Don't get me wrong, realistically there's hundreds of questions that you'll eventually need to come across when starting a business--when you configure structure, insurance, taxes, etc... However, you can run the following 7 questions through your head in a matter of about 10 minutes.
Stick your big toe in the water... If a shark bites it off, you still have 9 more toes! Re-evaluate, start from scratch or ultimately pick a new niche altogether.
1. CAN I ENJOY THIS BUSINESS?
Do yourself a favor and ask yourself this question first, before you even think about crunching any numbers. A business can often times pay you in much more than just money! This question may carry a sense of redundancy to it considering that many people wouldn't even think about starting a business that they didn't have a thorough interest in, but you would be surprised! Some people are just in it for the money. It's just like a medical field. Many high school students will eventually enter a school of medicine with the wide-eyed intention of raking in loads of cash someday. Some will eventually wake up in their lecture hall, and ask themselves "What in the hell did i get myself into?" Just as aspiring doctors should have a genuine interest in human anatomy and helping others, you should have a genuine interest in your specific business niche! If you're just in it for the money, forget about it. You'll be spinning your wheels for a very long time.
2. IS THIS BUSINESS IDEA PROFITABLE?
To any real hustler, this question is a no-brainer. As mentioned before, you should have a genuine interest and sense of enjoyment out of your business, but ultimately you still have to keep the lights on and put food on the table. Attain wealth and bless your friends and family abundantly by any means necessary!
3. WHO IS MY TARGET MARKET?
This is an essential question to ask yourself before starting your business. You may realize that your target market doesn't live anywhere close to you, or that it is very small and already seeks a product or supplier from a huge competitor. There's many factors that go into analyzing your target market or audience, but the more you ponder on it, the more marketing or advertising ideas you'll arise at to ultimately get on their radar!
4. HOW MUCH OVERHEAD CAN I ANTICIPATE?
This one can hit you hard. There's nothing worse than thinking of the ultimate business idea, only to realize that it will take $5,000,000 to put everything into motion. If this happens, don't let it get to you too much. Start small, utilizing what you can. If it's an idea or a business you're extremely excited about, it won't take much more than a well crafted investor deck and your raging excitement to potentially encourage some venture capitalists to help fund your business! Keep on keeping on!
5. WHEN WILL I BREAK EVEN?
This question has a huge influence on many factors in your life. Can you put your full-time into your business right off the bat, or will you potentially have to work a regular day-job for a while until things get into full motion? Knowing when you're "in the black" will help you set goals and prioritize for what lies ahead in your business and in your life.
6. WILL THERE BE A DEMAND FOR MY BUSINESS 10 YEARS FROM NOW?
What's the point in starting a business that you know will fail within the first decade? Decide and analyze whether there will be a high demand for your business in the future. If not, is the business adaptable to still continue in a time with forseeably many technological advances and shortcuts? Technology is growing at a staggering rate every day...will your business be obsolete or still making strides in 2022?
7. WHAT SEPARATES MY BUSINESS FROM THE COMPETITION?
Within my sales experience, I've asked this question to probably 5,000 small business owners that I've made calls to. I've heard some rather impressive answers that surprised me, and I've also heard some of the stupidest hum-drum things you could imagine. Get creative when deciding how your company will be dramatically different than the competitors in your arena. Market that idea, embellish it, and let your customer base thrive on it!
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