Is Your Business a Real Business?

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If you’ve ever watched shows like Shark Tank before, you’ve witnessed at least a few entrepreneurs get told that their business idea might not be much of a business after all.

If someone were to say that to you, would you take it at face value? The reality is that everyone’s definition of a business is a little bit different. As an accountant, I will look at a business and define it within my own parameters but yours could be based on a different set of factors altogether.

A teacher takes an asset (the students) and gives them knowledge to improve them. Is that a business? Some people would say that’s just teaching but I would say it is a business.

You could say that if you pay taxes, you have a real business but there’s something about that that doesn’t quite sit right with me either. That could be a poor definition when you consider businesses that don’t have anything financially associated with them yet still improve our lives, such as the case with teachers.

A real business is something that you put your heart and hands into, and it makes you feel that you have something forward. That’s a real business.

Is It a Hobby or a Business?

It’s wonderful to have hobbies but that does not necessarily mean your hobby will be a successful business.

You have to ask yourself: is this something that I am doing because I enjoy doing it or is it just something I am dabbling in?

The best piece of advice I can give is that if you are going down the avenue of running a real business then make sure you treat it like you are in a real business. You need to make sure you have the right structures in place, the right team members, the right mental state and the right business planning.

Don’t get me wrong, you can run your hobby as a business by taking something you are passionate about and turning it into a serious business. If you try to run your business like a hobby, that’s when you’re setting yourself up for failure.

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You Can’t Dabble In a Real Business

When I think about the best example of running a business as a hobby, multilevel marketing is the first thing that springs to mind.

I have seen thousands of people dabble in multilevel marketing and I’ve also seen very few people who run it like a real business.

People who dabble in multilevel marketing might make a few hundred bucks but the ones that are committed to running it like a real business are the ones that see a high success rate.

Asking The Yourself Right Questions

If you’re determined to go forward with a new business and unsure if it’s a “real” business, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to help clarify the situation.

  1. Is there a market or a need for your product or service?
  2. Realistically, what is the size of the market?
  3. Have you tested that product with potential customers in your target market? (That doesn’t include your supportive parents)

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Last Minute Advice

Just because you have a “real” business doesn’t guarantee its success. Generally speaking, if you are running a hobby then the odds of you being successful in business is low.

It’s not necessarily about time as much as it’s about your approach because that’s what will determine whether or not you are running a real business.

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