Starting your own business sounds like a great idea at the forefront because everyone is an entrepreneur all of a sudden. The ease of starting your own business in 2020 is so easy, that anyone with a working smartphone and access to the internet can get it done. But sustaining and creating a successful business is a whole different matter.
I’ve listed some questions to ask yourself before even considering creating a business – if you can’t answer these questions with confidence, then take a step back so you can evaluate your next steps.
- Will my personality handle being a business owner?
Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility and requires you to handle high levels of stress and critical decision making. It also requires you to have people skills, determination, and a deep hunger to succeed, even through tough times. And they will come.
- Do I have the right skills to pursue creating a business?
There are two main types of entrepreneurs: the first type is those who have a vision and delegate its creation to other people to make it possible. The second type is an entrepreneur with vision, along with the act of creating the product and service. Either one will require a particular skill set which you have to account for.
- Do I have the time and financial assets to invest in my products/services?
If you think you will be able to have enough time to meet with your friends/family on the weekends and enough money to buy your dream car, keep dreaming. Running a business requires your full 100% attention 24/7, as the responsibility of its success/failure is on you (unless you have a partner to share the pain with). A big part of running a business is allocating your time and resources to an array of sectors.
- How is my business idea competition and what is its unique value proposition?
Being competitive in business doesn’t necessarily mean closing down your fellow business-owners, it just means you can acquire enough customers to sustain and build your business even in a busy sector e.g. Clothing store, Restaurant.
This goes back to honing in on your unique value proposition, which is basically a statement describing the benefit of your offer, how you solve a specific customer problem, and what distinguishes you from the competition.
- Who are the people I will need to hire to make the business viable (Web Design, Accounting, HR, Marketing, Product Research, Staff)?
Every business has an array of sectors that needs to be handled by the appropriate profession – having the right person to do the job will give your business the edge it needs to compete in the market. An example of this is instead of using an easy to make website theme with no context, is to instead use a web designer that can help your business get ranked for searches in Google.
- Do I understand my smallest viable market and does that come across in my marketing effort?
The customers of today are much smarter and highly selective with who they give their money to, ask yourself if you truly know your customer segment. Rather than having a marketing strategy that tries to sell on everyone (which usually, speaks to no one), just focus on connecting to those who matter. You want your smallest viable market to feel that you understand them deeply and that you are speaking to them directly.
- Who is my competition and can I still compete in this market?
Part of starting a business is market research, but more specifically you studying your competition. You can have the best product in the world, but if you’ll be competing with the likes of Colgate, it is important to be practical about your place in that specific market. There’s a reason why Colgate has over 20 different types of toothpaste – they’ve built their market share with their customers for decades.
- How will I promote and reach my customers?
We are heading into a digital age, the day of spending tons on money on radio, billboard, and TV ad spots are becoming less effective. What’s the next best way to reach your customers? Right in their pockets (phones and computers) via the internet. By utilizing digital advertising, you can target the audience specifically in a cost-effective manner.
- What challenges will I possibly face in the business?
Every business owner will face multiple challenges along their journey, the earlier you understand these, the better equipped you’ll be in handling them. 90% of being a business owner is solving these problems before they get to a point where it unsolvable.
- What opportunities are available within my chosen market?
Is there a particular niche within your market that is currently growing, do you think there’s space for you to do the same in your specific business? How about current trends? Is there anything you are noticing people are really into right now that you can possibly find a market share in?