Top 5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start a Business

When it comes to starting a business, many entrepreneurs pretend to have it all figured out. Starting a business is certainly not a small feat and an aspiring business owner ought to be prepared for the hurdles ahead. 

But before you take the leap to set out on your own as a business owner, here are 5 questions to help you decide if you’re prepared or you need to do more on the drawing board. 

Does my product or service solve a problem? 

Can you specify what problem you aim to solve with your product or service? If not, this article is definitely for you. It is imperative that your product or service caters to a need, solve problems or make life easier. This determines the value that will be attached to your business. 

Wigs are the rave of town once again, simply because they serve a purpose; transforming your look in an instant with the hours wasted at the beauty parlours. Think Google Maps, Washing machines, Mobile phones, and Dishwashers, these cater to different basic needs and have made life easier for all of us. It’s no surprise that the demand for these products never diminish. So, what does your business bring to the table? Have an answer? You’re on the right track! 

How much capital is required? 

Prior to starting a business, it is important to know how much it would require to set it up, and this is tagged “Capital”. The amount required largely depends on the type of business. Some are capital intensive and others, not so much.

For someone looking to establish a restaurant, it is important to understand everything that is required – cost of gas, foodstuff, electricity, maintenance, security, staff and other logistics – because this will help determine the capital. Eventually, you might realize that you have to place business needs over want. Afterwards, you can  raise capital by reaching out to investors. Applying for  Lions’ Den also gives you a chance to meet investors who will back your business idea for equity. However, this is conditional on your business meeting the necessary requirements. 

Who are my competitors? 

It is folly to enter a battle without studying your opponent. You can’t play the game to win if you are not conversant with the player’s tactics. Do your research!. Understanding your competitors and how they achieved success. Researching their core values, frequency of sales, their distribution channel, weaknesses and every other important detail. This is where the fourth question comes to play. Keep reading! 

How to create or carve my niche? 

Understanding your competition is one thing, becoming the competition is another. For this to happen, there has to be sauce! To carve a niche is to create a USP – (Unique Selling Point) for your business. It is what sets you apart from the competition and makes you a competitor. Your USP can range from an upgrade in quality or functionality of the product or service; the pricing, the marketing or branding strategy or customer service. It could be anything that gives you an edge over competitors. As the business grows and expands? Your USP might evolve, but never start a business without identifying your niche. 

Do I have a business plan?  

A  business plan can make or break a small business. A strong detailed plan provides a clear road map for the future and forces you to think through the business idea and can give you a greater understanding of your business’s finances and the hurdles ahead. A business plan details your goals and how you aim to achieve them in the near and long term. In the case where you need extra funding, the business plan makes it clear. It shows you’re prepared or at least ready to take the step. The plan is followed through to see good results and this is highly possible when you’re consistent with it. 

“A small business is an amazing way to serve and leave an impact on the world you live in.”

-Nicole Snow