Starting a business can be as terrifying as it is exciting — and that’s OK. That’s to be expected when taking a risk. But how big of a risk are you really taking? If you can answer these five questions, you might be more prepared than you think.
1. Why do I want to start a business?
Have you taken a step back and examined why you’re starting a business? Finding your source of motivation can help you decide if you should move forward or take time to reevaluate. There are plenty of good reasons to start a business: financial and professional independence, supporting your family, supporting a social cause, you’re passionate about the products or services you’re providing — the list goes on and on. Those are all motivations that are likely to survive when adversity hits. But if you’re unable to pinpoint why you’re starting a business, or your reasons don’t inspire you, it might be a good time to slow down.
2. What separates me from my competition?
If you’re secure in your motivations, it’s time to move on to answering what will make your business stand out? It’s likely that another business is offering similar products or services, so you’ll need to identify what’s different about your business compared to the competition. Do you offer lower prices, better customer service, or upgraded technology? How about all three? Whatever your advantage is, it must provide value to your potential customers, or you run the risk of getting lost in the mix.
3. Do I have the support required to succeed?
While this is your business, you’re going to need help to succeed. Whether your help comes through funding, a business partner, moral support, or employees, it’s important to have it secured before opening your doors. But it’s also important to know there are solutions if you’re quickly overwhelmed. From crowd funding to virtual assistants, there are efficient strategies for tackling your challenges, but you must be willing to ask for help.
4. How do I define success?
What is success to you? Is it profits? Personal growth? There’s no right or wrong answer to this question, but defining success in concise terms is a great way to keep yourself honest. When it comes to starting a business, start with what you’d like to accomplish in your first year as a business owner. Put these goals in writing, and keep them close. After a year, you’ll know if you’re on the right track.
5. What size of business do I want to build?
Are you looking to open multiple locations, build a corporation, or are you satisfied with running a smaller operation? If your business has the potential to scale, you’ll need the financial and human resources required to cover responsibilities and expenses. At that point, would it be possible for the business to operate without you? If you don’t have these plans in place, you could find yourself with too much on your plate.
If you can answer all of those questions, and you’re ready to start your business, Intelligent Office offers the final piece to the puzzle. Our virtual assistants and phone answering services provide best-in-the-industry customer service while also taking on all of your administrative tasks without the costs of hiring a full-time employee. We can help your business get off to the start it deserves. Contact a location near you for more information.