You have a great idea, and you wonder why no one has thought of it yet. Before you start filling out loan applications or renting office space, ask yourself some tough questions – and be prepared to do your homework.
1. Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?
To manage a successful business, you’ll need:
- Passion for your idea and the ability to communicate it to others
- Initiative & motivation to develop a plan and to work hard to carry it out
- Problem-solving skills
- Multi-tasking skills to handle a hundred details at once, as well as develop and manage your business strategy
- Self-confidence: trust in your decisions and people skills
- Flexibility to recognize and adapt to change, opportunities and unforeseen developments
- Ability to sell yourself and your products or services
- Persistence to see your idea through
2. What is your vision?
Why do you want to go into business? Is it to follow your passion, take control of your life and career, achieve influence and success, or become financially independent? How would a business help you achieve that? How do you expect things to look three years down the road?
3. Who might want to buy your product or service?
It’s all about people. Your decisions on everything from product to price to location need to be based on the characteristics and needs of your potential customers.
4. How would you manage financially?
You may need money to pay for office space, supplies, equipment, and inventory to cover your personal income needs, perhaps for a year or more.
5. What do you need to know to run a business?
Think multi-tasking: you will have to manage your space, inventory, suppliers, finances, marketing and correspondence. Even if you hire professionals to help, you will need to understand enough of what they do to oversee their work and apply it to your situation.
6. How would a business affect your personal life?
The first three years in a new business are usually defined by a steep learning curve and long hours. Many business owners put holidays and personal plans on hold until they become established. Good organization, clear boundaries and the cooperation of family members are critical to success.