We all dream of having a business one day, or working from home. But most times you find that when people do this but do not always succeed. Why? They forget to ask themselves some very vital questions. These are the kind of questions that let you know if you are truly ready for this new venture in your life. Hopefully, this set of questions will help you gauge yourself and figure out if you are truly ready to leave your job. Or if you need to hold on a bit longer as you make sure these things are in place.
1. How Committed Am I?
This could very well be the most important question, why? Because without commitment to your cause, you are not going very far. Commitment is the backbone of any successful venture, you should do well to make sure that this is something you are not lacking in. This will make sure that even if things do not go as you would have expected, you are still able to follow through with all the steps that you had set out for your business or side-hustle.
For as long as you follow through with the steps, things will definitely fall into place and start to pick up, so do not give up and keep the commitment aspect high. People who are not as committed flake when things do not go as expected and most often the business is not given a chance to grow to its full potential.
2. How Well Do I Cope With Failures?
This is a vital question as starting your own business or side hustle is not a guaranteed success overnight. There will be times when the business does amazingly well, and there will be times when the business will be in ICU. How you handle yourself during these times will be vital to the longevity of your business.
Are you a quitter who flees when things get tough or things do not go your way? Or do you push through and make sure that you follow it through even if things are not turning out how you had expected? Remember persistence and consistency is the life force of any business. So you have to make sure that you are not a quitter before you begin this journey.
3. How Do I Plan To Mitigate Risks?
Risks will always exist in any business, that is why it is not for the faint-hearted, your level of risk-taking is also vital to your business or side hustle. And with this risk-taking, you need to know how you will mitigate them just in case things do not go your way. Do you have these plans in place? Or when things go sideways you will be like a deer in the headlights? Do not put yourself in a position where you will be doomed to fail. Have plans in place to mitigate the risks. And have plans in place for those plans, do not leave anything to chance, plan for everything.
4. How Real Is My Product/Service As A Business?
In as much as you would like to imagine that you have the best idea in the universe and that people will jump at the sight of your product or service. You need to be realistic, you need to sit down and ask yourself, really ask yourself if this is a product that people will buy or a service that people will need. And you need to answer very truthfully, the success of your business depends on it.
If you are not sure if you are being biased because it is your product, you can do a little survey with a small group of people to ascertain if it is a good product or not. It could be your friends and family or you can do an activation of a small version of the business to people at a mall and see how good it does. If it does great, then you have a gold mine at your hands if it does poorly, it is back to the drawing board for you.
5. What Is My Value-Proposition?
In addition to how real your product is as a business you also need to ask yourself, what value are you adding? To people’s lives specifically? Because people will tend to buy a product that adds value to their lives more than one that does not. And with this too you are bound to get more loyal customers.
6. Who Is My Mentor In Business?
This is important because the person you look up to can either make you or break you. You need to make sure it is someone who is just as focused as you if not more and it has to be someone who wants the very best for you. If it is someone who you have never met then he/she needs to be accomplished and who still strives to be a better version of themselves despite their success.
7. Why Is My Product/Service Different?
This of course will set you apart from your competitors, if your product or service offers nothing different then you are up to sharing revenue with all the other businesses like it. But if your business is different, you basically become a monopoly. No one is competing with you, you are sharing revenue with no one, it is all there for the taking. This coupled with value-addition and you are headed for the stars.
8. Who Are My Target Customers?
You need to have this defined because you do not want to go out into the business world aiming for everyone, running around like a headless chicken. These could cost you serious customers because they will see as if you have no direction and will view your product or service as a joke. So right from the beginning, you need to define your target audience. Is it tech people, is it young people, is it soccer moms, is it rich housewives. Either way, you need to know who to target even in your advertising. This will give your business direction.
9. How Do I Plan To Fund My Business?
Some people may already have some savings set aside as they were planning on starting up their business. Some may decide to look for funding options like a bank loan. In all these, you need to be certain of how you will make sure that there is a return on investment. First things first if it is a bank loan, the bank will never go at a loss, this means that you will have something valuable of yours listed as collateral. Next, if it is your own savings, it would be sad to see it all go up in smoke because of poor planning or decisions.
You need to have funds set aside for advertising, for the suppliers, for the products, for the salaries of your employees, either way, you need to have basically funds for all aspects of your business. And these avenues need a source of their own individual funding, do not rely on one basket for all your business funds, separate them and keep them separate no matter what, replenish only when the need arises.
10. What Can I do & What Will I Need To Outsource?
You need to figure out what you can do, either it is a skill you learnt or a natural talent. You need to be very candid about what you can do. Then you need to check what services your business needs to run smoothly. Do you have any finance background or administration background? Or will you need to outsource these services, and how much extra will it cost you?
You need to make sure you have all your angles covered before you can start your business then you get blindsided by something that is vital to the business that you had overlooked. You can also check with your friends or family if they can help you out with some of these services for free as you find your footing in the business world. It would not hurt to ask, what’s the worst that can happen? Them saying No?
11. Do I Have A Good Support System?
In all hard, tough trying situations, most times we are able to get through them because we have people who support us. Most times when you do not get through it is because you do not have a good support system behind you, if at all. Always make sure that you are surrounded with people that wish you well.
People who are always rooting for your success, those who push your products and services and recommend them to people. They will always check up on your business and buy your products and services for as long as you are offering them. With such a good support system on your side, you are already on a good path to success.
12. Do I have A Lawyer?
Where money is concerned, there are bound to be legal issues, some which you as a mundane are not aware of. Which is why you need a lawyer and a good one at that. You cannot leave the fate of your future company in the hands of someone who does not know what they are doing.
A lawyer makes sure you have your bases covered in all areas. Makes sure you have covered up all loopholes that may be exploited. And can also help you utilize some loopholes in the system as well. You may think that having a lawyer is too much but I assure you that it is not, especially if you see that your business has the potential of becoming something big.
13. What Is My Ability To Work Without Rest?
If you are lazy or tend to complain if you have to work long hours, then I have some bad news for you. Business is not for you, you need to be able to put in the hours for them to bear fruit, especially in the early stages of your business. You will have to work almost all your waking hours and sleep close to less than 6 hours or worse.
You need to see it as a journey you are undertaking and not something that has an end because you will need to work that tirelessly for around 3 years or more before you can even begin to think of slowing down, and maybe in the 3 years your company will have grown bigger which will require more of your time. So you have to love hard work at this point.
14. How Are My Interpersonal Skills?
For you to have a smooth business experience, you need to know how to deal with people, your suppliers, your customers, your employees. There will be a different way of talking and dealing with each of these groups and if you do not do it properly, your business will begin to crumble at its very early stages.
You have to have a knack for reading people, know how to talk to your employees so that they can work with minimal supervision. How to talk to your customers so they can feel valued and buy your product or service. How to talk to your suppliers so that they can prioritize your orders. Either way, read the person and know how to speak to them to do what you want them to do.
These are just but a few hard questions you need to ask yourself before you can let go of the safety net that is your job and dive into the deep waters of the business world because once you are in there it is sink or swim and trust me the sharks are waiting to eat you alive. You need to learn how to navigate the waters and survive and not just survive but thrive. All the best dearies.