Starting a business is no easy task. It takes hard work, dedication, and a lot of questions that need answering. But don’t worry – we’re here to help! This blog post will cover the top questions you need to ask yourself before starting your business venture. Considering your answers can bring you one step closer to making your dreams a reality!

What Are the Odds I Can Start a Successful Business?

People come up with a great idea to start a new successful business every day in North Carolina. However, starting a new business and making it successful are two different things.

However, small businesses beginning in our state can take advantage of our growth! In 2022, there were 964,280 small businesses in North Carolina, representing 99.6% of all companies in the state.

North Carolina accounted for 187,229 of all new business applications submitted nationwide (over 5.8 million) from January 2021 to January 2022, ranking seventh among states! (1)

So North Carolina is an excellent place to start your venture and find business success! The rest is up to you.

Let’s start with the initial questions to determine if starting a business is right for you!

Entrepreneur 101: Can You Apply Your Skills to Your Own Business?

Do I enjoy my job now?

Working at a job with an employer can help you feel stable. You have the same hours, the same coworkers, and boss. You’re not in charge, and it’s not your money, so you don’t care as much about the nitty gritty details of it all.

You can go home at the end of the day and leave it behind. Not so as an entrepreneur!

Do I have the passion and interest for this venture?

As a successful entrepreneur, you make your own hours and are your own boss. However, your pain points may include that the buck stops with you, and you’re the one in charge who has invested time, sweat, tears, and money!

You need to solve problems and maintain the necessary skills to make the business a success. So if your personal goals don’t involve studying cash flow or tweaking day-to-day operations for more efficiency, a startup may not be your thing.

Questions to Ask When Starting a Business

What kind of business am I starting?

So before starting on an entrepreneurial journey, know that only you can do the necessary work to assess the market and your offerings. You can bring in professionals to help, but ultimately, the choice is yours. So choose your business industry well, based on your own skills, knowledge, and interests.

Do I want to start a product or service-based business?

Knowing which route you want to take is essential, as each requires different financial investment and commitment levels. For a product-based business, you’ll need an inventory you can send or sell in a store.

Will my business idea make money?

This is a crucial question to ask yourself. The best way to understand if your business idea is viable is to do market research on the target market, competitors, pricing strategies, and customer feedback. Also, talk with local experts to find out how the market is where you live, especially if you’ll be a storefront.

What is a business model?

A business model is a plan for how your business will make money and grow. It should include information about your products or services, who you are selling to, what resources you need to run the business, and how you’ll manage your finances. Consider creating a detailed business plan that outlines all aspects of your venture.

Will I need employees?

If you’re starting a franchise such as Burger King, you’ll need to know how many employees you need. However, if you’re starting a smaller business, such as a home repair or consulting service, you may not need any employees.

Consider the size of your company and the type of work you’ll be doing before deciding how many staff members you need to hire.

What will my price point be?

Before you start selling, it’s essential to determine how much you’ll charge for your products and services. Research the going rate for similar products in your area or online. You don’t want to price yourself too high or too low!

Who will buy my services and goods?

You’ll need a good business plan that includes marketing plans and strategies to get your product or service out there. You should research your target demographic and tailor your marketing to that audience.

How Will I Fund This Business Idea?

What resources do I need to succeed?

Think about the finances, people, and technology you’ll need for a successful venture. Map out how much money you’ll need for supplies, employees, equipment, etc. These are your startup costs.

Do I need co-founders?

If you’re considering starting a business with partners, make sure everyone involved is aware of the risks and rewards of their involvement. Be sure to conduct due diligence when selecting your partners.

Work with your business attorney to draw up contracts that protect both parties in case something goes wrong.

What types of funding should I use?

There’s no exact formula to best pay for your business venture. To fund your new business, you’ll need to assess all funding options available. Do some research on venture capital or angel investing and grants, as well as a traditional bank loan or credit card. Know the requirements of each before making a decision.

You’ll need to present your unique selling proposition to get your start-up costs from angel investors or venture capital. You’ll present your product idea and answer questions about why your business idea is better or more unique than other businesses.

Many entrepreneurs go this route, but it can be stressful. Investor-funded businesses must prove themselves in the long run, which can be challenging.

Often, you can find personal and financial support by seeking out local non-profit business associations such as SCORE. They often help companies get off to a good start.

Don’t let start-up costs scare you into quitting, though! Sometimes, it’s best to start small with your own resources. Save money where you can and spend money sparingly! Carefully pay for only what you need and study your balance sheet and financial statements to get ahead!

Should I start on my own or hire employees?

It’s up to you whether or not you want to start your business on your own or hire employees. Each option has advantages and disadvantages. Working alone, you have more control over the direction of your venture, but it can be lonely and may limit how quickly you can grow.

If you decide to bring on people, select carefully! Make sure they are knowledgeable, skilled, and motivated to succeed.

What’s My Marketing Strategy?

Starting a business requires marketing strategies. You’ll need to know your target audience before attracting them to buy from you.

Who is my target demographic?

First, you’ll need to decide who your potential customers are. Consider what your ideal customer is like. Are they younger audiences or more mature individuals? Do your ideal customers live in North Carolina or across the US? Are your customers internet-savvy and environmentally conscious?

Who am I competing with?

Your competitors help set the price point for your services. However, they also can help you determine what makes your company unique and attractive to customers.

Look at the strengths and weaknesses of other businesses in your field. Ask yourself how you can be different, better, or more unique.

What types of marketing will I use?

Most businesses have an online presence these days. Content marketing with blogs, social media platforms, and search engine optimization is the norm. But not everyone takes advantage of digital marketing.

Hiring a digital marketing agency to increase your presence online can make all the difference if your competitors only have one boring website.

Legal Structure

What tax strategy will I consider for my company?

A business structure determines how you pay taxes each year. Some structures pass all income to you personally. Then you pay personal income tax plus a percentage for being self-employed. For example, a sole proprietorship works this way. The income from the business is yours, and you report it on your income taxes.

However, you do not have limited liability as a sole proprietorship or a general partnership. So if someone sues your business, they are suing you personally! You can lose your business and your savings this way!

Because of the risks of owning a business, a business lawyer will often recommend that you start an LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Bottom Line

These are just some questions you should consider when starting your own business. Starting a business is an exciting but daunting journey. It takes hard work, dedication, and passion to be successful. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and ask yourself questions like these, you will have a much better chance of success!

If you have questions about starting a business, contact us at Hopler, Wilms, and Hanna. Our experienced business attorneys work with companies across the state to decide the best business structure, work out tax and liability issues, and help you fund your startup. Get in touch today and find out how we can help you!

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