Are you wondering what questions to ask yourself before starting a business? Setting up a business entails a lot of dedication, hard work, time, and money. Truth is, there are lots of questions to ask yourself when starting a business.
You can’t just dive into a business venture without checking out your options, your competitors, and most importantly, yourself.
So, before you start a business, go through these entrepreneur questions and do a bit of soul-searching first.
Why Do I Want To Start A Business?
Your reasons for starting a business should be sound.
Obviously, you want to have a source of income.
However, are you planning to start a business in order to create a job for yourself, or do you foresee it running even in your absence and when you are no more?
Understanding your motives for starting a business will help you strategize your business and increase your rate of success.
For example, if you want it to eventually become a passive source of income for you, then your goals should be to look for reliable, high-quality staff.
You need to ensure that they should be able to handle the operations and set up an efficient system that will run like clockwork, even without you in a key position.
What Are My Other Alternatives If I Don’t Start A Business Now, Or If My Business Fails To Take Off?
Asking yourself this question before starting your business, is meant to keep you — and your finances — in check.
It’s easy to dream big in theory, but perhaps the reality of it is that you can’t afford to set up a brick-and-mortar business yet.
If that’s the case, maybe you should settle for selling your products or services online in the meantime or doing it part-time, and saving up until you’ve coughed up enough to go fulltime.
Remember, smart entrepreneurs always have a plan B up their sleeves. If the business goes south, you’ll at least have something to fall back on.
How Much Time Can I Dedicate To The Business?
This is one of the most important questions to ask yourself before starting a business.
For sure, you have the passion to go into business, but do you really have the time?
Most start-up entrepreneurs find the plotting and planning stage to be easy, but fail to deliver when the actual work on it begins.
If you truly want your business to succeed, be prepared to give up most of your personal time, especially in the beginning.
Do I See Myself Staying In The Business Five Years From Now?
As mentioned, setting up a business is a huge investment.
You don’t want your efforts to go to waste by not committing to see it through, and without achieving beyond your Return On Investment.
Unless your plan is to establish a company that you’ll eventually sell to another party for profit, expect that you’ll be ‘married’ to the business for the next few years.
How Will I Utilize My Skill Set In Running A Business?
Whether you’re just a fresh college graduate or a 9-to-5 employee wanting to be his/her own boss, you definitely have something to bring to the table.
Running a business takes a lot of different skills, giving various aspects: sales, marketing, IT, social media, logistics, managerial, project management, etc.
Figure out your strengths and weaknesses and you’ll have a better idea of the areas you need to focus and improve on by taking up further training or hiring personnel more skilled in those aspects.
Consider These Business Start-Up Questions For Your Business Plan
So you’ve already decided: You do want to start a business.
Now, you need to plan and map out your next steps.
Consider the following business start-up questions when drafting a business plan:
Who is My Target Market?
You need to have a closeness with your potential customers since you’ll be interacting with them a lot.
Not to mention that you will be creating products, delivering services, and providing solutions tailor-fit for them and their needs.
For instance, you may be a Generation Y-er keen on catering to millennials.
It’s important that you truly take the time to get to know their behaviors, preferences, and purchasing habits.
This way, you can offer products or services that they not only need but are also willing to pay for.
How Much Cash Do I Have?
The size of your business will depend on the funds you have.
Sure, you can take out a loan from the bank to cover the rest of the capital.
However, before you do, consider if you can afford to risk your money in a business venture.
Taking stock of your finances and assets will also be beneficial in improving your credit rating, which can improve your chances of acquiring loans and funding from banks and other investors.
What Problem Am I Solving?
The value of your product or service is dependent on the magnitude of the ‘problem’.
When answering this question, check to see if your idea will address a certain pain point or difficulty in your target market.
Also, check to see how your idea works in that situation.
For example, in urban areas and cosmopolitan cities, busy workaholics are turning to personal grocery shoppers to make their weekly (or monthly) supermarket runs for them.
This service frees up time for the consumers — and time is a precious commodity in today’s fast-paced world.
Along these lines, you must also ask if the product or service you’re offering will solve a real need or will address a perceived need.
Understanding the difference between the two will help you better market your product or service, and gain understanding into the long-term success of your venture.
A real need is something that you can’t live without, such as clothes, food, and shelter.
A perceived need, on the other hand, is usually a trend or a want.
However, if you truly understand the habits and preferences of your target market, your ‘perceived need’ offering can evolve into a ‘real need’ one.
One example is the smartphone. Before, it addressed a ‘perceived need’ — it was considered a status symbol, a source of bragging rights for those who had one.
Now, the smartphone has evolved into a ‘real need’ solution — people depend on it to wake them up in the morning, stay in touch with others, remind them of their to-dos, and get news and information.
Who Else Is Doing The Same Thing?
Obviously, you don’t want to be a copycat, even though you’re jumping into the same bandwagon as others.
Still, doing a survey on the competition will provide you with understanding and ideas on how to better level the playing field, so to speak.
Use the data you’ve acquired when proceeding to the next question.
How Can I Be Different?
To answer this question, you need to think out of the box and be as creative as possible.
Give yourself time — identifying your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) won’t happen in an instant.
Your USP can be based on competitive pricing, better quality, a different marketing angle, unique packaging, etc.
If you’re stumped for answers, just view it this way: “What will make someone purchase my product or prefer my service over others?”
Going into business is a huge commitment.
You’ll be sacrificing a majority of your time, energy, and money for at least a year or so.
So, before you start a business, take the time to assess yourself and evaluate the possibility of your business idea’s success with this entrepreneur questionnaire — and ensure that you are making the right decision.
Has this article helped you understand the seriousness of opening a business?
We would very much love to hear from you!
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