This is a blindpost from the Fast Company article: Five Hard Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting Up.
Why do you want to start a company?
Some people want to start a company because of the allure of being their own boss. Or because they want to have a shot to make a ton of dough. Or because they want flexibility in work schedule. I’d suggest that if your reason for starting a business isn’t based on a real passion for the problem you’re trying to solve in the world, then you should rethink your plan. Everyone I know that started a successful business started with a passion for what they were doing.
When my partners and I first started Spunlogic, it was simply because we LOVED building websites. We loved it so much we couldn’t see ourselves doing anything else, so we started a business around it.
What makes you think you’d be successful at starting a company?
There’s no way to tell if someone is going to be a good startup CEO, but there are some traits I personally think you need to have if you’re going to give it a try. Make sure that you’re:
- Able to sell
If you don’t have those four skills then you’re probably going to struggle mightily. More mightily than everyone struggles their first time as a startup CEO.
How long can you give it a real go?
This is an important question to ask. Look at your financial needs personally, how much it will take to “run” this business at its most basic level and then match that up against any funding you might get. If your answer is anything short of 9 or 12 months, you should rethink whether or not now is the right time to start your business. Cash is king with startups and you don’t want to be in this position.
How quickly can you get your first customer?
Hopefully the answer is: I already have one! You really should know before you start a company whether or not people will buy your product and whether or not YOU can sell it. If you can’t get a half dozen people to say, “Yep, if you build that I’ll buy it”, then either your product isn’t good enough or you’re not a good enough sales person. If either of those things are true, you need to rethink the plan.
What else do you need beside yourself to make it happen at the most basic level?
Hopefully your initial ability to get your product or service to an MVP level (Minimum Viable Product) doesn’t require a large team or expensive equipment. You don’t want to create a business that is finance-constrained from day one. Rethink what your MVP is and slim it down to its most basic level and then plan out what it would take to build it. You want to have something that within three months you can get in your customers’ hands. Anything more than that will require extensive funds, which is possible to acquire from venture capitalists or angels but if this is your first time it will be hard to get those people to back your business.
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