Starting a business can be exciting, and yet very challenging. You have to find a retail or office space, set up a website, build a team, get all your financials up to speed, and so much more. However, with a bit of research and diligent planning, you can get your business off the ground and on its way to positive revenue in no time.
“Want to be free to chart your own course, to make your own decisions, to make your own mistakes — to let the sky be the limit not just financially but also, and more important, personally? Starting your own business is the best way,” Jeff Hayden of Inc. explained.
The following very important questions to ask before starting a business can serve as your roadmap and hit the ground running. Let’s dive in!
1. How Much Money Do I Need To Start Off Comfortably?
The word comfort should first and foremost be expelled from your business lexicon. Can you start a business with as little financial risk as possible? Yes. Is it easy to do? Not really. But answering this financial business question honestly can help.
Did you know that the second reason startups fail is lack of funding? Before doing anything, look at your current finances. How much money do you have to invest into your business? Who else can help you bootstrap the first few years? What is your “hard stop” number. A “hard stop” figure can keep you from going into big time debt, being the number you will stop putting money into your business and shut it down.
2. Should I Quit My Day Job?
This is maybe the second most common question new business owners will ask. It is also one of the most difficult to answer. If you have a large enough nest egg to finance your new business, and also pay your bills for six months to a year, quitting your day job may be an option.
But if you are already living meager with just enough savings to start your business, maybe forego writing that resignation letter until your business starts netting profit. There’s nothing wrong with having a side hustle until it start making full-time money.
3. Do I Really Need A Website?
For those looking into starting a brick and mortar business, a website may take backseat to other pressing issues. However, this would be a very dangerous mistake that could decrease your chance of success. Why? The internet is one of the most powerful assets to any business, even if you are going the in-store route.
With Google My Business, you can set up a local listing for your store and generate a lot of customers driven directly from your Google local listing and website. In fact, 50 percent of local mobile searches lead to in-store visits. It is important to maximize your website for conversions, serving up a powerful user experience with plenty of call to actions.
4. How Will I Get Paid And Pay Taxes
This is of course a very important question to ask, considering you need to accept money to turn a profit, as well as give the government their cut. The good news is that technology has ushered in some pretty innovative ways to accept payments.
If you want to stay mobile, like if you plan on doing pop-up events and serve up a payment option that is not so stringent, Worldpay can be useful. You can accept contactless, mobile, chip and pin, and swipe payments in-store and on the go. There are also payment options through a bank business account and online payment platforms.
5. How Will I Market My Business?
Marketing is the driving force behind every successful business. Imagine Nike without the Michael Jordan shoe campaigns. Marketing is important, and understanding how you will market your business from the get go can make a big impact on your success.
For example, setting up buyer personas to identify your target audience, know the channels online your audience visits, and being involved in the community you serve via traditional marketing can all be beneficial. If you don’t quite have a marketing plan in place, wait before starting a business, because you definitely need to put your best foot forward.
Are You Ready To Launch Your Business?
Knowing if it’s the right time to start a business is important. Is there ever a “right time?” Not really. But having a strategic plan with important questions answered can ensure a more successful outcome. The above questions are a great starting point, but be sure to do more research in order to maximize potential growth and success in your niche and industry.