7 Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Own Business
What to Ask Before Starting Your Own Business
Are you asking yourself the right questions before diving into a new business venture? Set yourself up for success and ask yourself these questions before you dive in!
1. Why do you want to start a business?
Know the real reason you want to create this new business, make sure you are honest with yourself. Your reasons to begin the difficult and rewarding career of working for yourself must stem from something more than a career or job you want to leave behind. Motivation comes from what you want, not just what you want to avoid.
If you are looking for a completely flexible schedule because you’re in charge, or a quick financial payoff, talk with other business owners and get a realistic picture. Be honest with yourself, your goals, and your work ethic. Make sure your reasons will carry you through the twists and turns you’ll experience as an entrepreneur.
2. Why does the marketplace need your product or service?
What sets you apart? Know why and how your new service or product will meet a need in the market. It doesn’t have to be a one-of-a-kind product, but know what will distinguish your business from the rest in very practical, real ways.
3. How will you get your clients or customers?
Determine where your customers will come from and how they will hear about your business. If you have a product or service that needs an abundance of customers to reach your financial goals, then you’ll need a high-volume marketing plan.
Example: If you have a jewelry business or a retail store, you’ll need the continued awareness of numerous people. In contrast, if you have a consulting or niche expert business, you may have a greater emphasis on growing key relationships with target clients and with those who you will recommend you.
Ask yourself: How will you get your customers? How many customers do you need to drive your company and your investment? How do you spend your time and how long it will take to reach your income targets? This is fundamental to the planning phase of your business and can help you confirm that your financial goals are realistic.
4. What will it be like when you have reached your desired state for the business? How long will it likely take to get there?
Dream. Know your north star. Your desired state must be unique to you, not just a revenue target. Write down what it will be like, what will be happening, and the evidence you’ll see. This vision will be updated over time, but think big and remember you will get there in steps. This clarity will help you make wise short-term decisions and stay motivated.
Also, consider transitioning into your new business by starting it while at your current job or before you finish school. If you know you’ll have a long ramp-up time, start as early as you can.
5. What financials are essential to make it work for you and your family?
If your best-case scenario in 2 or 3 years creates an income that won’t be enough, then you’ll have to adjust your plan. Also, what is the maximum you want to invest in the first 1 or 2 years? Can your business be successful with this investment? This seems obvious, but many new business owners haven’t really developed a realistic financial plan, which means you can end up someplace you never intended.
6. Who are your expert advisors to help you make it happen?
I have written about the need for a blend of advisors in the past, or a mastermind team, especially as a new business owner. Build relationships with multiple experts to advise you on marketing, the operational keys for running a business and the marketplace. You should also seek another entrepreneur who can be your wise counsel. Some may be paid advisors, but others can be mentors who offer you guidance.
This gap in knowledge was one of my biggest surprises because there was so much to know. At first, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know. Others were essential in educating me along the way. It was very helpful to me to confide in an executive coach at the time, and they helped guide me through some tough decisions in my personal coaching practice. I couldn’t be more grateful for the advice and mentorship. Check out how a life or executive coach could be helpful to you and your blossoming business.
7. If anything were to get in your way, what would it be?
Answer this honestly. It’s essential to know this answer so you can anticipate and plan accordingly.
I’ve heard answers like “my lack of knowledge about this market,” “my discomfort with selling,” “that I have no investment money,” and “second-guessing myself.” If you are about to start a business that will require selling your ideas or a product (and most do) and this makes you uncomfortable, you have some options: a) get help to dramatically improve your skills and your comfort level; b) partner with someone who does this well; or c) regroup on your plans. But don’t overlook this question because leaving this unaddressed will guarantee it’s reappearance in the future.
Follow your dreams. Take risks. Be bold. But, also be smart, plan, and get the advice you need. It’s not one or the other. You can dream and plan! This balance of dreaming and planning is what successful business owners do.
What steps to take now
If you want to start your own business, but don’t know where to start, seeking guidance from an executive coach could help point you in the right direction and give clarity to many of these questions. If you would like to learn more about how an executive coach can help you get your business up and running check out my website: https://richcavaness.com/ Let’s set you up for success today!