As 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-ready vs. business-curious speak:

Business-Curious Speak

  1. I have this really super idea for a start up business.
  2. Here’s a great business idea that is perfect for a franchise…
  3. This is something that everyone needs and there is no competition!
  4. Franchises are all too expensive and I don’t want to do fast food.
  5. I’ve already done the research on my business start up. All my friends say it’s a great idea.
  6. When I buy someone else’s business, I’m automatically buying cash flow.
  7. I can get grants to start my business, right?
  8. If I use “angel funding” I won’t have pony-up any of my own money.
  9. If I start a business, I’ll be able to quickly take a six-figure salary.
  10. If I get into this hot business now, I’ll be able to recoup my investment quickly and turn it over for a great profit.
  11. Once I’m a business owner, I’ll never have to step foot in my business. I’ll just let others run it.
  12. I can just picture myself working in the office on these projects for my customers.


Business-Ready Speak

  1. I don’t know what type of business is a fit for me yet.
  2. I’m researching starts ups, resales and franchises.
  3. What types of services should royalties cover in a franchise?
  4. There appears to be a proven market for this service, and solid competition with different models.
  5. What are the steps needed to research a business like this?
  6. I have liquid capital ready to use for down payment and I’ve explored other funding options.
  7. I want to be able to scale this business for growth which I know may require more time and capital upfront.
  8. I don’t want to just buy myself a job.
  9. I would like to start as owner-operator and move more into an absentee role as the business grows.
  10. I eventually want to be able to work on my business, and not in my business.

Can you see the difference? Usually, the business-ready 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 advisors. That includes free resources including your Small Business Development Center. They have resources to help you do research, and can refer you to experts in select fields.

About Cindy

Cindy Rayfield is a franchise specialist with FranNet Colorado, a 25-year-old national franchise consulting firm which helps people in career transition. She has a background in business ownership herself as a start up business owner.

As a franchise specialist for FranNet, Cindy consults with clients in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, helping them to find the perfect franchise through an exclusive matchmaking process.

She is a graduate of the University of Denver, School of Communication, and resides in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. For more information about Cindy, please visit

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