I wish I asked myself some of these questions before I jumped into business. It might have saved some of my business and saved me from a mountain of credit card bills. I failed many times and racked up a lot of credit card debts. Here, I want to save you from making the same mistakes I made and some that other business friends of mine made as well. This is from my own experience and some other friends’ experiences that are also in business.
I think you need to know a little bit about the business you want to go into. If you are not an auto mechanic and you want to start an auto repair shop, the odds against you are enormous. Because once you start, you will have to take care of tons of things. This will require your own technical experience, a cool mind, an experimental attitude and lots of patience, of course. I wish we had a time machine which could tell us about our success probability in advance. But, since there is none, you’ve got to do your own research. I don’t mean to scare you, but it will be best if you make a well informed and strategic approach.
Before starting a business, you need to be confident enough about your willpower and the business’s nature. Any new business will require a lot of hard work. Are you ready for that? The more you question, the better you will know.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before starting a business.
1. Why Do I Want To Start A Business?
When I started my first business, I thought I would become a millionaire overnight. I saw how successful eBay was, and I started one just like them without knowing that millions of dollars was invested into that business to make it a success. Go into a business with a motive for doing what you like and have fun. You may not make a million dollars, but if you can make a living and have peace of mind, fun and control of your life, then I think you should be ok.
2. Type of Business I Should Start – Online or Offline?
The second question you should ask yourself before starting a business is “Do I want to have a brick-and-mortar (offline business) type of business or do I want to start an online business or both at the same time?” You need to be sure about what you really want. What exactly about an online business inspires you the most? Is it your passion, or just a temporary inclination? If it’s not an online business, will you be fine to start an offline business and still be able to make ends meet? Do you have the cost to start? Do you want to keep an online business as your side business for extra income? Or, do you want to make a business your one and only career? Remember, your thoughts are going to drive your actions in the end. In my own opinion, online business can be cheaper to start and it also gives you a lot of flexibility.
3. What will be The Minimum Investment? Can I Afford it?
Although most online businesses will not require any capital intensive initial investments, some conventional businesses might though. So, it’s best to be aware of any possible expenses in advance. If you want to build your own website, rent a computer repairing shop or want a blog of your own, it will need some amount of preliminary investment. Are you ready to bear the expense?
4. Do I have the Necessary Support to Start My Own Business?
You will need to give lots of time initially to get your business off to a good start. Building a website, learning the traffic generation process, developing contacts for a business, networking, content marketing, business promotion techniques and etc., will consume a lot of your time. So, make sure you’ve got plenty of spare time available. Do you have enough support from your family? After all, time constraints will delay the start.
5. What’s The Minimum Revenue That My Business Can Generate?
When you’re sure about the type of business you want to start, do research to learn what sort of monthly income people are making from that. Read people’s remarks in different blogs and join forums. Talk with people who are in the same kind of business. You will get to know about what amount of money people are making from the business. If you get an idea about the possible income in advance, you will make a plan to manage your expenses.
6) Do You Have Enough Money Saved Up?
There is no guarantee you will make any money or enough money to pay the business expenses for the first six months. So, do you have enough money to take care of yourself during this early stage of your business? Most businesses will not generate enough income initially. Do not worry, because the income will increase gradually.
This is why you will require a lot of patience. Income will be low, until you build your reputation and prove your excellence.
7. How are My Competitors Doing?
Another question you should ask yourself before starting a business is “Will I be able to compete?” Do research to learn how people in the same type of business are doing. It’s called competition profiling. It will give you a brief idea about the overall market scenario, the best business practices and possible future prospects. You will also learn what extra skills you need to acquire to give your business a competitive edge over the others.
8. Will I Survive in the Worst Situation?
Be prepared and make some contingency plans. Do you know what it is? A very important question you should ask yourself before starting a business is whether or not you can survive the worst. It’s like being mentally prepared if your business takes more time than expected to get established, or takes more time to generate a return on your investment.
9. Do I have All Plans in Place to Make it Work?
You just have to be determined enough to make it work at any cost. Take all possible situations into consideration and make a backup plan. You’ve got to be ready to explore and try every possible way to give your business a boost.
10. Am I Really Ready for It?
Ask yourself if you’re really ready to begin. After you get answers for all of the above questions, give yourself some time to realize if you will be able to make it. For example, you know that the business you wish to start will do great in the future, but, that will need a lot of your time at present. Will you be able to give that required time and effort? And be true to yourself, if I failed, will I be able to take responsibility for my failure? Will I be determined to succeed? Rome was not built in a day. It takes time. Plan for the worst and hope for the best.
You need to ask yourself these questions before starting a business because you need to be prepared in the best way possible. These questions will prepare you for both good and bad. If you know all possible circumstances beforehand, wastage of time will be less. And if you’re not afraid to face the odds, you won’t be disappointed.
As always, this list is not inclusive. They‘re just questions that will help you a lot in making the right decision.