Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Business

By June 28, 2018 September 13th, 2023 Small Business Planning

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Dave Schoenbeck

Have you ever thought about starting your own business?  Nowadays, there are so many blog posts and articles about how to quit your day job and become an entrepreneur, but not many about how to know if you’re ready.  While leaving your 9-5 and starting your own business can be fun and exciting, you must have what it takes.

If you’ve been thinking about whether the entrepreneur life is proper for you, here are 5 questions to ask yourself before starting a business.

A photo of a wooden board that has the word Start Up on it depicting Questions to ask yourself before starting a business

1.  What value will my business add to the marketplace?

This is the first of many questions to ask yourself before starting a business: What makes your business unique?  It would help if you offered something cheaper, better, faster, or with better technology than what’s already on the market.  If your offering isn’t challenging what’s already out there, you’ll have difficulty overcoming the competition.  Warren Buffett, the legendary investor, only puts his money into businesses with a defensible competitive moat.  That’s evidence for a critical lesson to entrepreneurs.

2.  Do I have the resources I need?

Starting a business requires an initial investment of time and money.  You should be sure you have access to enough cash to sustain you at least through the first six months, if not the first year.  This is especially true if you plan to quit your day job right away, as you won’t have a guaranteed source of income until your business gains traction.

Think about the resources you have at your disposal, no matter what.  Maybe it’s a relevant degree, a substantial savings account, or a rock-solid support system.  Successful entrepreneurs have many skills and knowledge to help them survive the rocky few months of starting a business.

3.  Who is my target audience?

I want you to know that knowing your prospective customers is essential to succeed in your industry.  You need to know who your ideal client is, their needs, where they are in life, how they think, and how your product or offering can solve their problems.  Here’s a pro tip: Clearly define who isn’t your target customer.  This exercise will help you with clarity.

4.  What does the future look like?

One of the most critical questions to ask yourself before starting a business is whether your idea has a sustainable future.  How mature or developed is my market?  Is there potential for consolidation, tech revolution, or market evolution?  Is there an opportunity for your business to grow and evolve, or will your idea become outdated in a few years?

5.  Do I have what it takes?

It takes a specific type of person to become an entrepreneur.  You need to be okay with uncertainty and be willing to persevere through the highs and the lows.  Ask yourself: Am I durable and committed enough to do what it takes to start and develop a business?

Another question to ask yourself is this: Do I have the active support of my family?  Starting a business can put a strain on your relationships.  Be sure you either have the support of your loved ones or are determined enough to succeed without it.

Starting a business can be rewarding, but it’s not easy.   Considering these questions before starting a business is a great start. Download my free ebook, The 10 Critical Responsibilities of a Business Owner, to learn more about the needed skills to own a business successfully.

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