Five questions to ask yourself before you start your small business

WRITTEN BY Sally-Ann White ON 2 September 2010

Starting a business is a daunting and exciting prospect. Before you jump in here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What do I enjoy doing?

Consider what you love to do, your passions and skills. It will be your passion that drives you forward through the tough times when you are building your business.

2. Can I improve on current offerings?

Look at the current market and evaluate your future competitors. Develop and define a unique selling point for your business whether it’s a personal mission statement, green ethics or innovation.

3. Is there a gap in the market that I can exploit?

Maybe you have tried to find a service or product that just doesn’t seem to exist. If you are looking for something it is possible that others are too. Research the idea and potential market thoroughly and gauge how much people would be prepared to pay for it.

4. Does my business have a niche market? And how do I access them?

If you can find a niche market for your business then this can reduce the barriers to entry by reducing competition. However consider how you are going to access the niche market and it’s potential for growth.

5. Am I making all possible profit from my business idea without compromising the delivery and my ideals?

Consider other ways to deliver your service or knowledge, online, in print or in person. Also, if your website performs well, can you make extra money from advertising or paid for content. Make sure all actions are consistent with your brand and don’t diverge from your ideals.