Top 17 questions to ask before you start your own business

In this 6-minute read:

  • Questions to ask before starting a business

Starting your own business has a certain appeal that can be hard to pass up. We all want to be our own boss and have the ability to depend on ourselves for our own income. And if you have an award-winning idea, you should go for it!

Click here to check out our small business loans resources. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

Before totally investing yourself in the idea of starting your own business, there is a lot you should be thinking about to make sure it’s the best decision for you. Running a business isn’t for everyone. So ask yourself these questions to discover if this is the right step for your career.

Why do you want to start your own business?

Becoming your own boss is only a perk of running your own business, not a legitimate reason to quit your job and start one up. 

Think about the reasons you have for wanting to start your own business. Is there a problem you want to solve? Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit? What purpose will starting your own business fulfill in your life?

Do you have a solid idea?

You can’t start a new business without any business ideas. You should have a well-thought-out idea or plan that you have run by your peers and deemed a viable option for your new business.

What problem(s) are you trying to solve?

Your winning idea should solve a problem. What problem will your product or service solve? Think about your “why.” 

Why are you starting this business and why would people want to purchase this specific offering? What will it help your customers accomplish?

man looking at post-it notes with question marks for small business

Do you have the skills needed to start and run your own business?

Starting a business takes more than just the desire to do so. You need to have at least some of the necessary skills to get off the ground and running.

Think about everything that you will need to know to get started on your own. Here are a few basics that every business owner should have in their tool belt:

  • Financial management
  • Delegation
  • Time management
  • Customer service
  • Problem solving

Not having these skills doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t strive to start your own business. It just means you’ll have a little more work to do to get there. 

You can find all kinds of business courses and seminars through local resources like your chamber of commerce to help you get started.

Do you have enough knowledge of the industry you wish to enter?

Beyond having the basic skills that every small business owner should start with, you should have a good understanding of the industry you wish to enter. Without this knowledge, it will be difficult to start a successful and thriving business.

What funds are essential for starting this business?

Think about the very basics that you will need to start your business with. What equipment will be necessary? Will you need a rental space and/or additional utilities? Will you need to hire any employees? 

To save money and avoid going into large amounts of debt for your new venture, identify what your basic needs will be and determine how you can take care of them.

How much will you be putting at risk?

From a monetary standpoint, how much are you putting at risk to start this new business? In other words, how much money will you lose if your business fails?

How will you fund your business?

You’re likely going to need at least a small amount of capital to get your business started. Think about those essentials you’ll need and how you can pay for them. Will you save up the money you need before starting? Will you need to take out a business loan?

Learn more about the different funding options for new businesses

box with various small business funding ideas printed on it

Is anyone else doing this?

It’s important to know if any other businesses already have similar offerings. Learn as much as you can about the competition and what is already being done and how you can do it better. 

Make sure the market isn’t totally saturated and that there’s still room for you to have a successful business within it. 

Make sure you learn the key market research questions for small businesses so that you have a good understanding of your local market and how well your business can realistically perform there. 

What unique qualities do you bring to the industry?

What is already being done, and how are you going to do it better? How is your product or service different from what everyone else is doing? 

List out the unique qualities or offerings that you will have. Those can be great selling points as you dive into branding and marketing your business. 

Can you test-run the business before quitting your day job?

Is it possible to do a test of your business to see the likelihood of its success? When possible, it’s always better to test your new business idea on a small scale before quitting your job and dumping everything you have into this new business. 

Is your business idea scalable?

A business that is scalable has the opportunity to provide you with continuous growth in the future. Choosing a business idea that you can start small and grow with also has a better chance of performing well. 

What are your short and long-term goals?

Determine your goals for your business. Where do you want to be by the end of the year? Where do you want the business to be in 5 years?

man standing on growth arrow for small business questions

What are your chances at success?

Is your business idea likely to succeed? Asking market research questions and learning more about your target audience and surrounding competition can help you grasp a better idea of whether or not your business has a good chance of being successful. 

How much time and energy will it take?

Starting a new business takes a lot out of you. And it’s likely going to take a lot more time than you initially thought. 

Make sure this is something you will have the time to devote to get it off the ground, especially if you are still working while trying to do this. 

Are you ready for the sacrifices starting a business will require?

Starting your own business will require a lot of sacrifice. In the beginning, you may have to give up a lot of your free time that you spent doing other hobbies and things you enjoyed. 

Is now a good time for you to start a business?

Think about the sacrifices that your business will require and what other obligations you have. This could be family, friends, your job. Is now realistically going to work for you to start your new business?

Go deeper: how to maintain a healthy work-life balance

You are not alone in starting your new business

As you ask yourself these questions, remember that you aren’t alone in this. Use your personal network of support, your family and friends, to help test things out and talk through your new business plan. 

You can also find a plethora of local business resources designed to help entrepreneurs like you start their new businesses and find success. 

Other tools like software for business insights and reputation management can also be extremely helpful as you get started. Start developing your online reputation from the get-go with reputation management software

With Womply’s solution, you can manage all your customer reviews from multiple review sites from one dashboard with one login. 

A healthy supply of new reviews will help bring in more customers and increase your bottom line. 

Also, click here to check out our small business loans resources. Learn more, plus get free reputation monitoring and customer insights when you sign up for Womply Free!

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