A lot of people don’t know whether or not they’re actually ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship. It can be hard and impossible to have everything figured out before jumping into starting your own business, but asking yourself these five questions can help you determine whether or not you’re ready.
1. What problem am I solving?
What are you trying to solve with your business idea or product? If you can’t answer this question, you may want to go back and take a harder look at your idea. By having a business that solves a need, you’ll be creating something valuable for people.
The problem you are trying to solve may have to do with functionality, like a water bottle that keeps your water cold even if it’s in direct sunlight, but you can also be solving something less obvious like how FitBit lets you track your health on the fly and encourages people to get out walking more.
2. What makes me better?
What makes you better than your competition? Remember, everyone has competition in some way or another, even if it’s not directly obvious. Figure out what makes your product or service special. What makes it stand out from the rest?
For example, it could be where or how it’s made, the pricing, or a social responsibility aspect. Think about what it’s going to be that will make someone purchase your product over others? Always keep your answer top of mind in everything you do, especially in your marketing.
3. How much do I know about it?
You’re not going to be an expert in every aspect of business, but it is important to be an expert in your industry. For example, if you are opening a Mexican restaurant, you likely want to know everything there is to know about Mexican food, and have experience working in the restaurant/food industry.
Starting a business comes with a lot of learning curves, so being an expert and knowing as much as you can about your industry is critical in order to succeed.
4. How will I finance this?
We all know that starting a business requires money, and you are likely going to have to have a change in lifestyle going from a full-time career to starting from the ground up with your business. So before you jump in head first, work through your cash flow. How will you finance your business and what are your sales forecasts? Also take the time to explore all possible options for financing to figure out what works best for you, or maybe you’ll realize that starting a business just doesn’t make sense for you financially right now.
5. What is my exit strategy?
No one wants to start a business with the idea in their back of their head that they may fail, but it’s important to realize that failure is possible. Think about what defines failure to you and when you will know it’s time to give up. Would you regret taking the leap and risking it all if you failed? If the answer is no, then entrepreneurship may be the right path for you.
Asking yourself these questions before jumping into entrepreneurship will help give you a better idea if you and your business idea is ready.
About the Author
Lauren Marinigh is a Toronto-based online marketing and content development professional, who is completely addicted to traveling, puppies, and GIFs.