As never before in the history of our country there are tens of thousands of mid to upper level corporate executives whose world has crashed around them. They have been "downsized" out of their some cases after years of loyal service. These former corporate executives find it almost impossible to find a job commensurate with what they had. Those employment opportunities are just not available.

In many situations that executive decides that he or she no longer will be a victim of circumstances and conditions beyond their control...they will become their own boss...they will go into business for themselves. These very capable men and women decide to start or purchase their own business. After all, they were successful executives in large companies with, in many cases, large staffs reporting to them. They are well trained, effective, professional managers.

They were also, however, surrounded and supported with all kinds of corporate resources, facilities and in-depth assistance...all only a phone call away. They lived in a structured environment with the security of a regular paycheck, benefits, etc.

As the owner of a business-they are on their own...totally on their own!

In addition to some technical advice, these people require coaching and lots of positive affirmation. In many case, they have invested not only their savings but also their pension and retirements funds into their new business.

They have become entrepreneurs...but not like the men and women of yesteryear, who were highly motivated, blinded to all the pitfalls by their belief and very independent. What the former year entrepreneurs lacked in business experience and skills they made up for in unyielding individuality...a burning ambition and vision.

The so called "corporate castaways" often underestimate the demands of being a business owner. The have "bet the farm"...but are they really ready for entrepreneurship? A thorough self analysis should be prerequisite for a former corporate executive before he embarks on the business owner waters. That self analysis

is certainly as important, and maybe more important, than the business questions that must be answered.

Here is simple self test to help evaluate your aptitude for entrepreneurship.

1. Are you a self starter?

It will be entirely up to you to initiate, develop and implement all projects, plus follow through.

2. Do you get along with different personalities?

Business owners must build and maintain relationships with a variety of people, including customers, suppliers, staff, bankers, attorneys,accountants, consultants, etc. How well can you deal with the irate customer or the cranky receptionist?

3. Are you a decision maker?

Small business owners are required to make decisions constantly...often quickly, without time for counsel and under pressure.

4. Do you have the physical and emotional stamina and strength to run a business?

Business ownership sounds exciting, but it is an enormous amount of work. There are long hours, six and seven day weeks of twelve to fourteen hour the constant stress that can tax the emotional stamina.

5. Can you plan and organize?

Research indicates that poor planning is largely responsible for business failures. Good planning and organization of sales, purchases, cash flow, etc. is a must for survival.

6. Is your internal drive strong enough?

Owning and operating a business can wear you down emotionally. Some new owners' burn out quickly from the stress of carrying all the responsibility for the survival and success of the business on their shoulders Strong motivation is necessary for you to survive the ups and downs of your business.

7. How will this new adventure affect your family?

The first few years of a business can have a profound effect on the entire family of the business owner. It is important for family members to understand, know what to expect and to be wholeheartedly behind the project. There also may be financial difficulties until the business becomes profitable, which could take years. The whole family may have to adjust to a lower standard of living for the short term.

8. Are you a leader?

First must come the recognition and acceptance of the differences between managing and leading...both of which are necessary for success. The skills of leadership must become part of your makeup to be an effective business owner operator.

Success in Business is never automatic.

A new business depends on the skills, determination and organization of the owner to succeed.

Even then, there are no guarantees.



Dr. Weil is the president of RMS Accounting, in Fort Lauderdale FL and Franchise Business Systems, in Fort Lauderdale FL, he has been a featured speaker on local and national TV and Radio shows. Dr. Weil is Enrolled to Practice before the Interneal Revenue Service and teaches classes on many business topics. He has been a featured speaker for franchise and business groups and works with business owners, franchisees and franchisors accross the US on increasing profits and r...

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