15 Questions to Ask Yourself before Starting a Business
The Junior League of Omaha is proud of its many members who are successful business owners.
These women serve as great role models and networking connections to our community’s future entrepreneurs, and are always willing to support the League. We asked business owners in the League, “What are the most important questions to ask yourself before starting a business?,” and they provided us with great food for thought.
- Do I love what I do?
- Is my business idea really just a hobby?
- Is there a need for my product or service?
- Am I willing to fail to learn?
- Can I be patient with growth and success?
- Do I believe in my business?
- Do I have a business plan?
- Does the business plan accurately detail how the business will make money?
- Do I want a business partner and go solo?
- Do I need start-up money? If so, where do I get?
“Do you have plenty of money to start with? You can definitely do it on a budget but you want to make sure not to skip certain steps because you don’t have the start up cash. Find investors, look in to small business loans, etc. You never want to start in the red – it will lead to always needing to catch up,” says Chaley Chandler, Junior League of Omaha president-elect and local clothing boutique owner.
- What type of legal work, state filings do I need to complete?
- Do you have an accountant and an attorney?
“The first year I was in business, I did all my own book keeping. However, I realized very quickly that that was not what I should spend my time on. Same with an attorney – it just makes it easier if you already have someone lined up and that you trust,” says Chaley.
- Am I ready to dive in with both feet and do WHATEVER needs to be done?
“You need to be prepared to do everything from cleaning the toilets to hiring and firing employees to customer service to cleaning the windows. Just because you want to own a boutique, doesn’t mean that you will only be going on glamorous buying trips – you will be doing literally everything even if you have employees – employees do not own your business and do not notice things that need to be done like you will,” Chaley advises.
14. How to manage business and family time?
15. Are you willing to eat, sleep and breathe your business?
“In order for a small business to succeed, you will have to literally live your business – at least for the first few years or usually more. You need to be prepared for it be all consuming – it will keep you up all night! There is always, always something to do, something to change and something to think about. You really have to be all in,” says Chaley.
In addition to Chaley Chandler we would also like to thank Lexie Frahm, Julie Hockney and Melissa Hegarty for their help in compiling this list of questions.