Yes, there are plenty more than 5 things to consider when choosing to start a business. However, I feel these are the 5 most important issues to start with when deciding what you want to do when pursuing entrepreneurship. These will help eliminate many ideas. And the process of elimination will help you get there more quickly than not having these qualifying questions.
There is a common thread among those who think about starting a business, and that thread is freedom. This freedom is described in many different ways – to be your own boss, to have flexibility, to make your own decisions, to no longer have to work for someone else…the list goes on. But, the bottom line is the freedom to be you!
Many people have asked me why I chose the home inventory industry. With all of the options I could have pursued, what was it that made me choose this? It came down to 5 areas of consideration. By answering the following questions, I was able to narrow my focus and really concentrate on a business that would serve my purpose.
1. Product or service? Do you want to provide a service or sell a product? This is a huge question, and probably the first one to be answered. This will quickly help you hone in what you want to do. If you want to sell a product, then you immediately can focus on what type of product and all service industry options can be removed from your thoughts. Likewise, if you prefer offering a service, any idea that includes selling a product can be removed from your list of options.
2. How much help will you need/do you want? You might want to start with a clean slate, empty page, from scratch. Or, you might prefer to not re-invent the wheel and find a business that includes receiving help. There are many options available for you in the form of a franchise, start-up kit, business package, or other variety of business models. Taking advantage of someone else’s expertise and knowledge will enable you to be ready to do business quicker, and often will provide you with a mentor to guide you.
3. Brick-and-mortar or home-based? Can you work at home, being able to ignore the many interruptions, and often the many temptations to do everything except what you need to do? I am aware of one home-based business owner who was always dealing with home responsibilities that she eventually had to rent office space to force herself to focus on the business. Know yourself, how you function, your ability to focus, as well as many other issues that come into this decision. Both have their pros and cons – only you can decide what’s best for you.
4. Solo-preneur or business partner? My wife and I chose to start a business together, so business partner was our choice. When you’re making this decision, be sure to give this plenty of consideration. If you are a control freak, you might not do well with a partner. If you don’t want to share in the responsibilities or the success, you might want to go it alone. If you prefer having someone to share the ups and downs, as well as the work and the investment, then a partnership is probably your best choice. Whatever you choose, know yourself well enough to make the right choice.
5. What will you get out of it? Besides money, that is. The reason to begin a business is, of course, to make money. But there has to be more than that. Do you want to help others? Solve a problem? Make life easier for your clients? Is it something you would do for fee if you could? What is the “feel good” part that will make you want to do this day in and day out?
When we chose the home inventory industry, we wanted to have a home-based service business. Since we had been burglarized, and friends who had losses due to fires and tornadoes, this type of service met our desire to help others. We also chose to start on our own, and the first few months proved to us we would have preferred investing in someone else’s experience and knowledge. This is what encouraged us years later – once we learned the industry and gained a great deal of knowledge – to develop a Business Package and Licensing Agreement to assist others wanting to begin their own home inventory service.
There are many more decisions you’ll need to make when you start a business. However, I found these to be the most important because they will guide you and keep a focus when you face all the other choices you’ll need to make. Once these 5 key questions are answered, you’ll have a basic plan to help you stay focused as you move forward.