20 questions to ask yourself before starting a business

Have you had a million-dollar idea that you'd like to make a reality? Here are 20 questions to ask yourself before starting a business

Congratulations – you've taken the first step on the road to entrepreneurship. It can seem a daunting journey, but it doesn't have to be. Careful and meticulous planning is key, and once you're prepared, there's no reason why you won't succeed.

At this early stage, it's important to sit down and ask yourself some serious questions. Everything from your personal skillset and experience, to your credit rating and financial support, will need to be taken into account. Not only that, but you need to be honest with yourself about the viability of your business idea. Is it just a good idea, or a good money-making idea?

Here are 20 questions to ask yourself before starting a business.

  1. Why am I doing this / what is my motivation? Do I have the passion to follow this through?
  2. What problem am I, my product or my service trying to solve? Is there a gap in the market for me?
  3. Who is my customer? Have I considered their age group, buying habits and how much disposable income they have?
  4. Who else is offering this service, and how can I do it better? What will set me apart from the competition?
  5. Do I have the necessary business skills and experience to achieve this?
  6. How much will it cost me to set this business up? Have I factored in technology, rent and potential staffing costs?
  7. Should I hire an accountant?
  8. Will I need help from others with varying expertise, and how much will that cost?
  9. Do I need a loan? And if so, how much?
  10. What is my credit rating? Is it high enough to earn financial support?
  11. Are there any grants from local authorities I can apply for?
  12. Where should my business be located? Are there good transport links or will I rely on footfall? Will this location hold its value for me in five or 10 years time?
  13. How will I market my business to potential customers and clients? Do I know enough about advertising and PR?
  14. Do I have the necessary communication and customer service skills, or should I re-train?
  15. Am I willing to put in long hours and sacrifice spare time for the sake of the business?
  16. Am I willing to take on all roles to ensure this is a success – including CEO, social media manager, and customer service representative?
  17. How will this business impact my family life and relationships?
  18. Do I have a solid business plan? What are my specific targets and when do I need to achieve them by?
  19. Do I have enough support around me, both financially and emotionally, should things get tough?
  20. Is this a good money-making idea, or just a good idea? Are my plans viable and realistic?

Photo: The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Fox 2000 Pictures

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