An entrepreneur isn’t aware of everything about the business he is going to start and isn’t expected to. However, there are some basics he needs to figure out before starting his own business. The business model, target audience, market and long term goals are some things that should be very clear from the start.
A lot of entrepreneurs make the crucial mistake of going all in without having the do’s and don’ts of their business figured out. Not only does this lead to chaos on the business front but also causes hindrances in the whole process leading to a failed venture.
Here’s a list of 5 questions every entrepreneur must ask before venturing into any market:
What problem am I catering to?
Starting a venture and offering a product or a service to the public is worthless if it doesn’t serve a purpose. An aspiring entrepreneur should be able to pin point exactly what he is willing to offer and how it will help his target audience. The value of your product or service is determined by the problem you are solving in the long term.
All entrepreneurs have found a loophole or a need in the society and thus come up with a particular product. For instance, Ola was successful because it solved the problem of availability of public transport.
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How much funds do I require to start?
Many entrepreneurs forget to test their business requisites which is why it goes haywire. One needs to be able to predict how much investment is required to start a business. Also, a lot of people think they require massive amount of funds but later when they actually chart out a plan, the amount is not exactly what they had expected it to be.
For instance, if you want to open a pet accessories store, you need to identify a location which is apt and how much the rent of the store would cost. Also, you need to estimate the cost of inventory and salaries of the helpers in the store. If you prefer opening a store online, you need to estimate website making charges and cost of inventory.
Who and how fierce is my competition?
To do well in business, you need to be absolutely aware of your competitors and what their strategies are. You also need to research about how successful they are in their field. If this initial step isn’t implemented properly, you could take miscalculated steps which could prove to be very harmful for your business.
For instance, if you’re opening a pet accessories shop, you need to find out who your competitors are in the same location and how well they are doing. Also, try and find out their marketing strategies and pricing schemes to avoid duplication.
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What extra am I offering?
It is very essential to offer an extra added value on your service or product without which you cannot sustain. If there is nothing special that you offer, customers will prefer sticking to their brands and not buying yours. As an entrepreneur, you need to figure out what your special sauce is and work relentlessly on your USP.
For instance, L’Oreal came out with a professional range that women at home can use with minimal efforts. Earlier, they had to go to a parlour to get a hair spa done but with L’Oreal hair masks available at reasonable prices, they can sit at home and do the hair spa themselves. This saves time and effort which is why it was so successful.
What resources do I need immediately to get started?
The first step of starting a venture is survival by gathering all the resources one needs to actually get the company going. Immediate resources mean the resources you absolutely cannot start your business without.
For instance, if you want to start a cake shop, your immediate capital requirements would be a shop and ingredients to make the cake batter. Once you start selling cakes, you need to invest in boxes, paper plates, a display case and some tables and chairs if it is going to be an eating joint.
Hence, making a list of immediate requirements and fulfilling them is absolutely crucial because without this step, your business will never take off.
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