Starting a business can be exciting, nerve-wracking and rewarding. You will be the champion of your own future and can grow your business as far and as fast as you’re prepared to do so. But are you ready? Can you handle the challenges, and how will you stay on track to work towards your successes?
Here are eight questions you should consider asking yourself before going into business:
Why do I want to start my own business?
What is it that makes you want to start your own venture? Is it something you’re passionate about, or will your business be focused around a skill that you’re great at? Consider why you want to start running your own business. Are your reasons strong enough to sustain your passion?
Am I ready to be an entrepreneur?
Have you done everything required to set up your business? Do you have the appropriate contracts, legal and financial documents ready? Have you developed all of the skills that you’ll need to keep your business running from day-to-day, and if not, do you know where you can find help with those skills?
What are my business goals?
Determine what you want to achieve with your business. How much profit do you want to make within the first year? How much work do you aim to have done within the first six months? Set realistic goals and create a list of tactics that will help you achieve them.
Who is my ideal customer?
Know who your business is targeting. Figure out exactly who your product or service is designed for and what problems you are aiming to solve for them. Know what they want from their interaction with you and your business and how you can effectively deliver a great result for them.
How will I find my customers?
Who will be your first client? Are you planning to generate customers through word of mouth, or will you advertise directly to them? Do your research and find out exactly where your customers are and how you can best communicate your services to them.
Do I have enough money?
One of the most important factors in running a business is cash flow. You’ll need to make sure that you have enough income to pay your own utility bills and any employees, rental of premises and to purchase or hire any equipment you need. Do you have enough money saved to be able to survive if your first clients don’t pay on time, or if you take longer than planned to even find your first client?
Remember: if you needed to lease premises for your business, then decide you want to ‘pull up shop’ for whatever reason, you may still be responsible to keep paying rent on those premises until your lease runs out, or the premises can be leased to someone else. Have you got enough funds for this?
Who are my support networks?
When you’re tired, busy and stressed, you’ll need someone to give you a bit of support and to help you get through the tough times. Do you have someone who can be there for you? A family member, friend or partner, or even a business network community can provide support and encouragement to help you survive the pressures of running your own business.
Can I have tough conversations?
When running your own business you’ll need to be able to have some uncomfortable conversations from time to time. You may have to fire a staff member, or cancel a contract, or deliver some other difficult news. Are you prepared to deliver bad news as well as celebrate success?
Covered the questions? Feeling confident? Then all that is left to stay is good luck and we wish you great success with your business venture!