Ready to be an entrepreneur? Only if you can answer these questions
You’re a wide-eyed entrepreneur, dreaming of the next big idea and how it’s going to change the world. And you could be right — Perhaps you’ve got the genesis of the next Facebook, Apple, or Tesla in the back of your mind. Don’t be fooled though, being an entrepreneur is tough — It’s not just about the ideas, it’s about the flawless execution, the product, the hustle, the market, and more than just a little bit of luck.
It’s also about asking, and answering the right questions. So much of being an entrepreneur is about making the right decisions, and that comes from asking deep, penetrating questions of yourself, your business, your industry, and your customers.
Here are some of those questions you should be asking — Think about each of these deeply, see how they spin off into other questions, and answer them as best you can. These questions will help you validate your ideas, understand if your products can survive in the market, and see if you’ve got the resilience to succeed.
Questions about your products and services, or “What is it that my business does best?”
A great business starts with products and services that meet a genuine need and offers them to your customers in the best possible way. These are the questions you’ll need to answer.
- Do I understand who my ideal customer is, and what they need from my business?
- Have I validated our products and services to check that they solve a genuine problem?
- Have I tested, tweaked and refined our products and services so that they are as good as they can be?
- Do I have a consistent brand and visual identity that builds trust?
- Do I know the best channels to make my customers aware of what we offer?
- Have I built a community of early users?
If you can answer these questions confidently, you will create products, services, and brands that meet a genuine need, create trust, and add value for your customers.
Questions on your knowledge and expertise, or “I don’t need to make every decision myself.”
As a startup, you will want to have access to knowledge, and experience from several different sources. Use this expertise to guide you when you’re making decisions.
- Do I have investors that I can speak to that can share insight and knowledge?
- What are my co-founders and employees good at and how can I best use that expertise?
- Do I understand the results of my decisions and the impact they have on the business?
- How should I react when growth slows or stalls?
- What is the best way for me to delegate tasks to others?
- Am I collecting the right metrics and feedback and using them to help decision making?
Remember that there are people that can help you, and they want to see your business succeed as much as you do.
Questions about the culture, tools and processes to let you scale, or “We’re doubling business every quarter, and we’re on top of it.”
If you want to be successful and grow rapidly, you need to put the right culture, tools, and processes in place now to help you scale up.
- Do I have a simple business structure that can be easily expanded as needed?
- Am I communicating regularly with my people to let them know what’s happening?
- Have I built a culture of trust and am I listening to my employees?
- Are our business processes and tools as simple as possible?
- Am I tracking progress and do I have realistic targets in place?
- Do I have the best employees, freelancers, or outside experts in the right roles, with the right amount of accountability and ownership.
Good hiring and communications practices, combined with a simple organizational structure, active feedback and the right processes and tools will help your business thrive.
This is only a taster of what you want to think about, and starting to answer these questions will help you firm up the right ideas and approaches in your own mind.
One of the first things you’ll need to think about is “How do I share my business, ideas, products, and services with the world? How do I get my message out there?” That’s something we just might be able to help with.