t be able to do anything. 

You can spend some time saving to start your business, or you can apply for financing. It’s a good idea to chat with a local bank about the requirements for funding so that you know what you will need to have in place, before you can actually start up your new business. 

9. You don’t want your business to interfere with your private life/free time. 

If you want to have a successful business but aren’t prepared to sacrifice your free time, private life, and social life, then you’re just not ready to be a business owner. If you think that your life isn’t going to change after you start your own business, you are sorely mistaken.

Business owners have very little time of their own, especially in the first few years. You need to be able to knuckle down, get stuck in and make the business work. You need to be prepared to put in long hours and hard work to get your business off the ground. When you are…then you are ready to start your own business. 

10. You wouldn’t spend money to get your product or service.

If you don’t have firm belief and trust in your product or service, then you’re not ready. A great way to decide if you do (or don’t) is to ask yourself if you would pay good money for your product or service. If the answer is no, then you need to go back to the drawing board. 

If you lack belief in your own product, you need to spend some time figuring out how you can make it better. You need to focus on making your product or service the best it can possibly be. 

11. You don’t have a support system and have limited self-belief too.

It’s vitally important to have a support system when starting a new business. If absolutely everyone in your family is against the business idea and you aren’t too sure if you can pull it off yourself, then you are definitely not in the right stage to get started. 

Make sure that you have at least one or two people you care about in your corner. When you start your business, you are going to need support. You need people you love and trust to show that they have faith in your new business idea and abilities. 

12. You aren’t prepared to wear many hats in the business.

If you are all about sticking to your job description and don’t want to handle the more menial tasks within your business when you’re just getting started; you need to wait a while. Owning a new business is all about rolling up your sleeves and wearing many hats. You will need to be a receptionist, sales consultant, bookkeeper, manager, and so on. 

Work on figuring out how you will handle all the different areas of your business, before you are able to hire people to assist you. When you feel as if you are ready to “do it all”, that is when you are ready to start your own business. 

13. You expect immediate success with minimal effort.

If you think that you are going to set the business up and have it run in the background of your life with great success, think again. That is not how a business works, and you are definitely not ready to have a business of your own. 

Wrap your head around the fact that a new business is going to take a lot of your time and attention. You will put in long hours, and your current life as you know it will become a whole lot busier. 

14. You think opportunities will just fall into your lap.

If you think that business will find its way to you, you’re mistaken. 

man sitting

When you start your own business, you have to get out there and look for customers. You have to spend a lot of time building a customer base. 

15. You lack motivation and time management skills.

If you are the type of person that cannot work unsupervised because you lack motivation and have poor time management skills, starting your own business might be a bad idea.

Work on managing your time better and make motivation a daily task that you put effort into too. You need to become the type of person who gets up and gets things done without someone having to supervise you. 

All in all

If the above pointers sound like you, perhaps you need to spend a bit more time planning before you take the leap into owning your own business. With that in mind, if you’re thinking about starting your own new business, make sure that you are ready for the challenge and have the right mindset. May every business success be yours!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.