Running a successful business has become a dream for many. Some people are even willing to give up their stable and high-paying jobs just to find their luck in the startup world. Who wouldn’t want to reach the success of world-changing entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg or Jeff Bezos? There is no doubt that there are other people out there who can come up with incredible startup ideas. You might even be one of those people.
But even if you have the ability to think outside the box, there’s no assurance that your great ideas will turn into a profitable business. This is where you start to play the risky and nerve-wracking game of entrepreneurship.
Before you exert your first efforts in launching a startup, there are questions that you should consider asking yourself first.
Answering these questions will help you to become more prepared and confident in starting a new business.
1. How will my product or service solve a problem?
Entrepreneurs become successful because they come up with products or services that meet the needs of many.
Identifying a pain point is the first step to starting a business. A pain point is a specific problem that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. With issues ranging in time, productivity and finance, customer pain points are very diverse. The challenge is narrowing down into these problems to know how you can help your customers make their lives easier.
Identify these pain points by taking the time to listen and interact with your target market.
2. Who are my competitors and how am I going to be different from them?
Although being the first to introduce a new product is great, improving an existing product can be better. Remember that you are the entrepreneur and your success is measured by how happy your customers are with your product or service. It’s not always about the one who comes first, but the one who does it best and continues to improve.
Keeping an eye out on your competition is a great strategy for growing your business.By monitoring competitors on a regular basis, you get to know their behavior and keep track of their business strategies.
3. What risks and sacrifices am I going to take?
If you think that being an entrepreneur is all about going on luxurious vacations and dining in fancy restaurants, you’re not going to succeed.
In starting a business, you have to be ready to make changes to your lifestyle. You will stop experiencing the comfortable life that you used to have with your high-paying job. It will take months or even years before you start feeling the same comfort again.
Running a business is not about relaxing. It is about struggle, risk, and uncertainty. You will have to adapt to new values and habits upon launching your startup. Steve Jobs once said, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”
4. Am I ready to deal with failure?
Starting a business will require you to head out of your comfort zone. There will be lots of trials that will test your determination to succeed. It’s alright to feel frustration after encountering failure, but it’s important to learn how to pull yourself together in times of misfortune.
Also, know that not everyone will support your endeavor. If you have a unique idea, some people might think you’re nuts and you have to be ready for that. It’s important to gain the support of your loved ones and mentors who always have your back.
Business is not always about victory and achievement. Most of the time, things won’t work the way you want to them to. Make sure that you are strong enough to overcome these failures and move forward.
5. How much money do I need to run this business?
According to Haneen Dabain, founder of Pricena, there are three reasons why you would need funding: The first one is to pay your startup’s monthly bills so you can continue to grow. The second one is to pay your personal monthly bills. The third is to compete in winning markets.
Most micro businesses cost around $3,000, while most home-based businesses cost $2,000 to $5,000 to start, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. It’s okay to start with small investments, considering that you have to be prepared for issues that will come along the way. Carefully plan and budget the money that flows in your business.
Entrepreneurship is clearly not for everyone. Not all brilliant ideas lead to success. So before you leave your job and start investing money, time and effort in starting your own business, you have to sit down and think first about the possible outcome of your start-up, and how it can create an impact in your life and in the lives of others.