1. Will my loved ones support me?
Have I shared my vision with them? Have I explained the sacrifices that may be need as well as the rewards of success? This will be an emotional journey and most probably a bumpy ride so it important for everyone to understand your desire and determination and hopefully buy into it.
2. How much time do I have available?
Is this a part-time affair or a means to change my life that you are prepared to commit everything too? Long hours, weekends and public holidays may be needed to drive this new venture and a mobile phone becomes an appendage. Retail and some other industries and sectors determine your lifestyle.
3. How long can I live without an income?
Entrepreneurs are generally paid last and your planning may not play out as you anticipate so how long can your reserves last? What costs can you cut personally?
4. How much capital do I have/need?
Are you going to take on debt and/or put my assets at risk? Can you afford to start this business and do you have enough capital so that you are not setting yourself up for failure? Have you received the advice of a professional (accountant/banker) or mentor as to the financial needs of starting and running this venture?
5. What is my exit plan?
What are you going to do with this business if it is successful? List on a stock exchange, sell it, leave it to your kids? What’s your plan?
6. How do I handle rejection?
Every minute of every day you will be selling. Whether it is to your staff, suppliers or customers. You will be selling yourself, your business, your brand your product or service, all the time, always and you will be rejected!
7. Who am I competing against?
Google it. See who else is in the game and whether you are offering something better. If you have no competition, there may be a reason.
8. What makes my offer unique?
Your offer is unique because ____________? If you cannot answer this question in a simple manner that can be included in your marketing information, you shouldn’t get started.
9. What is the problem I am solving?
You can only sell solutions and without being able to answer this question, in a simple and direct manner that other people understand, you do not have a business to start and the rest of the questions are irrelevant.
10. Will people pay for this?
If you cannot commercialise your idea, then it is just a hobby.