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Wyoming Business Tips for July 10-16

July 1, 2016

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By guest author Cindy Rayfield, senior franchise consultant for FranNet Mountain West,

“Is there a difference between being ‘business-curious’ and ‘business-ready?’” Sandra, Gillette

As a consultant in the business world, I visit with a lot of people who say they are ready for business ownership. But after I ask a few questions, I can easily determine if they are actually business-ready or simply business-curious.

There is a big difference between these two types of people. There’s a change in the language that people use once they are over their initial fascination with the idea of business ownership. It becomes a more solid reality, rather than a nebulous idea, so they change their “speak.” Here are some examples of business-curious vs. business-ready speak:

Business-curious speak

When people are simply business-curious, they offer comments such as, “I have this really super idea for a startup business!” Or, “This is something that everyone needs, and there is NO competition!” “All my friends think this is a great idea, and I can find grants so I don’t have to come up with any of my own money!” These people also tend to underestimate the commitment and personal investment that is required for running a successful business.

Business-ready speak

Potential business owners who are business-ready have greater insight and are open to researching business types, including startups, purchasing an existing business or exploring franchise options. They look for a proven market for their service or product, and understand the solid competition with different business models.

A key to being business-ready is doing extensive market research and having liquid capital ready for a downpayment. Other funding options have been identified. Goals have been set, such as lifestyle aspirations and building “more than a job.” Many serious business-ready entrepreneurs eventually want to be able to work on their businesses -- not just in their businesses -- and hope to scale growth to offer opportunities to move into an absentee role in the future.

Can you see the difference? Usually, the business-ready entrepreneurs have moved past the business-curious, assumption-based stage and are several steps ahead in their research and education. They are investigating the practicalities of a business rather than considering an idea.

The best advice for anyone looking at business ownership is to stay free of biased assumptions, investigate from an emotion-free state, and work with trusted advisers. That includes free resources, including your Small Business Development Center. Your local center has resources to help you do research and can refer you to experts in select fields.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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