Entrepreneurs who want to start a new business have access to small business grants. However, before applying for a grant, you have to make sure you can clearly explain where you are going with your business.
Here are 8 questions you should ask yourself before starting a small business.
1. What do I need?
For your small business to be successful, you need to make sure you are meeting a need with the product or service you want to offer. If you know you will be meeting a need, it will be easier for you to find customers ready to pay for your product or your service.
2. Who are my competitors?
Just because someone else is already offering the same product or service doesn’t mean you should not start your small business. However, you need to know who your competitors are, and what they are doing, so you can try to do better than them.
Before you get started, you need to figure out what will make you stand out from your competitors. Whether it’s something about the way you manufacture your product, the way you offer your service, the price you ask for, or your motivations for starting a small business, you need to be aware of what makes you different.
3. How do I want to run my business?
The answers to the previous questions should become a part of your business plan. Your business plan should also detail how you expect to run your business. Of course, your daily operations and the number of employees you hire can change over time, but you at least should know how you will get started.
4. What resources do I already have?
Before you ask yourself what you will need to start your small business, ask yourself what you already have. Think of the resources at your disposal, whether it’s money, knowledge and experience, a mentor, or an office space you can use however you like.
5. How much money will I need to get started?
You also need to estimate how much money you will need to start your business, and to be able to run it until you find enough customers to help you keep going. The amount of money you truly need might not be as high as you might think.
6. Where can I find financing?
When you have a good idea of how much money you will need, think about where you will find it. You can learn more about small business grants, apply for a loan, or try crowdfunding. There are different ways to find financing to start a small business.
7. What are my plans for the future?
In your business plan, you should also think about where you see your business in the future. Define your goals, and what you think you will need to do to achieve them and to grow your business.