5 questions to ask yourself before starting a business
Many people believe they’re not ready to start a business, so they put it off for as long as possible. More than likely you’ll question everything you thought about your business idea and consider whether it is worth making the jump or not. However, you shouldn’t miss out on what could be a life-changing opportunity because you’re scared of the risk; there are just a few questions you should ask yourself before you start your business and the rest will fall into place over time.
Why are you starting a business?
Before you begin your journey, you need to ask yourself the why you want to start a business, in order to make sure you’re in it for the right reasons. It takes a lot of dedication and determination to start a business; not only will it be long hours, you’ll more than likely see a distinct impact on your social life. So make sure that it’s something you’re passionate about, or it’ll be over before it even begins.
What problem are you solving?
Do you know what problem you’re solving by starting your business? If you don’t then you need to stop and go back to the drawing board. If your product or service doesn’t solve any kind of problem, then there may not be a need or a market for it. You also need to consider whether or not there is an audience for your business, and whether one of their needs is being met with the product or service.
Have you considered all the risks involved?
There is always risk involved in starting a business. You might have researched your market incorrectly, or run out of money too quickly. Regardless of the what the issue is, you’ll probably be able to handle it – you might even surprise yourself! The biggest risk of all is of course failing; nobody wants to throw in the towel but with one in three startups going out of business in the first year, the odds are never in your favour.
How much is it going to cost you?
Before you fully commit yourself, work through your cash flow and figure out if starting a business is something you can actually afford. Do you have enough money to keep your business afloat for the first year, without having to worry about it running out? You may find out that you’re not financially ready to start a business, and may need to wait another year or so in order to give yourself the best chance of success.
Who is your competition and how do you differentiate?
Have you researched who else is doing what you want to do? Get ahead of the game by keeping an eye on these companies to see how they work. What makes you stand out compared to your competitors? What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)? If you can’t answer this question instantly, it means you’re not quite sure of the answer. Once you’ve figured out the problem you’re solving, it should help you to answer this question too.
By asking yourself these questions, you’ll gain a better idea of whether you’re ready to start pursuing your business idea. Got any advice to offer other business owners? Pop them into the discussion box below.