Monday, 14 November 2011

5 reality checks to test whether you're ready to set up a social enterprise or business

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:
  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

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