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Some Useful Questions for Entrepreneurs
by Startacus Admin
Guest contributor to Startacus, Joseph Benn, highlights some questions that perhaps all Entrepreneurs should be asking (and be able to answer!)
Some Useful Questions for Entrepreneurs...This post is a follow on from my one on five questions. If you haven’t read that one it would be worth going back and doing so.
I love questions.
To me they are one of the most powerful creative thinking tool I know. They are also extremely useful for entrepreneurism. Over the last seven years I have developed a set of questions to help both myself and the people I work with. I thought you might find some of them useful. Its completely up to you how you apply them.
What do I really want? It amazes me how many people are trying to set up a business to get something that they could get far more quickly and easily another way. Do you want your own business or something else? And if its something else is there a quicker way of getting it than starting your own business?
Who could do that for me? You cant do everything yourself and to be honest you shouldn’t! There are some things left to the experts and to others more capable than yourself. For example I am appalling when it comes to finances so I will always let an accountant do that for me. I really enjoy marketing but I know people better than me so would get them to do it for me.
Do I really need that? – the number of people who want a website or expensive business cards stagger me! Maybe its my puritanical nature but I am immediately suspicious of anyone who wants everything gold plated straight away (or any time in fact!). The truth is that a lot of businesses don’t need a website initially and a lot of equipment you may need can be bought second hand.
Is there a better approach? – You should always be asking yourself this as you make your decisions. Often when making decisions we get tunnel vision and end up missing out a whole load of other options or approaches. Do not let this question paralyse you but use it to inform your thinking.
Can I handle the risk? So many people believe they can handle far greater risks than they actually can and they only find out the truth after a series of sleepless nights. If you have a partner or a family then you need to factor them into your thinking as well. Can they handle the risks?
Why would someone buy my product/service? – it surprises me how few people can answer this question. I consider it fundamental to your business. If you can’t come up with any reasons do not expect any customers to.
Where will my market be 6, 10 ,18 months from now? For many of us, by the time our business is set up and running we will be 4 – 6 months down the line. For some it will be even longer. Don’t look at the current market – try and look at what the market will be at least 6 months from now.
Have I kept it all simple or is it too complex? Most of us have a habit of making things far more complex than they need to be. Bear this in mind when you make any plans or think about your business.
The more intelligent questions you ask of yourself and the world around you when it comes to your business the more intelligent decisions you will make about it. Entrepreneurs are one of the few groups of people I have worked with who constantly ask themselves questions. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur develop the question asking habit.
We hope that these questions for Entrepreneurs come in handy and also thank Joseph Benn for all his excellent posts over the last few months!
Joseph Benn is passionate about enterprise having helped hundreds of young people develop their ideas and set up businesses. Hes especially interested in the role creative thinking plays in this process and has written a book on ideas generation Brilliant Business ideas and has a blog at www.ideasmapping.com