It is true that when we think of starting a business, doing our own thing or being your own boss, we have more questions than answers. So, make sure you ask yourself the right questions to get you on track. Here are the 6 questions you should have the answer for, before you go on this amazing adventure!
1. What PROBLEM does my product/service SOLVE?
It’s not about what you want to offer, it’s about what people want/need. What problem will your business solve? Find customer problems and solve them in a cost effective, timely and convenient manner. If you are selling meditation courses, the problems you solve for people could be: reducing anxiety or improving relationships. If you are a personal trainer, the problems you could solve could be: increasing self-esteem, improving health, making people feel more confident. If you sell a software, problems you could be solving include: saving your clients’ time or storing valuable information for them. This is what you want to sell: the problems you solve.
2. Who are my clients and where are they looking for me?
By talking to your customers, you learn to understand what they do and how you can help. Also, you need to know what type of places they go to and be present at those particular places to have an increased reach and presence. Are you starting a yoga studio? Where could your potential clients be? The local health food store, offices nearby, the local gym, alternative therapy clinics, the organic shop… You may want to partner with them! Another very important question you need to answer is, what are they asking Google? And make sure you answer those questions for them. What social media are they using? You should be there too!
3. Where should I be?
Do I need a physical location or am I running an online business which does not require one? Would I need storage space? Do my clients need parking? Should I be in the CBD? Do I want walk-ins? Do I need a small team or a big team?
4. Do I need to be good at sales?
The answer is yes, definitely. But forget about that pushy salesperson stereotype. The key to being good at sales is to understand your product/service, to talk passionately about it and to show value in what you offer. If you are 100% behind your idea and vision, these points should not be of any concern to you. The way you promote, package and sell your services/product will be paramount to your success. No point having the best product out there if you don’t tell the world about it.
5. Where do I want to get? And when?
Do you want to run a business or do you want to create a job for yourself? What’s the difference? The way you plan it. If you want a job for yourself there are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week for you to provide your services. In this model you reach a ceiling very quickly and cannot scale your business. If you decide you want to run a business from the beginning, you can grow a lot faster and create a business model that will support that. Plan, Plan, Plan! What are your yearly, quarterly and monthly goals? What will you do this week to achieve them? Planning is the key to success, remember, if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.
6. How do I get my numbers right?
Know your numbers. Know your costs. Most first time business owners fail because they don’t know how much they need to keep their business running and make huge cashflow mistakes. It is crucial to keep a close eye on the numbers that can help you manage your business and to predict the success of it. How much money do I need to start? How do I make money? What’s my price? How do I calculate my profit margins? How much buffer do I need to get started? Once you know your numbers, you know your business.
Make sure you ask yourself these questions, and if you can’t find the answers to all of them, find good professionals that can assist you with that.