In my business coaching sessions, I work with many women who have an idea for a new business or side-project. Some clients come with a clear understanding of the business they’ll start but many others are unsure.
Given any new business requires a lot of time and energy, it’s worth considering the following questions before you begin.
1. Why do you want to start your business?
It’s important to understand why you want to go into business. Your ‘why’ should include how your business matters to you personally and practical considerations such as making additional income or creating a more flexible lifestyle to fit with family commitments. It’s also worth thinking about how your business will make a difference in other people’s lives.
Watch this video by Simon Sinek (or read his book ‘Start With Why’).
2. What business do you want to start?
While it’s important to choose a business that will make you money, it’s even more important to create a business you will love. Most women I meet with have a business idea that fits with their interests or passions, which is great because small business owners usually spend long hours working on and in their new business.
What are the things you love doing?
What do you love talking about or learning about?
What roles will your business require of you?
Where will you need some support?
3. What will make your business different?
One of the most common concerns I hear is that a business idea has been done before. This isn’t a problem as long as you bring your idea to life in a way that is unique to you. Spend some time thinking about your point of difference in the market so that your business offering expresses some of your personality.
What will be unique about your offering?
How can you bring yourself into your business?
What will be your main points of difference?
4. Does the market want or need what you have to offer?
Once you’ve worked out your offering, do some market research with friends and/or colleagues to find out whether your products or services are of interest to people. Ask them specifically what they would look for if they were buying such a product or service, what they’d be willing to pay and any other relevant questions to help you refine your offering. You’re not going to please everyone so listen to your intuition too.
Make your market research look professional by creating a short survey using Survey Monkey.
5. Will your business make you money? Does it even need to?
Many of the small business owners I work with start a business so that they’ll have the freedom to work their own hours and the flexibility to do things their own way. While they may want to make some income from the business, they’re not interested in creating an empire.
If you want to build a business that generates passive income or is saleable in the future, give some thought as to how you can grow or scale your business.
Visit the Small Business Victoria website for tips on how to write a business plan (and lots of other great resources).
6. Still stuck for ideas?
Read the following articles for inspiration about how other people came up with their buisness ideas.
We would be delighted for you to reproduce our articles as long as they remain intact and contain the author’s details as follows: ‘Kate James is a small business coach for women and the creator of The Confidence Course. She works with women who want to live confident, calm and creative lives. Kate can be contacted at totalbalance.com.au.’