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Top 5 questions to ask before starting a business
Very few people start businesses on a whim, but even the most prepared entrepreneurs can fail if they aren't careful. One expert offers five questions that every business owner should ask before opening their doors.
1. Why do you want to start a business?
"Before taking the leap, it's important to evaluate the reasons behind it. Starting a business requires a great deal of determination, passion and patience--it really is a labor of love, so it's critical that you're in it for the right reasons," said Tom Walker, President and CEO, Rev1 Ventures.
2. Do you understand the key problem(s) your target customers face?
"Having a great idea is only half the battle--to be successful in the market, you must first understand if you're solving a challenge that is not being addressed otherwise," said Walker.
3. What is your total addressable market for your product/service, and how will you reach customers?
"Solving a problem is important, but not if it's only reaching a minute market. Take the time to understand how many customers your product applies to and how you will attract their attention," said Walker.
4. Who is your competition, and what is your differentiator?
"The way to cut through the clutter is to clearly differentiate from others. While you may feel you have a completely unique idea, chances are someone else sits in your space and could be a competitor for customers. Knowing who that is ahead of time will ensure that you understand the best way to stand out and provide a more valuable alternative to your customers," said Walker.
5. Do you understand the potential price of a single product or service versus the cost it will take to produce one?
"This big question is often overlooked in the beginning stages. To truly understand the potential of your business and its long-term growth, it's essential that you understand the cost of running your business and developing/selling your product. This should be a first step, instead of an afterthought," said Walker.
Image via Shutterstock
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