That tiny voice in the back of your head is growing louder. Those aspirations of building your own business are becoming too hard to ignore. If your heart, or head, is telling you the time is right to make the leap into entrepreneurship, there are a number of factors you need to contemplate first. Consider the following five factors before you double-down on your entrepreneurial vision.

1) One factor few talk about is the guilt that comes along with becoming an entrepreneur. Every second you’re not working on your business feels like a lost opportunity. If you take time off to spend a weekend away with your spouse, you end up feeling guilty over tasks you could have completed to further accelerate your business. Forget two or three-week holidays; just the thought of that much time away from your business venture will leave you overwhelmed with guilt. You need to know in advance that guilt comes with the package; you had better have a plan in place to deal with it before becoming a business founder.

2) You need to have a support network in place if you hope to survive the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurship. Whether your network is comprised of family members, close friends, or a business mentor is completely up to you. Without a support system to turn to, you might be tempted to jump ship at the first sign of trouble. Do not underestimate this issue.

3) Considering your funding resources prior to becoming an entrepreneur is incredibly important. Will you survive on an existing line of credit? Will you dip into your retirement savings to fund your entrepreneurial adventure? Have a financial game plan, and establish a long-term plan, taking into account sales shortfalls and unexpected business expenditures. When you look at the business stats, and why small business fail at such an alarming rate, it’s very often due to this factor.

4) A business plan is crucial for any entrepreneurial venture. Whether you are building a brick-and-mortar company or creating an e-commerce online business, you need to have a solid business plan in place before diving into the ‘deep waters’ of entrepreneurship. Get all the components of your venture in place to ensure you are on solid footing before beginning your journey.

5) Just like having a business plan is crucial, so is knowing when to give up the security of your current job. If you jump into your own business too soon, you could run out of funding. On the other hand, if you stay too long, your current employer could make the decision for you if they think you’re not giving your all to their business. Think long and hard about the timing of your departure to ensure you’re on solid footing when you land.

Choosing the entrepreneurial life is not a decision made on a whim. You need to consider the mental, physical, and financial costs of such a choice. With enough forethought, and consultation, your leap into the land of business ownership can be exhilarating. Without the proper planning, your leap just might land you in a whole mess of trouble.