Five questions you need to ask yourself before you start a business

Have you been pondering a business idea for a while now, unsure what to do with it? Are you itching to get going but don’t know what to do, or even if your idea could work?

A good starting point for business success is to combine strong ideas with personal development. That way you have a solid foundation for you and your business right from the word go.

Five questions you need to ask yourself

To help you get started in the right direction, business coach Teri Samson reveals the five questions you need to ask yourself before you start a business.

1) Are you passionate about your business idea?

A useful starting point is to sense check whether your new business idea is something you are really passionate about wanting to do. It’s very easy to get sidetracked into ideas that we should or ought to do or to succumb to peer pressure.

So if you have the chance to start afresh, then make sure you do something you are going to love! A good starting point is to list your personal strengths and values and combine all three to help narrow down your options. Have fun and be creative with this process.

2) How will the new business fit in with your personal life?

Achieving the magical work life balance is what we all truly desire so when considering your options, be realistic about how it will impact your day-to-day life.

Make a list of the absolute must haves versus the areas you are willing to compromise on to help you gauge this. Getting the support you need from friends and family during the process will also be key to helping you achieve your goals, so share your enthusiasm early on to get them on board.

3) Have you road tested your idea first?

Having a dream idea is wonderful as long as you back it up with a good dose of reality so thoroughly enjoy your research time! Have you identified a product or service that people want and do you have evidence to support this?

Check out the competition too, so you are aware of what’s out there and gain insight into how your idea offers something new or perhaps doesn’t currently exist. You can always approach others already working in a particular business for useful information.

Also, why not gain some first hand experience by trying out your product or service on friends and family first and get some insightful feedback.

4) Have you faced up to your finances?

For the majority of us, business is about making money and although this is perhaps the one area most people shy away from, it is paramount to look your finances straight in the eye from the get go!

You need to identify what financial resources you have available to support you during the start up period and beyond. How long can you survive on your savings? Have you created a personal budget alongside your business plan budget?

Asking yourself these kinds of questions will ultimately help you achieve clarity and commitment to your ideas.

Other areas to consider are whether it needs to be full time or part time, do you need other paid work to support you during the process, do you want to work alone or get a business partner on board? Really explore your options here to figure out what works best for you.

Also, do consider what support you need from your bank, accountant, coach or seek other professional advice during this process.

5) Have you assessed your business skills and personal life?

Another important step is to identify the skills you already possess, the new skills you are willing to learn and which skills you will need to hire in to assist you in your venture.

It can also be a good idea to review who you are as a person and how you currently live your life as this will underpin everything you set out to achieve in your business. The two are inextricably linked – for example, you may wish to assess your personal strengths or identify your true values or challenge yourself in a new way that empowers you. Or you may just want to de-clutter your spare room to create the office space you need.

By reviewing and eliminating or adding new strings to your bow, you pave the way to create the life you truly desire.

Ready to kick-start your business?

If you’ve answered these questions and are raring to go, you may find these articles helpful: