Starting, building, and growing a startup is lots of hard work and can take much time to become actually successful. That’s why knowing whether building a startup is right for you before taking the plunge is extremely important. Let’s ask ourselves 15 questions before starting a startup for ourselves.
Why do I want to build a startup?
The reason behind your motivation of starting and building your own startup is one of the first questions you should be asking yourself. If your only motivation behind it is wanting “easy money” or fast fame and publicity, maybe you should rethink it. Building a startup is hard work and can take a long time for it to pay off.
Am I self-motivated?
Building a startup requires discipline and self-motivation to keep on going and not quit when things get slow or tough. Being your own boss, means there is nobody there to kick you back into place when you get discouraged, tired, or unmotivated.
Am I ready for the long road ahead?
If you are not ready to spend the time, money, and dedication for the long and bumpy road ahead, stop while you are ahead. The plus side, is whatever experience and skills you gain will positively affect any future job you have with an employer, no matter whether your startup was a failure or success.
What products will I provide?
This being one of the most important questions of all, if you don’t have any quality products you will get nowhere, as there will be no product for people to buy and no product to make you money.
Do I have the skills I need to build a startup?
Depending on the type of startup you want to build, you need some specialized skills to do so. There is a high chance that you are building a technology related startup, therefore, it is wise to have some technical skillsets and tools at your disposal to begin building your Minimum Viable Product. If you don’t have these skill sets, take the time to learn the ins and outs of programming and any technical skill sets you need, in additional to business knowledge. It is in most cases unwise to pay a bunch of money for other people outside of your founder circle to build the first versions of your product. You know what’s best for your product, you know what you want, and, you can’t spend any money where it is unnecessary.
If you don’t have these skill sets, take the time to learn the ins and outs of programming and any technical skill sets you need, in additional to business knowledge. It is in most cases unwise to pay a bunch of money for other people outside of your founder circle to build the first versions of your product. You know what’s best for your product, you know what you want, and, you can’t spend any money where it is unnecessary.
Am I researching competition?
In the beginning, it is very important to research your idea and any competition your startup may have. Look at the current success of your competition and what they did wrong. Learn from them to be sure you don’t make the same mistakes they made when they first started out. Researching competition will also bring you to pricing compared to your startup.
What does success mean to me?
By asking yourself what success means to you, you will reveal to yourself what your real intentions and motivations are behind starting, building, and growing a startup. Among startup founders, it is also vital that the intentions and visions of each founder is transparent and similar among founders.
Is what I’m doing now the best use of my time?
And no, I don’t mean that by reading this guide. When building a startup, you need to utilize your time to keep your productivity maximized and efficient. Start by asking yourself if what you are doing now is the best use of your small amount of startup time, and if not, push aside what you were doing for a better time and begin doing something productive and forward for the time being.
How soon will my products be ready?
Long before making money, you will need your product. That’s why estimating how long your product will take to prototype, build, and revision can be a useful question. If it is a long while away, how will you pay your expenses and your product’s expenses? Take the time to write out your expenses and your schedule and plan of how you will manage and keep up with them.
Do I really care about your target customers?
Truly caring about your mission and customers can define the line between success and failure. To make money and succeed you absolutely need to truly have a passion for what you are doing and who you are helping.
Are you able to disappoint some people?
Your investors, employees, family, friends. Those are people who may believe and trust in you with what they have and love, their support,money, love, and trust. Building a startup is risky, and whoever is in the game is risking it. The founder needs to be ready to let down the people that puts their trust and support into his venture.
Am I rushing into a relationship with a cofounder?
Take the crucial time to get to know your potential cofounders. Work and collaborate with them before you make the decision to go officially into business with them for years to come, and see how it feels. Building a trust and relationship before giving away that cofounder status is crucial.
Do I know what the entrepreneur life is like?
If you are unsure what the entrepreneur lifestyle is like – go out and talk to some entrepreneurs for at least an hour. Learn what the lifestyle consists of, any tips they may have, and what the daily grind is like.
Can you handle setbacks?
In the world of entrepreneurship, setbacks are inevitable. It is likely to happen much of the time. You should be ready to handle it and be patient with them without burning out and giving up.
Will you be ready to sit back?
Sometimes ventures will outgrow the founder. In which case, you cannot lead something in which you are not capable of leading. Sometimes, entrepreneurs need to know when to hand the reigns onto someone else more capable of leading and growing their own business.
You have questions you asked yourself from the key elements of a startup:
After asking yourself those questions from those five startup categories, and your inspiration is appropriate to the world of startups, continue on your path of building and growing your own startup and continue the checklist below, everyday, to advance your entrepreneurial wisdom and grow your business:
- Network with new people.
- Never stop learning.