1. Do you have time for this?
Like having a child or getting married, there is never a perfect time to launch a startup. So the question is actually, do you have time for this anyway?
2. Could you describe your new business in 30 seconds?
Name the value proposition of your product or service. Then explain why you and only you are uniquely qualified to deliver it. Be able to do this in 30 seconds or less.
3. Are you ready (like, really ready) to shoulder the burden?
You will likely be the point person at the start and at the end of this business. But in between is about sharing the stage, and building the right team and the right culture.
4. Where’s the money?
Where will the money come from for your startup costs? Consider basic things like marketing collateral, office space and travel expenses, all the way to the tools or equipment that are specific to your industry. If you’ve been ramping up the business as a side hustle while keeping your “day job,” keep in mind all the perks of an established business that will no longer be available to you once you’re on your own.
5. How much will customers or clients pay?
Think about your customers, and what they’re willing to pay for your new product or service. You likely have some insight into this already, given some amount of familiarity with your target industry and its going rates.
6. What is your mission?
No, really. What is your mission? “We’re building this company to sell,” or “We want to make x millions of dollars” may actually be your end goal, but that’s different than your mission.
Think of it like an hourglass. At one end of the hourglass, from the top to the middle, are all the streams of motivation and input that inform your interest in this particular business category. The opposite end, at the bottom, is your end goal, which may in fact be building the business to sell.
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