Starting a business is one of the fastest ways to increase one’s wealth. That is why if you want to have a thriving business, you need to strategically plan it from the ground up. To find out if a business idea or if having a business in general suits you, we have compiled the top seven questions that any would-be entrepreneur should ask during the planning process.
You may answer these questions in private and even try to write down your answers. This way, you will have an actual documentation of your own thought process during the conception of a business idea. You may then refer back to it at any time when you feel burned out or when you feel disheartened by your job as a business owner.
Why am I starting a business?
The first question that any entrepreneur should answer during the business planning process should be why they are choosing to start a particular business. The answer to this question will differ. But whatever your reason is, it is good that you give an honest answer. By doing this, you are starting to craft an honest and transparent image for this future business.
By finding out your why, you may also discover some positive aspects of a particular business idea that you can use to market your product or service. In addition, learning what your personal reason for starting a business will also help you be more motivated to bring the business idea to fruition.
What is my unique selling position?
A unique selling position or proposition is that special twist, feature, or slant that your business products or services will have to make them more appealing to your target market.
For example, if you intend to start a venture selling business cards, you need to make sure that your business cards are appealing and more unique than the ones already sold today. Your unique selling position may be selling transparent and customized business cards. This is a sub-niche in the business card market that you can tap since not many people are using transparent plastic card yet.
Whatever kind of business card you are using, make sure to first find out what your business’ unique angle is first before fully investing in it.
Where do you intend to get the funds?
Another question that entrepreneurs need to ask themselves pertains to the source of their funds. This is an important factor to consider since most businesses flop if they do not get enough funds during the startup process.
As a new entrepreneur, ask yourself where do you intend to get the necessary funds. Are you using your personal savings? Will you get business partners to help fund the startup? Will you get a bank loan?
In terms of finding funding for a business, there are many options available for entrepreneurs today. Talk to your local bank or the local business bureau and find out the options available for you.
Who is your target audience or market?
This is the next question that any entrepreneur should ask themselves when planning a business. While still in the planning stage of a business, you can safely gauge the enthusiasm for a specific product or service by knowing who is intended to use that specific product or service. You can conduct a market research to find out the likelihood that your business idea will flounder or succeed. This way, you do not have to dedicate all your monetary and personal resources on a business project that is not likely to succeed.
Who am I competing against?
When you already know who your competitors are during the business planning process, you are more likely to be more wary and develop a business to business marketing survey and strategies that will counter your competitor’s hold on your target market.
By learning about your competitors beforehand, you can also learn more about the different business marketing strategies that they use and adapt them for your own.
Are you willing to do all the work yourself?
As mentioned above, not all would-be entrepreneurs have all the necessary funds and resources to start and maintain a business for the long term. And if they have the funds, this money can only be used for core business transactions. That is why, as a new entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself if you are prepared to do all the work by yourself without seeing immediate rewards.
Self-awareness is an essential skill that entrepreneurs need to learn for them to have more resilient businesses in the future. Ask yourself this question and answer it truthfully.
What is my end goal or plan?
The last question that all entrepreneurs should ask themselves during the planning process is what their business end goal is. As a business owner, you need to be clear on what you want to achieve for your business.
For example, you may set up monthly, quarterly, and yearly earnings goals. In addition to that, you may also set up a plan in case things do not go as planned. The business could fail or disaster may strike that could force you to close down or temporarily stop business operations. Whatever the nature of these unforeseen problems is, a good entrepreneur should already have a rough plan on how to handle them.
A lot of businesses are founded every year. However, only a handful of them lasts into their fifth year. If you want your business to withstand economic downturns and other unforeseen events, you need to carefully plan your business and its success. The seven questions listed above are the main questions to ask while you are in the planning stage. Use them to guide you into creating the best business to business marketing survey and then into starting a real business that has a lot of potential for success.
Article by: Lisa Smith, MsMoney contributor