Starting a new business is exciting, but it is also extremely crucial for you to do your research thoroughly before embarking on such a journey. It is sure to be a tough road and here is how you can prepare yourself mentally for the challenges that are bound to come your way. You need to know your customers, your product/service, and also do your market research before you make the final decision.
So, here is a list of questions that you need to ask yourself, before going ahead with your business plan:
1. Who are your customer
For example, if you are starting a Smartwatch startup, then you should define what age segment it will address to. Ideally, you would be catering to a younger demographic, so you simply cannot assume that people across all age groups would be interested. You need to be specific about your customers.
If you are starting a media company, then specify whether it would cater specifically to men, women or would it be a conventional media company, or even a news portal.
Similarly, if you are developing a CRM (customer relationship management) app, then ask yourself whether you would be targeting big established chains or the main street dealers. For a business to be successful, you should know all about its potential customers, because, in the end, it is them who you are catering to.
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2. What exactly does your customer need?
This is one of the most important questions you need to answer before embarking on the journey of starting a business.
In most cases, this question is what gives you an idea about your startup. You need to know what exactly is your customer’s problem that your service or product would solve. You need to identify if it is a need or a want.
For instance, let’s take an example of Elon Musk’s startup journey. He started an online payment company X.com, which later became Paypal and made the process of transacting money hassle-free. He now heads The Boring Company, which is focusing on making travel easier for the public. He identified a problem and started creating solutions.
3. Are your customers already addressing that need? If yes, then how so?
It is basic common sense to ask yourself this question in order to provide your customers with a better solution. You cannot simply assume that your customers are not addressing this need today. They might be doing it, even though with a less efficient method. Before we had subscription services like Netflix, people used to, and a majority of people still have a cable connection or a dish service.
So, assume that a solution is already there and people are using it. You simply need to know if you can make it better.
4. What is your product/service?
This one is a bit tricky as it needs simplification. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” Well, you might not need to explain your plan to a six-year-old in this case, but certainly to adults who have no idea of your domain.
Many a time, people have no idea of what it is that you are providing. Is it a service, a product or a combination of both? Run your product description by people you know and get their feedback. How will people buy your product if they do not know that they need it?
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5. How will your customers benefit from this product/service?
This is a crucial question that an entrepreneur or a business person often comes across. There are chances that you get swept away by the sheer brilliance of your product idea, that you don’t stop to think if people need it or not. If your customers won’t benefit from it, then maybe you need to rethink your business plan.
Asking yourself tough questions like this will help you build a stronger business plan with more chances of success.
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