Launching a start-up can be one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life.
There are many stages that a start-up needs to go through before reaching maturity and success.
The business journey starts with the ideation stage, where entrepreneurs are looking to generate ideas and solutions through brainstorming.
However, before even starting the ideation process, prospective entrepreneurs should ask themselves a set of questions that will help them figure out whether they are ready to take the leap and change the direction of their career or not.
Providing honest answers to the questions below will help them avoid starting off their lives as entrepreneurs on the wrong foot.
10 Key Questions To Ask Before Launching A Start-up
1. Is my business idea an opportunity?
When answering this question, prospective entrepreneurs should determine whether their idea can fill an unmet need or not. The idea does not necessarily need to be a new invention but to solve a real-life problem.
2. Do I have the necessary skills?
Running a business requires two types of skills (that all entrepreneurs should have): essential business skills (e.g., communication, leadership, problem-solving, financial management skills, etc.) and industry-specific skills (e.g., running a SaaS company requires specific technical skills).
3. Which business structure is right for me?
Choosing the right business structure is a critical decision that will impact the overall business (because the business structure determines tax liabilities, responsibilities, and more). The four most common business structures in Australia are sole trader, partnership, company, and trust.
4. Do I have an effective business plan?
Creating a viable business plan requires a long-term vision and the ability to determine goals and identify opportunities. A business plan should serve as a guide for the business’s operations for the first years (and not only the first months).
5. Do I have the funds to start a business?
The are many funding options available to raise start-up capital (e.g., crowdfunding, angel investment, venture capital, etc.). Alternatively, entrepreneurs can bootstrap their start-ups. Every entrepreneur should determine the financing option that fits their businesses best and make a list of the expenses they will have to cover before getting their start-up off the ground.
6. Do I need a brick-and-mortar office?
One of the most common mistakes that business owners make is the unnecessary spending that drags their budget down. The most cost-effective solution for start-ups is getting a professional virtual office instead of spending on high overhead costs. For example, business owners can get a virtual office Melbourne at a fraction of the cost – even though Melbourne is one of the most expensive cities in Australia.
7. How much time will it take?
Starting a business can be a long slog. Therefore, entrepreneurs should expect to invest a lot of time and energy to grow their business instead of expecting success to come overnight (typically, it takes at least two years for a start-up to reach the maturity stage).
8. Do I have a reliable network?
Having a reliable network and knowing like-minded people will help entrepreneurs expand their perspectives and opportunities. Thus, entrepreneurs should become part of online business networks that allow them to interact with people having similar interests.
9. Who are my competitors?
Getting to know the competitors is a critical step before launching a start-up. Every entrepreneur must understand who their competitors are, what they are selling and to whom, and how they are pricing their products.
10. What makes my business unique?
In today’s business environment, competition is fierce. There are many businesses providing similar products and services. Therefore, every entrepreneur should find a way to differentiate their products or services from others available in the market and provide customers with the best option designed to meet their needs.
Conclusion: All prospective business owners should ask themselves the right questions to ensure that entrepreneurship is the right lifestyle for them.
Doing business requires a lot of responsibility to take on. For this reason, answering the questions in this article is the first step to take before jumping into entrepreneurship.
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