1) Am I Truly Passionate About This Idea?
If you want to be successful, your business idea must be your own. It can’t be a great idea that someone else told you that you should do.
It needs to be your brainchild, something you are wholeheartedly excited about and in love with. Because you’re going to need that passion on those long and hard days when you feel like giving up.
If you’re wanting someone else to give you a big leg up with getting a business started,there is a very good chance that you’re not going to be successful. Because successful business owners take initiative. They are out there putting in the back-breaking personal effort to make things happen. They aren’t expecting someone else to spoon-feed them their success.
2) Who Is My Potential Customer?
You should try and actually create a fictitious person in your mind that this person would be your potential customer. Start with writing down how old she is, what her personality is, what is her problem that your product can solve, and more. This might seem a little over-the-top, but it really helps to solidify in your mind who your audience is.
Before you can create a marketing plan or a vision for your business, you need to have a good idea of who you are trying to reach out to. Because you’ll want to take a completely different approach if you’re trying to reach teen guys versus middle-aged moms.
3) Can I Afford the Start-Up Costs?
You should never go into debt to start a business. Otherwise, you’re beginning with a noose around your neck.
If you don’t have the money needed for the start-up costs,you should either go back to the drawing board and downsize your idea, or you should save aggressively for six months or more in order to have the cash necessary to cover all of the start-up costs. Ideally, you’ll want to be able to cover the first three to six months’ worth of costs with your savings, without even making a dime of profit.
Not only will this cushion relieve a lot of stress that is often involved with starting a business, it will also allow you to invest some or all of your initial profits back into the business. This will give you an even stronger foundation for your business.
4) Have I Done Enough Research?
Most people are so eager to jump ahead and start the business that they don’t take enough time to really do their research. It is recommended that you read at least 10-20 business-related books before you start a business. These will help you shape your business from the get-go and will also cause you to analyze your plan and preparations to make sure things are solid.
It is also recommended that you talk to every person you know who has started a business or who works in the field or industry you’re wanting to go into. Tell them about your business idea, ask them for input, and pick their brain on the lessons they’ve learned along the way. This counsel could prove invaluable.
Once you’ve begun your business, don’t stop reading and growing as a person and a business owner. Challenge yourself to read at least one new business or leadership book every month, subscribe to a magazine, follow blogs, and listen to podcasts. Always be experimenting with new ideas and never allow yourself to grow stagnant or content with the status quo.
5) Am I Willing to Fail?
If you jump out there and start new things, you are going to fail at least some of the time. Expect to succeed, but willingly accept failure. Not every business idea is going to be a home-run. In fact, most of them won’t be.
However, success is almost guaranteed to those who are willing to try, try again. Even if your first or third or fifth idea doesn’t work, you’ll eventually land on something that will be a success. Don’t give up!