If you’ve decided the New Year would be a great time to launch a start-up, then here are five fundamental questions to ask yourself before starting a new business.
- Do you have the right temperament?
Not everyone is cut out to work for themselves or run their own business. It can be a lonely road, and being singly responsible for completing work and making your business successful can be stressful. You will need to have discipline, good time-management skills, reasonable IT skills and the confidence to make contacts and push your products and services. Wilting wallflowers need not apply!
- Do you have an original idea?
Your business needs to fulfil a need or desire that’s not yet met. Unless you’re filling a gap in your local area, you’d better be doing something entirely new or have a genuinely original take on an existing idea – otherwise your business is unlikely to flourish.
- Do you have enough capital?
To answer this question, you’ll first need to get some realistic estimates of your initial set-up costs. It’s important to think about all potential costs, however small. If you don’t have enough money to fund your start-up yourself and sustain you until it starts making a profit, you’ll need to investigate funding, via either grants, loans or both.
- Do you have support?
Even if you intend to run your business single-handedly, it’s good to have moral support from the people closest to you (and even better, some practical support too, if they’re prepared to give it!). If the people closest to you doubt your ability or your idea, it can be demoralising – and it should also ring alarm bells. Listen to their concerns. Are they valid? Do you have the right answers to put their minds at rest?
- Is it a business you can run by yourself?
If it’s impractical to run the business by yourself, you will need help. If you have no family or friends willing or able to embark on a joint venture, that means employing staff right from the start. Will you hire a freelancer or employ someone? If you’re intending to employ someone, you’ll need to know something about the legal complexities of recruiting and employing staff, and consider the financial implications too.
If you’re satisfied you can answer these questions, it’s time to get a business plan together and see if your idea has wings. Good luck!