I love it when people set up social enterprises and businesses, it's an exciting time full of opportunity but also one of a few threats. In setting up my social enterprise at the moment, here are 5 reality checks that I used to test whether I was ready to take the plunge:
- Financial security: This is a big one for most people setting up a business. As I am setting up my social enterprise at the moment, I have lost the regularity of earning a regular salary. This can be especially hard if you have a family. Are you willing to forsake going on holidays away? Are you willing to invest personal savings? How much money are you willing to invest in your business?
- Lack of company perks: In a normal job, you get "perks" such as holiday pay, pensions contributions and sick pay. When you are setting up your organisation, you may lose this at first.
- Support of family & friends: Do you have the support of your family and friends who can support you during what can be a very stressful time. Deliberately use people you trust as a sounding board and for their objectivity.
- Network of peers: Is there a network of peers in your sector that you can tap into? Developing a network of business peers who you can also talk to regularly will help you feel that you're part of a larger support network.
- Personal sacrifice: Last but my no means least! Are you prepared to put in the long hours and the hard work? If you have a great idea, it'll be worth it in the end!