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The questions you need to ask when starting a new business.


Are you thinking of a career change? Perhaps you like the idea of starting your own business, or even developing something new by setting up a start-up? In that case, read on, and I'll share with you a few things that we've learned on the way.

The first thing to say, and a big mistake that we've made, is that your idea is almost the least important part. We spent years at itamus developing a wonderful solution, without checking whether anyone wanted it. We now call it "the Behemoth". Because it's a massive and (mostly) unwanted monster...

For those of you who follow me on social media, you'll see that I go on constantly about "customer development". This is a way of checking that your business idea is viable, ideally before you've sunk all your resources into developing it. This is mostly biased towards start-ups, but actually, it applies to any new business. By answering as many questions as possible before you set off on your journey, you'll achieve your chances of success.

So here are the questions that you need to answer:

  1. Who are my customers going to be?
  2. How am I going to find them, and in turn, how are they going to find me?
  3. What problem am I solving for them?
  4. What makes my solution unique?
  5. What skills do I bring that nobody else can?
  6. How will I know that I've been successful?
  7. What will I measure to improve things
  8. How much will it cost me to set this up?
  9. How much will it cost me to continue to trade?
  10. How many customers paying what price do I need to become profitable?

This can all seem a little daunting when you start out, but don't worry, if you break them down into stages, then you'll get there. To help you, I shall discuss what we've found about each one in upcoming blogs. Like this post and sign up if you want to find out more.