Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. – Tony Robbins
Everyone wants answers. How many times have you “Googled” the answer to some question you didn’t know? My wife and I play that game on the radio…”What year did that song come out?” and then we Google it to find the answer.
We are always looking for answers. But maybe knowing the questions is even more important. Here’s the challenge: See if you can specifically, truthfully and completely answer these 50 questions about your business or idea. If not, you may have a hard time convincing customers that you have a worthwhile company.
So jump in. I dare you…no, I double-dog-dare you to answer EVERY ONE of these 50 questions about your business startup!
1. Do you want a hobby, job or business?
2. In 30 words or less, what does your company do?
3. WHY does your company do what they do?
4. Why do you believe this is a good business to start?
5. Where will your business be located?
6. How will you determine the best name for your business?
7. How will you create/manage an online presence?
8. What 3 benefits (not features) will your customers experience from your company
9. What 4 things can you say that describes your customers?
10. Where will you find your potential customers?
11. How will potential customers find you?
12. Why would someone do business with you?
13. How often will your customers do business with you?
14. What will make a customer return?
15. How many customers will it take to make a profit?
16. What will a customer have to learn before deciding to use your service/product?
17. What makes your product/service different from your competition?
18. How will you determine the price for your product/service?
19. How long will it take to make a profit?
20. What taxes need to be paid?
21. What form of incorporation did you choose? (sole proprietor, S-corp, LLC, C corp, Non-profit)
22. Why did you choose that form of incorporation?
23. Do you have a written business plan?
24. Have you tested any portions of the business plan to know if they will work?
25. What insurance is needed to protect you and your business?
26. What local, state and federal licenses are needed to operate your business?
27. Is it legal to operate your business? (think regulations, patents, laws)
28. Are you good at leading people?
29. Are you good at making sales?
30. Will you have a business partner?
31. How would your company benefit from having a partner?
32. What are the downsides of having a business partner?
33. Do you have specific/written roles, responsibilities and ownership splits for each partner?
34. What will happen if a partner quits or leaves the business?
35. Will you need employees?
36. Have you identified suppliers and vendors needed for your business?
37. What skills do you have that will help run a business?
38. What skills are you lacking that will be needed to run a business?
39. What is your definition of “success” regarding your business?
40. What benchmarks will determine if your business has failed?
41. What financial resources do you already have?
42. What financial resources do you need to acquire?
43. Where will you obtain startup funds?
44. How long can you survive if the business cannot pay you a salary?
45. Do you have a close circle of support (family, spouse, friends)?
46. How will you manage a reasonable work/life balance?
47. Where do you see your company in 1 year and 3 years from now?
48. What will happen to the business when you are done being involved with it?
49. Do you still want to be an entrepreneur?
50. How many questions did you skip over?
So that is the challenge. Answer them for YOUR sake, not mine. It’s YOUR business, run it like you mean it!