As is said ‘well begun is half done’. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to move too fast with their innovation and they reroute mid-way. This leads to confusion to the team and leaves the organization to adapt in a jiffy at times. So, before you even think to start your own business, ask yourself a few questions.
Without asking key questions, entrepreneurs always hit roadblocks and fail to cope up and manage the change properly.
Several others fail to effectively manage it and crumble, adversely affecting the enterprise. This is something like trying to make an omelette and ending up with scrambled eggs.
We must plan to stay on track to succeed. Entrepreneurs who had their vision unaltered by seasonality and aberrations succeeded in making it big with their startups in their respective industries.
Fresh entrepreneurs/ beginners must ask themselves the key questions mentioned here to pass through the acid test of suspicion and uncertainly. These questions to ask before starting your own business are far from perfect but a good starting point to check if your startup plan is on the right track.
Let’s start with the first question you must ask yourself.
Who am I? Does my business plan has a bit of me?
Does the business plan has a part of you in it? Does it have your personality embedded in it?
The plan should reflect your personality.
- If you are not a gym freak, don’t sell proteins.
- If you are not a voracious reader, don’t be a bookseller.
- If you are not a sportsperson, don’t have a startup using business ideas from sports.
Maximum business plans are stung by mediocrity because they are run by profit intent more than passion.
As the business plan and entrepreneur’s personality don’t match, the law of diminishing returns applies and soon catches up to start eating in the profits.
So, do ask yourself who am I before working on a business plan.
A plan which is driven by passion is bound to commence as a perfect startup on the right note and doesn’t run out of gas in the longer term.
Why am I doing this?
Before we start moving on the road of entrepreneurship and startups, we must clearly identify the purpose of opening up a new business or getting self-employed.
Or else we end up in the vicious circle of job and entrepreneurship.
A few questions and queries come into our mind prompting us to start a new business. A few examples of the same are:
- Am I tired of the job?
- Is my boss nasty and taking advantage of my talent?
- Do I belong to some other place in my life and career?
- This is not what I wanted to be.
- If others can, why can’t I?
However, these are the questions which are either driven by ego or by frustration. They create an adrenaline rush which forces a person to devise a business plan quickly and takes a toll on their perseverance.
One must remember the phrase ‘there is no short cut to successes’.
You must ask yourself key questions before taking the entrepreneurial route. You must first understand what is entrepreneurship?
Think on these lines:
- Do you accept failure easily?
- Do you know your strengths and weaknesses?
- Do you have the funds for your startup or investment channelised?
- Have you saved for the rainy day?
- Are you prepared to work longer hours?
- Are you willing and prepared for multitasking?
- Are you self motivated?
There are many such questions that you should be asking yourself before becoming an entrepreneur.
If you stay undeterred and firm even asking yourself these questions, then you are certainly one for the future. One of the videos from Young Entrepreneur Youtube channel lists 47 such questions for entrepreneurs to ask themselves before starting a business.
Here’s the video for your ready reference.
The list of questions can be tiring but starting a business is a key decision and thus needs huge attention.
And now moving on to the next crucial query that you should have before starting a new business.
Will the plan work? Is their enough fuel in it to run for the long term?
- Creativity and innovation are tools that are used to build great business plans to succeed in today’s marketplace.
- Plans driven by creativity are bound to succeed; at least is bound to move to the next step.
- Innovative ideas generate first in our mind, which on being triggered by the creative urge, translate into opportunities.
Quite a few of such opportunities lead to businesses or more popularly startups. However, a high percentage of startups fail within five years, forcing entrepreneurs to renege.
- Why does it happen?
- What are the key factors to these failures?
- How can they be prevented?
Ask yourself these key questions before you start your business. These are crucial things to ponder over before you invest heavily with your time and resources to your entrepreneurial venture.
‘Thomas Edison after failing for almost thousandth time was asked by his assistant; when will you give up!! Edison replied- these failures motivate me as they have enabled me to learn a thousand ways which won’t work. He succeeded in making an electric bulb finally and the rest is history.’
So, the point here is to have an innovative business idea that one believes will work and then gauge through operational and strategic possibilities and challenges before moving with the plan.
This is the most important parameter of the acid test. The business plan is the most crucial things to startups.
Most of the business plans are initiated on a napkin in a coffee shop, during breaks between meetings, one to one discussion while sitting in a lounge bar, break-out sessions or while engaging with a friend or colleague over a game of snooker.
There are many more possible venues where the plan might have originated but the process one takes to get them materialized is extremely crucial.
The plan has a chance to take off if the structured plan is ready in a week or two and necessary operational intricacies are worked out within a few months.
If the intensity remains the same throughout the initial months without occasional troughs in motivation, the plan seems viable and achievable.
It is important to remember that job, time, work-life balance, money etc are not the bottlenecks to the process of effective startup.
The real bottleneck is the lack of self-belief and lack of perseverance which leads to leaking out of innovative zeal and positive risk-taking attitude.
Am I willing to take ownership of success and failure?
This is the last key question to ask for the beginning of a start-up.
An entrepreneur must have the courage to share success with others and bear a load of failure on his/her own shoulders.
There would be numerous people during the process of developing a plan and effectively setting up a start-up or business who would like to own success. As their contribution can’t be undermined, the success is bound to be shared among all the stakeholders.
As an entrepreneur, the hard truth is that if the venture fails to take off or fails after taking off, one has to own the responsibility and the failure would be credited to the entrepreneur.
History suggests that many entrepreneurs have taken the failures in positive frames, learnt lessons from them and persisted with efforts after suitable amendments in their plans, leading to a successful enterprise.
If you are still here, you certainly have the determination of starting your new business. To know how to become an entrepreneur is your next step that involves a shift from ideation to execution.
This acid test of asking yourself key questions is just a beginning to a never-ending entrepreneurial journey.
These questions would initiate a search of satisfaction that matches the passion and ignites the innovative and creative powers to come up with something special and at times exceptional.
History has eloquently quoted a great many entrepreneurs who have paved the way for the succeeding generations by providing guidelines for business success. Try to reinvent the lost techniques, invent new ones and rekindle innate talents to fulfil your dreams and passions through creativity, innovation and sharing.