are you the right person to start a business?

Written by Ed Beckmann Sunday, 23 January 2011 12:27

I have just spent three enjoyable days training for Westley Business Solutions at Andover College ,  with some people who were invited by Jobcentreplus to explore working for themselves, and thought I would share some of the things that we discussed.

Am I the right sort of person to run a business?

A couple of people were concerned about this – whether you had to be the type of person to go on The Apprentice or Dragon’s Den to make a go of it. Here’s where I deal with it in the Simply course material, which you can read more about in the menus above. Fundamentally there is not a ‘right sort of person’ as much as someone who has developed a bunch of characteristics – these characteristics are the basis of the seven modules that make up the Simply course. This question fits into two of the modules:

Having a purpose in mind – why do you want to run a business?

Before you can really set a mission for your business and let your customers or community know about you, it is important to realise what you want from it personally. All too often we see people who work for themselves but are not happy, take little money out, work crazy hours or find customers or suppliers irritating.

From my perspective, the first bits of work you do are to work out what you want in your ideal day, and in your ideal job. We have some great activities to explore this in the course, but the main point here is that the right person to run a business at least knows what they want out of life. If, at the moment, you are not sure what you want and might be ‘falling into’ running a business or other organisation, the best advice is to pause and reflect. It’s not so much a type of person, but your current state of mind which needs to be focused to make sure that what you create is what you want.

What sort of person am I? – working with people

Whether you are on your own or running things with many others, you have to work with people. After all – even when you are alone you are the leader, the motivator and the person who says ‘well done’ when things go well.

So the right sort of person knows their own strengths and weaknesses, how they motivate themselves on a tough day let alone how they enthuse others. The right type of person can see when delegating is the sensible way out, and knows the value of paying for help. Certainly there are some innate traits that you have and which you can explore either using psychometric tools such as MBTI or from other online ‘entrepreneur profiling’ tools, and they will give some insights. As a person accredited to use some of these tools, I would argue that they are a useful indicator, but they can be over-ridden by  your own determination. For example, you may not naturally like detailed planning, but when you recognise where it is needed you either put in more effort or delegate. So do take these tests as information and avoid being put into boxes by them!

Hopefully this shows how ‘the right type of person …’ fits into just two of our modules. Frankly we could refer to customers, money, responsibilities, adaptability and keeping up-to-date, but that would take ages. For now, the main point is to have a look through the kinds of issues we have in the other modules under ‘main articles’, and consider where your strengths lie and where you have some learning to enjoy.

And naturally to learn more, sign up to a course!