As business consultants, we learned from the business world in Nigeria and internationally as a whole so we have put together these questions to ask yourself before you start or consider starting a business.
What are you selling?: The first question you need to ask yourself is what exactly are you selling i.e. what service are you providing or what product are you selling to the public? Are you adding value? Does anyone require these products or services? Have you tested the market and obtained a positive result giving you the go ahead to start the business?
Why should people buy from you?: One thing you need to note when going into business is that people buy from who they feel they know, like and trust.Do you have a compelling enough reason to start a business and have people buy from you?Is it your years of experience in your industry that makes you a knowledgeable expert? Perhaps you bring top-notch customer service or unparalleled quality with a handmade touch? Often, injecting your one-of-a-kind personality into your brand (quirks and all) will make your business more personable and relatable.
Is your idea scalable?: Scalability of your business is what truly takes it to the next level. Online and digital products have maximum scalability since the work is put in once upfront, and the product can be sold an infinite number of times at a minimal cost.If you are selling physical products, you should consider whether your goods can be mass-produced or sold by wholesale. For service-based businesses, you’ll need to create a standard process which enables additional staff to offer the same service to more customers, while maintaining the same quality standards that you would uphold yourself.
How badly do you want this?: Entrepreneurs will happily work 100 hours a week for themselves, rather than work 40 hours a week for someone else. Are you willing to burn 100 hours a week for the next two years to get your business off the ground? How committed are you to making this happen?
Are you a hunter or a farmer?: As an employee, you get paid to do… your job. You don’t have to worry about how the company is run behind the scenes. Goals are set by your higher-ups, and a regular paycheck is deposited into your bank account. If you have trouble, you can call IT, accounting, or HR for help. If you’re good at what you do, you’ll be rewarded with a promotion. Much like a farmer, you tend to your plot, plant your seeds, and reap what you sow. You take comfort in the predictability of the seasons.Entrepreneurs are a different breed — they possess the hunter mindset and will constantly seek opportunities that challenge the status quo. They’re self-motivated. They don’t get bogged down by problems, rather they focus on solutions. Hunters experience times of feast and famine, similar to businesses having periods of highs and lows and they plan around unpredictability
How will you fund the business?: Figure out how much money you need to start, and where the funds will come from.
- Personal savings
- Borrowing from friends or family
- Bank loans
- Angel investors or venture capital
What are your financial projections?: Before you go all-in, do yourself a favor and paint a financial picture of your business over the next 3 to 5 years. Estimate all your business expenses including incorporation costs, your phone & internet bills, utilities, rent, online services or memberships, and bank fees just to name a few! I guarantee that once you see this total on paper, you’ll be surprised.The reality is that most businesses don’t start making profits until 2 or 3 years in, so you’ll need to have a clear picture of how much money is needed to stay in the game.
What’s your game plan?: If you’ve got personal financial obligations such as a mortgage or a family to support, you may need to start your hustle part-time for extra stability before going all-in. However, hustling at your day-job and working on your business in the off-hours can be taxing, and it will take longer to get off the ground.On the other hand, your business might be more successful if you focus more fully on it. When you’re on the other side of your dream life, looking back on all you’ve accomplished over the last few years, you’ll only wish you began your journey sooner.