Many people ask about money when they are thinking of starting a business. Can they get the funding, and will they be able to afford the mortgage and other household bills while the business is getting off the ground? Money is, of course, important, but there are other questions that you should ask before making a decision to start a business. Here are the top five.
- Is there a market and can you reach it?
You need an idea when starting a new business, but even more crucially you need a market. Will people want to buy what you are offering, will they pay enough for it to make the business profitable, and are you able to reach the market? You will have to find the answers to all these questions. Make sure you do proper research, though. Simply guessing, or asking people close to you for an opinion, is not enough. You have to test the idea on people who will tell you truth even if it is a truth you don’t want to hear.
- Do you have the capabilities and/or knowledge?
You need to have the skills required to deliver the product or service you plan to sell. This sounds obvious, but it is a mistake that many start-ups make. You don’t have to know everything yourself, but the skills, capabilities, and knowledge have to be within the business before you begin. For example, you might take a course to improve your skills before starting the business, or your business partner might have skills the business needs but you lack.
- Do you want to run a business?
Many people start a business because the love doing something. For example, they love cooking so they plan to open a restaurant. However, cooking is only a small part of running a restaurant. You also need to deal with suppliers, manage staff, deal with customers, do accounts, and much more. Those things are part of running a business, and you have to want to do that part too.
- Can you delegate?
Once your business starts to grow, you will have to delegate. Many small business owners find this difficult, and try to retain too much control. This actually hampers business growth. If you want your business to grow and become as profitable as possible, you must have the ability to relinquish control. In most circumstances, you will be giving it to people you have recruited, but you must be confident that when the time comes, you will be able to let go.
- If you are going into business with someone else, can you work with them?
You can skip this one if you are starting on your own. If you have a business partner or partners you will have to consider it. The easiest part of a relationship with a business partner is at the early stages when the idea is taking shape, and excitement is high. It won’t always be like that though, and you will go through stressful and difficult periods – every business does. Will you be able to work with the person during those stages, and will they be able to work with you?
If you need any other help or advice to start a business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.