Are You Prepared to Start Your Own Business?

Starting a Business Takes Work

But it can be done!

According to the Department of Labor Statistics.


Businesses Surviving Year 1


Businesses Surviving Year 2


Businesses Surviving Year 5


Businesses Surviving Year 10

Why do businesses fail?

There are many reasons, but they can be grouped into the following categories:  lack of business acumen; financial limitations; insufficient marketing; staffing/management issues; and competitive issues/inability to pivot as needed.

It is important that you enter the small business decision-making process with thoughtfulness and introspection.  There are several areas that require examination to ascertain if a small business is a good choice for you.

Business and Entrepreneurial Ability

Considering the survival rate of businesses, you should be willing to conduct extensive research, due diligence, and analysis to maximize your potential for success.  Considering the unique business climate in Colonial Beach, this research and analysis is crucial.  Be prepared.  Opening your own business generally means that you will be working harder than ever before, and as a start up, you will likely be an owner-operator and will be making most of the decisions yourself. The importance of this step cannot be overstated.  Please consider the following questions:

Are you motivated?

It’s all up to you!  To be successful, you will need a passion for your business and a hunger to be successful.  You will have periods of doubt and burn-out.  Do you have the tenacity to see your project through to the end?

Do you have the personality to be a small business owner?

Business owners need to have good interpersonal skills and an ability to interface with a variety of different people.  You must establish and maintain professional working relationships with people from varied backgrounds.  You may have to interact with customers, vendors, bankers, accountants, local officials, lawyers, other business owners, consultants, etc.  Can you manage yourself appropriately with a disgruntled vendor or an unhappy customer?

Do you have the emotional and physical stamina to go the distance?

Owning your own business…being your own boss…is exciting but it is also a lot of work!  Do you have mental and physical energy it takes to be successful?  You will likely face competition.  Are you prepared?

Are you task oriented and willing to do your homework?

How are your development/planning and organizing skills?  Do you have follow-through skills that are goal directed?  Research, planning and organizing are key skills needed for successful business operations.   Unfortunately, research shows that many business failures are due to lack of preparation and planning.

How will your family be affected?

It takes several years of hard work to start a new business and to be financially successful.  Is your family able to deal with the emotional and fiscal hurdles that come with starting your own business?


Feasibility Study

A feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed plan.  It is an analysis of the viability of a business through a disciplined and documented process and is used to support your decision-making.  A feasibility study takes place in the deliberation phase of business development.  Below are a few questions that you should be asking yourself as you consider the feasibility of starting a business.

Do you know what skills are needed for your business to be successful? Does your business serve an un-met need in the area? Can you identify anything that may interfere with opening and operating your business (i.e. permits, cost increases, limited availability, limited skills, technology, personnel, etc.)

Financial Worthiness and Risk Tolerance

It is crucial to evaluate your own financial stability and credit worthiness.  Check your credit score.  Make needed corrections to your credit report.

Annual Credit Report: Free – 1 per year 

  • Experian (Formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
  • Equifax: 1-800-685-1111
  • TransUnion: 1–877-322-8228
  • Fair Isaac Corp. (FICO): 1-800-319-4433

Marketing Strategy

Marketing is one of the key aspects of owning a business.  How, when, and where to market can be the difference between success and failure.  This will be covered more in the section on developing a business plan.


Staffing and Management Issues

This one area can occupy well over 50% of a business owner’s time and attention.  It is easily one of the most complex and difficult areas of owning a business.


Be ready to change directions if the situation dictates.  The old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” applies.  Sometimes it is necessary to reevaluate your business mode to be successful.

Interested in promoting your business?

Learn More!


Thank you  to our featured photographers: Debbie Biemeck,  Mary Carter, Erich Cosby, Marc, Fitzsimmons, Larry Goven, Bobby Hooker, Bill Hutchins, Susan Pietras-Smith, and Katrina Price.  Information in the Business Development section provided by the Town of Colonial Beach, VA and developed and written by the Planning Commission of Colonial Beach, VA.  


Colonial Beach
Chamber of Commerce


106 Hawthorn St.
Colonial Beach, VA 22443

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