The Top 10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start A Biz

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Are you ready to start your own biz? Go it alone? Becoming an entrepreneur is thrilling, exhilarating, yet also frustrating and demanding. You should become one by design, not default.

Having coached over 220 entrepreneurs to profitability, I know that you must have more than simply a passion for your work. You must also have tenacity and a plan. Here’s 10 essential questions to ask yourself before quitting your day job.

10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Starting Your Own Business 

1. Do I like marketing and selling?

  • Am I well-versed in in asking for and closing the business?
  • Can I easily present my material to strangers?
  • Do I feel at-ease attending events by myself?
  • Am I good on camera?
  • Can I effortlessly write blogs and copy?
  • Have I written my own bio that builds credibility?

2.  Do I know how to price and package my services?

  • If my ideal client wanted to hire me tomorrow, could they?
  • Do I have a boiler plate proposal ready to go?
  • Do I know the terms of an engagement?
  • Do I have a legal contract for my services?
  • Do I take credit cards?
  • Do I have a price list?

3.  Do I know exactly and in detail how I’m going to reach my prospects?

  • Am I members of the same organizations as my target?
  • What trade shows should I be attending?
  • Which publications, blogs, and websites are appropriate for my target?
  • Do I have a referral strategy?
  • Why will my target trust me?

4.  Do I have enough cash flow to get me through a very sloooow 6 months start?

  • Do I have a budget?
  • Have I picked the right bank and banking relationship?
  • Am I good with money?
  • Have I set up my business books accurately?

5.  Am I confident enough in my own services to charge what I’m worth?

  • Have I written a “top 10 reasons to do business with me” document?
  • Am I comfortable talking about my business?
  • Do I know the difference between branding and boasting?
  • Have I scoped out my competitors?

6.  Do I understand my target completely?

  • Can I articulate their pain?
  • Can I put it in an emotional context?
  • Could I describe my target demographically, geographically, or psychographically?

7.  Do I have a pipeline strategy?

  •  Do I know how I’m going to stay in touch with prospects?
  • What activities keep me top of mind with prospects?
  • How am I going to build visibility? 

8.  Have I built a brand vs. merely a name?

  1. Do I have a compelling point of difference?
  2. Does my brand emotionally resonate with prospects?
  3. Do I have a brand vocabulary that is unique to me?
  4. Have I earned mindshare with my prospects?

9.  Have I created systems for easily tracking orders, clients, due dates, and follow up?

  • Am I good with details?
  • Have I maximized technology to automate tasks?
  • Do I need to hire a virtual assistant?

10.   Do I have a business name with a corresponding good domain?

  • If I Google my brand, do I show up?
  • Can I spell my brand easily?
  • Do I have all of the misspellings of my domain? 

Entrepreneurship is hard enough, but don’t making it harder without getting answers for all of the questions above. Of course, take a look at my coaching programs if you need a little help: http://www.redfirebranding.com/brand-coaching/

Please share your questions and lessons in the comments below.

 

Image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
4 Comments
  1. Liz, Your list reduces what often feels like the overwhelming effort of starting a business to a manageable set of ten issues to address. I’ve already shared it around. I feel like it’s a shortcut approach to business planning. As always, I’m impressed with the clarity, wisdom and spirit of your always-sound advice. Thank you!

  2. Thanks, Barbara.

    It’s just that new entrepreneurs forget that, in the beginning, they are rarely doing the business; instead, they are marketing to GET the biz!

  3. These are great questions! Great article. Time to sit down with a notebook and review!

  4. Your post reminded me of my days in school as well. Nelerthevess my case was a bit of a contrast, where I sucked at Maths and aced Biology. Ironically maths runs in my family and it was bit shocking how I was awful at it.

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