A growing number of startups are dotting the commercial landscape today. There are people who are quitting jobs to start their own business, and then there are others who are starting one on the side to create a secondary source of income. Either way, one thing is clear- people are getting attracted towards the idea of being their own boss.
Creating a company from scratch could be quite an exciting experience. However, it comes with its own risks, so much that according to some estimates, 90% of the startups eventually fail.
Now, don’t let this deter you because you can greatly improve your odds of achieving success with your company by planning in advance. In fact, it’s possible to create successful marketing and branding on a budget if your strategies are good and executed well.
If you want to stay safe and ensure that your company survives the tough market, then it’s really important you ask yourself the following 5 questions:
Q1. Why Do I Want to Do This?
As obvious and simple the question is, most people forget to ask themselves this question only to regret their decision down the road and meet failure.
The “why” is always the most important question you need to ask yourself before you make any big decision, especially when it’s going to affect your life for a long time (or even till the end of your lifetime).
So, if you ask yourself this question and realize that you want to start a business because you are unhappy with your job, or maybe because your friends are also doing it, or maybe some “expert”, whose YouTube video you watched recently, told you that by starting your own business you can become crazy rich in a short time period, then maybe you should keep the plan on hold for now.
You need a really compelling reason to start a business. Your heart should be into it 100% because it’s not an easy journey. So, if you are not committed, you can easily falter within just a few weeks.
Some of the good answers to the question above are:
- I want to improve the lives of other people with a product/service
- I always dreamt of owning my own company
- I want to create jobs for others and get satisfaction from knowing that I contributed to the community
Q2. What Problem Will I Solve?
For the people to buy your product/service, it has to offer some value. This is determined by the problem it solves.
It’s important that the product you decide to start a business with is interesting to you. This is because when you genuinely love something and care about it, then you can sell it better. Most importantly, your branding will come naturally when you truly believe in the product.
Q3. Do I Have Enough Funds?
Ideas are cheap, but their execution is what takes true determination, grit, and of course- capital.
No business can be set up without a certain amount of capital. Even an online business, which is usually quite cheap to establish, requires some investment. You have to buy a domain and hosting, and after that you need to design a logo for your business, then need to promote your product, etc. For these tasks, you must have a clear idea of exactly how much money you will need. While you may want to get the numbers for the short-term requirements, you must also get an estimate about the kind of funding you will need down the road.
Be sure that the investment amount covers the infrastructure, product development costs, marketing, sales, etc. and it’s better if you also learn about starting a business budget in detail.
Q4. Who Is My Competition?
Top companies spend a great deal of time monitoring their own business operations as well as their competitors’. In fact, they go about a number of ways to track competition.
They keep a close eye on their competitors to modify their policies and prices from time to time so as to grab customers from them. They also do this to see what new products or services the rival companies are offering so that they can start offering the likes of those themselves.
It’s important that before you start your journey as an entrepreneur, you find out about your competition and see what they are doing, and how they are doing it. The information you will collect in this search is of insurmountable value. It will help you create a roadmap for your own business and avoid the otherwise pitfalls in the path.
Q5. Am I Ready for This?
When you are about to start a new company, you should expect a major lifestyle change. For instance, if you are currently working somewhere on a salary-basis, or are a homemaker, then maybe your life is comfortable and cushy.
However, when you become an entrepreneur then you have to give up on all the comfort and prepare to face a number of challenges. If you have little to no staff, then you need to do a lot of things on your own. Plus, you also have to give up on the luxuries to save money for your business.
In other words- you must mentally prepare yourself for the changes that starting a new business will bring. If there is already a lot going on in your life, then it’s better to wait until it all settles down.
Enacting a change in society through your business is a wonderful feeling. However, too many companies start and fail every year. So, take your time, and only go ahead when you are absolutely sure that you are ready.
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