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Questions You Should Ask When Starting a New Business

Jason Nazar, CEO & Co-Founder of Docstoc knows starting a new business can be daunting to say the least. Here are 10 bulletproof tips on getting your new business up and running.

I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance. – Steve Jobs

Questions To Ask When Starting A New Business

According to the Small Business Administration, all potential entrepreneurs should ask themselves these questions before starting a business.

  1. Why am I starting a business?
  2. What kind of business do I want?
  3. Who is my ideal customer?
  4. What products or services will my business provide?
  5. Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?
  6. What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?
  7. Where will my business be located?
  8. How many employees will I need?
  9. What types of suppliers do I need?
  10. How much money do I need to get started?
  11. Will I need to get a loan?
  12. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?
  13. How long do I have until I start making a profit?
  14. Who is my competition?
  15. How will I price my product compared to my competition?
  16. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?
  17. What taxes do I need to pay?
  18. What kind of insurance do I need?
  19. How will I manage my business?
  20. How will I advertise my business?

I'll be touching on a few of these questions today. For the sake of brevity, I'll discuss others in future posts.

Why do you want to start your own business?

Ask yourself why you want to start your own business. Don’t start a business just because it sounded like a good idea. Business can be intense and time consuming and a challenging experience. Have a real answer to this question before starting business. The answer will influence how the business is run. Inquire from other business owners before starting a business.

Do I have what it takes to start a business?

Do you have the skills, money, energy, knowledge and people to start a business? In order for a business to be successful, the above questions must be answered. Successful businesses founders clearly identify and evaluate their resources in pursuing a well-defined goal.

Do I have time to the business?

This question is one of the number one questions to ask yourself before starting a business. Figure out whether you have time to devote to the business to see it to success. You don’t want to fall in a situation where you are busy during the week and want to run a full time business. You need to give the business enough time if it’s to make it to success.

Am I determined and motivated to have a successful business?

You should only start a business if you want to make enough money as you would working, at a full time job. A business shouldn’t be just a little on the side business to make some extra cash.

How do I handle setbacks?

Before starting a business ask yourself if you can handle setbacks. Carry out a reference check on yourself and ask people who know you very well to let you know how you handle adversity.

Is there a market, and is it big enough?

Detailed market research ought to be carried out prior to moving forward to start a business. Ensure that you will be sufficient and sustainable demands to support your business in order to enable it thrive.

How will you live the first year?

While you are spending time building your business, you still have to pay for your personal living expenses. Take the time to figure out a reasonable amount of money for you to live on every month and then figure out where that is going to come from.

Is my pricing favorable for customers?

It’s no good having an attractive product or service if your customers cannot afford it, but you need an honest margin for a sustainable business. Speak to your prospective customers to find out whether your pricing is realistic.

Do I have sufficient funding to get the venture off the ground?

You need enough ready money to keep going you and your business until it becomes sustainable. Before you start at least you should have money to sustain the business for a year. Lack of capital is one of the main hurdles to entrepreneurship.

Am I willing to take on multiple roles?

Ask yourself, do i have what it takes to be the receptionist, the salesmen, the social media marketer and the product shipper? You are the main person for your entire business. You need to be able to answer the telephone, sell products or services, and most of all ship the products to the customers.

In summary: Do you need to have it all figured out? No, of course not. Asking yourself honest questions at the outset can certainly save you a lot of time, money & heartache in the long run, though!