If you’re thinking about going into business for yourself, who better to ask for advice than other business owners?
They’ve been there, done that, and no doubt have made their share of mistakes along the way. Learning from their experiences can help you make better decisions and might spare you from repeating their errors.
Here are 10 things to ask another business owner before you start your business:
1. What is the most helpful piece of advice you wish someone had given you before you started your business?
2. Who are your mentors/coaches/advisers? Who or what organization(s) helped you start and operate your business? Who do you go to when you need business help or advice?
3. Did you write a business plan before you started your business, and if so, was it a worthwhile process? Do you update your plan? How often?
4. What has happened in your business that you did not plan for? Good or bad, what adjustments or changes did you have to make as a result?
5. How long did it take for you to start making enough money to pay the bills and how long did it take you to be able to pay yourself? Did you have enough working capital to start your business?
6. Has your family been on board and supportive? How has your business affected your personal and family life? What adjustments have you made?
7. Do you ever take time off? Have you had a vacation since you started your business? What happens if you get sick?
8. What have been your greatest successes and failures? What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? What do you wish you could do over? What have you learned from your successes and failures?
9. What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself and your business in five years? How do you plan to get there?
10. Are you happy being in business for yourself? If someone came along and offered you a job making two times what you are making as a business owner, would you take it? Why or why not?