Ask Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

What is my idea worth?

The top questions every startup should ask themselves before starting a business

Customer Segments

What is your intended customer base? It is harder to target a broad and general audience – try to establish a niche customer base which needs your products and/or services.
What problem does your service/product solve? Identifying a problem and providing a solution is the heart of every innovative idea.
Is the problem you are trying to solve on the top priority list of the potential customers? Important consideration to see whether your products will sell.

Value Propositions

How can you add value to the product and customer experience? Your customers need to gain benefit from purchasing your goods/services.
What are the most unusual characteristics of your business which will give you competitive advantage on the market? Establishing yourself in the market means you need some advantage over your competitors to attract their customers or new ones.
Have you researched your competition? In what ways do you feel you can do better than the competition? You need to know who are you facing to understand your market share, and how can you provide better solutions.
Does your idea already exist in the same way you were going to create it? Refer to competition again – is your idea approach unique?

Customer Relationship

Have you thought about the way you will deal with your customers? The way you manage your relationships with clients will pretty much determine whether your business is successful or not.
Have you decided on your delivery policy? If you are delivering products, what would be your shipping policy?
Have you decided on the appropriate prices of your products or services? Reasonably placed prices are crucial – you should not overcharge your customer but you also need to make profit.

Revenue Streams

What will it take to make profit? Have you calculated at what point you will be able to make profit?
How many revenue streams have you figured out? Relying entirely on one revenue stream can be quite risky as it makes you dependent.

Key Resources

Do you have access to all the resources you need to launch the business? This includes funding, manpower, premises, equipment etc.
What would it take to create a minimum viable product and test it on the market? You don’t need a finished product to launch, start small and test your ideas.
Have you chosen a business name? Make sure that your name is descriptive of the branding and targets your customers. Ask people their input – choosing a name is an important matter as it will affect the rest of your branding

Key Partnerships

Have you researched potential partnerships that may benefit your business? Partnerships can be really beneficial both for attracting customers and for developing a good name in the business community.

Cost Structure

Have you researched the costs of setting up the business? Initial costs may vary greatly from business to business. Make sure you are aware of all expenses prior to starting.
Have you considered the costs of manufacturing and/or delivering the products to your customers? Research alternative suppliers or manufacturers so you get the best price and quality.

Business Model

What is your business model? Depending on the specifics of your business, different business model may be suitable. Find the best for your needs so you don’t need to restructure later.
Is there a potential for growth? What are your prospects of scaling the business? Is there room for growth?
What is the size of the market? Market research is a definitive must prior to starting any business.

OLD VERSION

What is your intended customer base? It is harder to target a broad and general audience – try to establish a niche customer base which needs your products and/or services.
What problem does your service/product solve? Identifying a problem and providing a solution is the heart of every innovative idea.
How can you add value to the product and customer experience? Your customers need to gain benefit from purchasing your goods/services.
What are the most unusual characteristics of your business which will give you competitive advantage on the market? Establishing yourself in the market means you need some advantage over your competitors to attract their customers or new ones.
Have you researched your competition? In what ways do you feel you can do better than the competition? You need to know who are you facing to understand your market share, and how can you provide better solutions.
Does your idea already exist in the same way you were going to create it? Refer to competition again – is your idea approach unique?
Do you have access to all the resources you need to launch the business? This includes funding, manpower, premises, equipment etc.
What is the size of the market? Do your research!
What would it take to create a minimum viable product and test it on the market? You don’t need a finished product to launch, start small and test your ideas.
What will it take to make profit? You need to have at least some estimated financial projections as to what you need to spend and what you need to earn in order to break even and then make a profit.
Is the problem you are trying to solve on the top priority list of the potential customers? Important consideration to see whether your products will sell.
Have you considered a marketing strategy to spread the word about your product? How do you plan on capturing the attention of your potential customers?
What is your business model? How do you plan on charging your customers, how do your competitors do it, can you create additional revenue streams?
Is there a potential for growth? Think in the long term, can you scale the business further?
What are the possible roadblocks you are likely to face? You should attempt to find a solution for each problem you can think of.
Have you chosen a business name? Make sure that your name is descriptive of the branding and targets your customers. Ask people their input – choosing a name is an important matter as it will affect the rest of your branding.
Have you looked for your business name online? Ensure that no other business can be confused with yours. Ensure that the domain name and all social media accounts for your business name are available.