Starting a small business can be one of the most exciting and rewarding events in someone’s life. But it can also be extremely stressful. If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, you might have more questions swirling around in your mind right now than you can count. Don’t despair. This is completely normal. After all, it shows you’re serious about your business venture and care enough to want to do things the right way. Before moving forward with a new business idea, ensuring you know the answers to the following vital questions is crucial.
1. Does your startup idea meet a need?
Before starting a small business, you need to know if your product or service will meet a need those in your target market have. It doesn’t matter how special your potential product or service offerings are to you. If you can’t convince others to care about them, your small business won’t be a success.
2. Is your plan feasible?
Learning things on the fly isn’t smart in the business world. Rather than taking a blind leap of faith, determine if your plan is actually feasible before moving forward. For instance, will you be able to afford to put your plan into action? Will your loved ones commit to the ways this venture might affect them? Starting a small business isn’t for the faint of heart. Do you have the ambition and determination to see your vision through?
3. How much financing do you need?
Not adequately estimating financing needs is a common mistake of entrepreneurs. To avoid this pitfall, strive to perform an accurate cost analysis. Approximate both foreseen and unexpected expenses for the first year. Also, determine how long it will take you to become profitable. When creating a cost analysis, be realistic. Don’t count on things going perfectly. Despite your best efforts, they most certainly won’t.
4. Where will your company be located?
type of small business you want to start will largely determine where
it should be located. For example, you wouldn’t attempt to open a ski lodge in
sunny, balmy Florida. Generally, you’ll want to find a location with lots of
foot traffic. If you’re a new entrepreneur looking to break into an already crowded
market, locating your business near your competitors might be a good idea.
According to Biz Brain, you’ll
already have a built-in market in the location. But if you’re competing in a
saturated market with major brand-name competition, locating your business a
short distance away from your competitors may be your best bet.
5. Who will comprise your customer base?
If you’re thinking about starting a small business, you likely already have a vague idea about who will comprise your customer base. However, delving into the profiles of potential clients of your company is a smart idea. During this research, you can study characteristics such as age, gender, buying triggers and general preferences. This should help you fine-tune your marketing efforts and target your products or services to the people who would most benefit from them.
6. When can you expect to be profitable?
old adage is that you should expect to wait at least a year until
your startup becomes profitable. But times are changing. Innovations
in technology and communication mean entrepreneurs can start companies with
little to no overhead nowadays. This rings especially true for service-oriented
companies. Therefore, having an astute business plan is essential. A good business plan will help
you predict when you may start turning a profit.
7. What setbacks can you anticipate?
road to small business success can be a bumpy one, so
anticipating setbacks is important. One of the most common ones is failing to
meet revenue expectations. This can sometimes be blamed on overestimating the
amount of business your company will generate in the early days of its
existence. A second setback startups can face is losing vital employees. If you
plan to start a sole proprietorship, this isn’t an issue. But if you’re
launching a business venture with one or more partners, someone might decide to
jump ship. To prevent your company from disintegrating into shambles, develop
an exit plan that can be utilized if a partner wants to get out.
8. Do you need solid advisors?
a small business can be overwhelming. This is especially the case if
you try to do everything yourself. Surprisingly, the CountingWorksWhat Small
Business Owners Value Most in 2019 survey reveals
that 60% of small business owners handle their budgeting themselves.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of
Advocacy’s 2018 Frequently Asked
Questions says only about half of small businesses survive
past five years. To boost your chances of long-term success, surround
yourself with solid advisors. For instance, experienced financial advisors can
help you with accurate budgeting. Legal advisors can assist you with contracts
9. How will you lure the best talent to your company?
Obviously, offering prospective employees a competitive salary can help you lure the best talent to your company. But when you’re just starting a business, this might not be an option. To compensate for this, providing employees with growth bonuses is a good alternative. Offering employees flexible scheduling options and wellness perks such as an onsite gym, a break room stocked with healthy snacks, and standing desks may also attract promising talent to your company.
10. Should you start more than one company at once?
you have multiple ideas for new small businesses? Perhaps you’re eager to get
more than one startup running at the same time. While this might be
tempting, starting out with one company is best. You can put all your energy
into getting it profitable and stable. This will prevent you from spreading
yourself and your resources too thin. You can always branch out later if your
first business takes off.
Starting a business can be quite an undertaking. Therefore, planning correctly and thoroughly is critical. Before you can enjoy small business success, you’ll need to learn the answers to the above questions.