STOP! Yes, YOU!
Are you thinking about starting a business? Before you go any further, you need to ask yourself these questions.
To help you avoid costly mistakes further down the line, ask yourself these 5 questions to ensure you have clarity about your business idea before you get deep into the start-up process.
The 5 Questions You Need To Answer Before Starting A Business.
This can’t be personal gain such as “make loads of money” Why does this business exist? Who is it helping, what change are you trying to make in the world? What is the purpose beyond profit?
2. WHAT PROBLEM IS THIS SOLVING?
This doesn’t have to be a profound problem. Dior sells a diaper bag that costs £1,700. This solves the problems of wealthy and stylish parents who found ugly, clunky bags ruined their expensive and fashionable look. Dior solved the problem by offering this designer alternative. While this is the definition of “First world problems” - it’s still a problem. Even if you sell a product or service that doesn’t immediately seem to solve a problem, it probably does if you dig a little deeper. Your customer buys new clothes because she wants to solve the problem of not having anything to wear. She buys a nice candle to solve the problem of being stressed and not finding her space relaxing and peaceful.
3. WHAT DOES MY CUSTOMER REALLY WANT?
Refer to our previous post "Why People Don't Want What You're Selling" for more in-depth reading on this topic.
Your customer doesn’t want what you’re selling. They want the result. They want what your product or service does for them. How they feel, look or are perceived. What is the emotional element of this product or service? What are you really selling with this business idea? If it doesn’t offer much value, you might want to adapt or revise your business idea.
4. DO I HAVE THE SKILLS I NEED TO DO THIS? WHAT DO I NEED TO LEARN OR IMPROVE? WHERE CAN I FIND THE INFORMATION I NEED?
Being an Entrepreneur means you have to wear multiple hats. It’s almost guaranteed that you won’t know everything. You will either have to learn to fill in those gaps or outsource and get support from others. You can still start a business even if you aren’t able to do a large proportion of the jobs - you can hire people for this! But you do need to be honest with yourself and accept your shortcomings and be willing to dent your pride by asking for help.
5. WHERE DO I SEE THE BUSINESS LONG TERM?
People start businesses for different reasons. What your long term plans are will heavily influence how you set up and run your company.
Is this a short term cash cow that capitalises on a current and short lived trend (think fidget spinners!)? Are you building a start-up with the goal of selling for a profit early on? Is this something you want to become your full-time job and your legacy?