Flock Free Nation

No nonsense information on small business.

Jan 5, 2012 - 2 minute read - Comments - entrepreneurship

Try Before You Buy

It turns out that we aren’t very good at predicting the future. A sober look at the predictions of economists, political pundits, and sportscasters reveals this lack of foresight.

What is more surprising, is that we do a very poor job of predicting our own futures. It’s difficult to predict how much we will like a certain situation. Part of the reason for this is that we are unable to completely imagine all the details of a certain situation. If you are imagining running your own business, you might be thinking of how much fun it will be to design products or come up with clever marketing campaigns. You might not be imagining setting up an accounting system, filing your taxes, or meeting with your banker. Imagination has a way of filling in some details while leaving others out. The problem is that some of the details that get left out might be very important.

It’s not possible to completely imagine what running your own business will be like. The best way to remedy this is to talk to other business owners who run a similar business to yours. Learn from their experience. They will be able to give you a much more complete picture of what your experience of running that type of business will be like.

If you can find a business owner that is willing, spend a few days job shadowing him or her. Asking questions, while experiencing some of the business’s activities firsthand, will be very valuable.

This might seem like a lot of effort to learn about something you think you already understand. Trust me, your romantic image of business ownership isn’t accurate in all respects. You are about to invest your hard earned money and take substantial financial risks. Do your research first.