Starting a business is not always easy, especially in a country like Nigeria. If you decide to start a business, you must indeed mean business. Not everyone is cut out for the business lifestyle. You should know if it is for you before you even make any attempt to start. There are some tough business questions to ask yourself to know if you are fit to start.
You may have come up with a wonderful business idea, but if some things are not put in place, the business will crumble before your very eyes. So before you start that business, you need to ask yourself these tough questions.
This post outlines 10 important questions that you need to ask yourself before starting that business. These questions may be tough on you but you need to ask and answer them if you want your business to succeed. So here goes.
10 Tough Questions you should ask Yourself before starting a Business
1. Am I really cut out to be an Entrepreneur?
This is probably the toughest question you need to ask yourself before starting that business. Over time, there have been arguments and debates about whether entrepreneurs are born or bred. Regardless of how that debate goes, there are some traits that successful entrepreneurs possess. Natural independence, resourcefulness, and self-accountability are some of these features.
You are probably asking yourself right now if you have the traits. The truth is that if you are someone who constantly needs to be pushed to act, then maybe this entrepreneurship journey is not for you yet. If you need someone to constantly guide you, then maybe you should reconsider and get your mind off the business path for now.
2. Why exactly am I starting a Business?
After asking and answering the question of if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur, you need to ask yourself why exactly you are starting a business. Many aspiring business owners do not know why they are going into business.
If you are going into business simply because you want to become instantly rich, then you may need to have a rethink. In fact, a lot of legitimate businesses do not become profitable immediately.
Are you starting the business because you are passionate about it? On the surface, this is good. However, you should know that passion alone does not sustain a business. Many people make this mistake. “Do what you love and make money from it”. Well, in the real world, passion or what you love alone is not what will make your business succeed.
So, why are you starting the business? To make money or to make a difference? Have it at the back of your mind, though, that you can make a difference and still make money. They are not mutually exclusive.
3. What Problem will my Product or Service solve?
What is the point of doing something you love if it will not solve any problem? Your potential customers are not actually interested in your product itself. They are interested in how your product can solve their problems.
If your business is not solving any real problem, then you just have a hobby. At the end of the day, the success of your business is in the hands of your customers. If your product or service does not solve their problems, then they will not patronise you.
Try to think about some of the most successful businesses in Nigeria and in the world at large. They are successful because they are solving their customers’ problems. The value of your business depends on how much you are able to meet the needs of your customers.
4. Do I have enough resources to get started?
Many people make the mistake of starting a business without having enough resources to run it. By resources, we do not only mean money. Before you launch your business, ask yourself if you have enough money, knowledge, skills, and manpower to run it. This is one very tough business question to ask yourself especially when you are so pumped to start the business.
Reports have it that most startups fail within their first two years of operation. In many cases, this is because the business owners did not lay a solid foundation. They did put enough of the necessary resources in place.
Even though money is not the only resource that you need, it is indeed a very important resource. You need enough of it that your business can survive on before it begins to yield profits. So, prior to venturing into business, be sure to have enough resources. You also need to manage these resources well if you want your business to stay afloat.
5. Is this a Good Time to start this Business?
Different businesses have different favourable starting periods. The fact that Mr A starts a successful business today does not necessarily mean Mr B can also do the same. Before you launch that business, ask yourself this tough question: “Is this a good time to start this business?”
Of course, there may never be a perfect time to start a business. However, launching too early or too late may make your business fail. Timing is a good factor that determines the success or failure of your business.
Is the timing right based on your available resources? Is the timing right for the market needs? You may have what it takes to launch but is the market in need of your product? Is the timing right for my personal life? These and more are tough questions you need to ask and answer before rushing into business.
6. How much Risk am I willing to take?
Starting a business is a risk on its own. Before you start, you need to ask yourself how much risk you are willing to take. Ask yourself tough questions like: “How much money am I willing to lose if this business does not succeed?” and “How much more am I willing to pump into the business to keep it afloat?”
Sometimes, the higher the risk, the higher the reward. Are you ready to take greater risks for greater rewards? Or would you rather keep the risks little and aim towards little rewards?
This is one very tough business question to ask before starting your business. It will determine how much you are willing to put in for the probable greater reward.
7. Am I ready to quit my Day Job?
Many prospective business owners in Nigeria simply want to run their businesses alongside their day jobs. This may not necessarily work out for you. There are businesses that need your full attention. In fact, if you are indeed serious about starting a proper business, you should be ready to quit your day job.
A new business will likely require all the time you can give it. This is why you need to ask yourself the tough question of if you are ready to quit your day job. In some cases, your day job may not totally affect your business. This generally depends on the business that you are starting. For example, many online businesses may not require you to quit your day job.
“Am I ready to quit my day job?” is probably one of the toughest questions you may need to ask yourself before starting a business in Nigeria. This is because a lot of Nigerians simply want an additional source of income. It may be hard to give up your day job but sometimes, it is the only way your business can succeed.
8. Do I see myself doing this for Years?
Most businesses are not set up to last for just one year. So, you should ask yourself if you see yourself running that same business for years. There will be bumps along the way, but do you see yourself keeping at the business for years?
When starting your business, you need to be sure that you are ready to keep doing it for years. If not, you will easily get tired along the way. In fact, you may simply give up within a short time. If you want to see your business through, you need to be willing to commit for years.
9. Does this Business fit into my Current Lifestyle?
A lot of new businesses fail because the business owners failed to consider how the business would fit into their lifestyles. As an aspiring business owner, you need to know if your lifestyle can sustain the business. If it cannot, then you should probably look into a new business idea.
You need to be sure of the implications that your new business will have on your life. Ask yourself if your current lifestyle is in tandem with your business. You should also ask yourself if you can cope with the effects that running the business may have on your lifestyle.
10. Am I willing to change my Current Lifestyle to suit my Business Needs?
Running a business is not all a bed of roses. A business may require the business owner to change their current lifestyle. After deciding if your business fits into your current lifestyle, you should decide if you are ready to change your current lifestyle as required by your business.
Are you willing to wake up earlier than you used to? Are you willing to spend more time in front of a computer than you used to? You may even need to ask yourself if you are willing to learn public speaking even though you have been too afraid to do it?
Starting a business may require you to cut down the time spent on many other things and focus those times on your business. It may mean less time to hang out with your friends? You will probably have less time to socialise.
So, are you ready to change your lifestyle to suit your business needs?
Starting a business is not something you can just wake up one day and rush into. Running a business is more complex than working for someone else. Therefore, there are questions that you need to ask yourself before venturing into business. This post outlines some of these tough business questions.
If you are able to ask and answer these questions satisfactorily, then you are one step closer to being eligible to run a business. These questions may be tough to answer, but they are key to the success of your business. You may also check out these business success tips.
What other questions do you think aspiring business owners need to ask before venturing into business? Do let us know in the Comments section below.
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