If you’re tired of your boss, restrictive working hours, and poor salary, then the idea of starting your own business has probably crossed your mind once or twice. Being your own boss is an exciting and fulfilling experience, but it isn’t without its difficulties and hardships. The fact of the matter is that loads of people start up their own businesses every single day and only a small percentage of them go on to be successful business people, while the rest fail and go back to their nine to five jobs and nagging bosses. If you want to be a success and start a business that grows into something great, then you need to be sure of a few things. Here are fourteen questions that you should answer before starting your own business.
Why Do You Want To Start A Business?
If you want your venture to be a success, then you need some pretty strong motivations to keep you working through the hardships you’re sure to face. If your main motivation is the cash or because you hate the job you’ve got right now, then you’re going to give up the second times get tough. You need to be passionate about what you’re selling, and you have to love your new position, or it’s just not worth it.
Do You Have The Time?
Being your own boss means that you can set your own working hours, but that doesn’t mean that you can work less than you usually do. In fact, you’ll probably have to work twice as long and ten times as hard, and this is something that you just might not have the time to do. Of course, once you’re set up and are making a regular profit, you will be able to relax a little, but until then it’s all systems go.
Should You Get A Partner?
If you’re worried about how much work you’ll have to do alone and think you’re going to struggle, then you have to consider whether or not bringing on a partner is a good idea. Before you dismiss the idea outright, consider all of the benefits that will come from having a partner; You’ll only have to do half the work, will only have to spend half the money, and will be able to use all of the knowledge and expertise that your partner has. If you like the idea, make sure that you find someone that you can trust and rely on.
Are Your Family And Friends Supportive?
A partner is going to be a great help with your business, but you won’t be able to survive without the support from family and friends too. In business, there are good days, and there are bad days, and when you’re going through a bad day, it’s the support of your loved ones that keeps you going. Without them, you’re going to struggle, and the smallest of challenges will look impossible to overcome.
What Will You Sell?
Wanting to start your own business is great, but it just isn’t going to happen unless you can come up with a product or service that will sell and you’re passionate about. If you haven’t thought of anything yet, look for problems that are missing a solution, and see if there’s anything that you can create or do to solve this problem. This is even better if the problem affects you personally, as you’ll be even more passionate about what you’re creating, and will put more effort into ensuring its success.
Who Will You Sell To?
Once you’ve come up with a product or service, you need to figure out who you’re going to sell to. You can start with a very general target market and then gradually zero in on a very specific group of people. If your product is there to solve a problem, this process should be a little easier for you. This is essential, as it allows you to come up with marketing strategies aimed at this specific group, rather than just anybody, and so should lead to a higher return on investment.
Who Are Your Competitors?
You need to find out whether or not you have any competitors, and if you do, you need to do as much research on these companies as you possibly can. Of course, having competitors is never ideal, but it does give you an advantage, as you can find out what has worked for these businesses and what hasn’t and plan accordingly. If there’s anything massively wrong with the product or service of a competing company, try to fix it with your own creations before selling them.
How Are You Different?
If there is another company that is already doing what you want to accomplish and they are doing it better than you could ever dream to, then you might want to think of another idea. For your company to be successful, it needs to have something different or unique that customers are going to want to try out. Being the same as another company is never going to work because customers will have no reason to make the switch and try what you’re selling.
How Will You Fund Your Business?
Unfortunately, businesses can’t be built out of passion alone; You also need funding. Most entrepreneurs fund their business themselves using savings, but if you don’t have any, or just don’t have enough, then you’re going to have to consider other sources of funding. This funding could come from a partner, an angel investor, a business loan, a government grant, or crowdfunding. You could also consider borrowing from a loved one, but this sometimes isn’t the best idea, as it could cause tension.
Where Will You Work?
You probably won’t start renting an office right away, in which case you are going to have to find somewhere at home that you can work. If you have a spare room or a garage that you can use, then this would be perfect, but if you don’t then you could consider having a structural engineer design you a garage or outbuilding. You could also add office space to another room, such as your dining room or home gym; You just need to make sure that it’s quiet and free of distractions while you’re working.
Can You See Yourself Running A Business?
If you want to start a business, then you need to be able to picture yourself actually running a business. You have to understand that, as a business owner, you are in charge of everything, and have to get a lot of work done in short space of time. If you don’t have the management skills required to do this, then your business is just going to fall apart. Luckily, there are lots of different classes, courses, and seminars that you can attend to help you learn and improve these skills so that you’re the best boss that you can be.
Do You Have Knowledge Of The Industry?
As a business owner, you have to have lots of knowledge of the industry in which your business is operating. For example, if you’re operating in the construction industry, then you need to know your stuff on construction, and if you’re involved in energy, then you need to know a lot about energy. You’re unlikely to know everything when you start, and that’s completely normal, as long as you start learning as soon as possible and keep learning until you retire.
What Rules And Laws Must You Follow?
As well as learning about the industry within which you’re operating, you also need to keep up to date on all of the laws and rules that business owners have to follow, especially if you plan on hiring employees any time soon. There are going to be different licenses and insurances that you need to have to comply with the law, so you may want to speak to a lawyer to make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything. You may also want to speak to an accountant to learn about taxes and what you need to pay.
What Are Your Long And Short Term Plans?
A lot of entrepreneurs think that they can get away with starting a business without a solid plan, and while that certainly works for some people, for most, it is a huge mistake and leads to disaster. You need to have z timeline for your business, to keep you motivated to achieve results. This plan is essential if you plan to borrow money from a bank or other lender, as they’ll want assurances that you can pay the money back. On this plan, you should include short and long-term plans for your finances and operations.
The decision to start your own business is a big one, and while running a company of your own is a rewarding experience, things can quickly go wrong if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. Before you make this huge decision, make sure you’re prepared by answering all of the questions above.