So you want to start a business? So do a lot of people, and when you are first getting started you will probably have a lot of questions. So does everyone, and that is perfectly okay. There are many things you will need to know and consider before opening or doors or making your website live.
Here are seven of the most common questions people ask, and the answers or where to find them.
Do People Need or Want the Product or Service I am Offering?
This is the first, and most foundational question to ask and answer when you are starting a business. You may think you have the greatest business idea ever, but if there is no demand for the product or service you are selling, you won’t do much business.
This means you must do some market research. It also does not mean that you cannot offer a completely new product or service, but that venture comes with more risk. Still, if you think about the iPod and the iPhone, Apple and Steve Jobs took a risk on supplying people with something they did not even know they needed at the time, and both products spawned entire new industries.
The key is to know your customer, and know what the market potential is for what you are trying to do.
How Much Money Will I Need?
Once you know what you are doing and what you will be selling, you will need to determine how much money you will need to get started. The general rule of thumb is to have about 6 months’ worth of operational money in the bank, plus whatever materials and equipment you will need. This money in the bank does not have to come from you alone, but it is best if as little of it as possible is debt.
if you do choose to get a loan, just be sure the terms give you the time you need to get on your feet before the first payments become due.
What Are My Funding Options?
There are several ways to fund your business, and each one comes with its own challenges and advantages. You should look at each whenever you consider where the money to run your business will come from.
- Personal Savings and Assets: This is money you have set aside specifically to fund your business.
- Investment Capital: This is someone else’s money, usually that they loan you in exchange for a share of the business profits over a specified amount of time.
- Revenue: This is money from the goods or services you sell, and is the best source for funding. This is often slow at first for new businesses.
- Loans: You can also borrow money in a variety of ways to fund your business. Whenever you consider a business loan, you need to consider business loan rates and terms.
No matter where you get your funding, you will just need to be aware of where it is coming from, and if you have a loan what the repayment terms are, so you can make sure you can afford them.
Do I Write My Own Business Plan?
Maybe you have a business degree and are quite skilled at writing a business plan. However, sometimes this is tougher when it is your own business plan, and you are too close to the project to see the flaws. This might mean that you should hire an expert to help you write your business plan, or at least a consultant to help you with it.
Your business plan is vital to your funding success, and to the overall goal setting and start of your business. Get help if you need it.
Do I have the Right Customers or Clients?
Having the right target customers is really important. This means you need to be sure that you have developed your marketing persona correctly. You can determine this in many ways by looking at your social media followers, your website metrics, and those who make it through the sales funnel and become your customers.
What Metrics Should I Look At?
The thing with big data is that there is a lot of it. So there is tons of information out there about the market, customers, shopping behavior, and more. This data is only useful if it can be categorized and analyzed.
The metrics you should look at are those relevant to your business. Gender identification, salary, age, whether they rent or own a home, and more can all relate to your customer and your marketing.
What Do I Do If I Fail?
Not every business is a success and not every individual gets it right the first time. You have to be prepared for the fact that you might fail, and that is perfectly okay. The most important thing is to learn from whatever mistakes you make and move forward.
Also, if you have answered these seven questions, you’re much more likely to succeed in the first place. Doing your research and setting yourself up the right way means you will be in a better place to do well. There are always circumstances beyond our control, and those can derail a business, but with the right planning you can recover and even thrive.
Starting a business is not easy, and before you even get going there are some questions you must ask yourself. Start with these seven simple ones to get your on the right track.