When you have an idea for a new business, you might feel like you have a lot more questions than answers. So I've put together a list of the most essential ones to ask yourself before you move forward.
1. Where do you want to take your business? What impact do you want to have? How does your business fit in with and support the lifestyle you are looking for.
2. What is the purpose of your business, your compelling reason why? Remember, people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
3. What’s your business model? How will you charge your customers, and what for? Here describe your core product or service. Can you think of any additional revenue streams? The sale of ebooks or online courses for example.
4. What problem does your product or service solve or what need do you fulfil for your customers?
5. Who are you selling your product or service to? It’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can about your target customer, and listen to them at every opportunity. What does your target customer look like? How do they behave? What do they most value from a product or service like yours? Describe them in as much detail as you can.
6. Is there a market, and is it big enough? You need to ensure there will be sufficient – and sustainable – demand amongst your target customers to support your business and enable it to thrive.
7. How will you reach your customers? How are you going to get you, your business and your product or service in front your target customers so that they can buy from you?
8. Who are your competitors? Are they successful? Why?
9. Why will people buy from you and not your competitors? What’s the ONE thing that makes you unique?
10. Is the price of your product or service right? It’s no good having a winning product or service if your customers can’t afford it, but you need a decent margin for a sustainable business. Talk to your potential customers to find out whether your pricing is feasible.
11. What is your monthly income target?
12. How are you going to reach this income target? Figure out the numbers. Taking your costs into account, how many customers will you need to have to reach your target? Or how many units will you have to sell?
13. How are you going to keep motivated and on track as you set up, launch and grow your business ? Who is going to support you with this?
I hope these questions will help you get clarity on your idea, and start you on the path to creating your personal blueprint for success.
If you need some help figuring out your answers to the questions, we can work through them together in my Ready, Steady, Launch! programme for startup mums. Coaching can be a powerful way to overcome things that might be stopping you from taking the leap, and building a robust action plan to make your business work. Click here for all the programme information, and please do get in touch if you have any questions or would like a chat to find out if the programme is right for you.