3 questions you need to ask before launching a startup

Why do I want to start a business?

The question is pretty simple. After all, it seems only logical that before investing endless hours and energy into building a startup, you would ask yourself, “Who do I want to start a business?” Unfortunately, there are a lot of aspiring entrepreneurs that run with an idea before thinking through the “why” of their new venture.

“Understand what your passions are before creating a startup,” Charles Nick, Dayton-based founder of The Wright Cup, advises. “Money as an answer is a huge red flag that you haven’t really discovered your passion,” he adds.

Knowing the reason behind starting your startup can change everything about the way you do business. For many startups there are periods of time that involve personal sacrifice and the stress of not knowing what tomorrow holds. If you’ve settled on the reason that you decided to pursue the endeavor in the first place, you can return to the foundation when things get tough.

 

What do I bring to the table that no one else does?

The entrepreneurial community is full of brilliant ideas and individuals who are willing to risk it all to test those ideas in the marketplace. That’s not to say that you can’t start a burger restaurant if there’s another burger restaurant in your neighborhood or that you can’t develop a new social media app while another one is currently booming. The question, though, helps you identify why someone would engage with your brand over another. What do you have that they don’t?

Sometimes your unique selling proposition can have more to do with the user experience than the actual product or service you’ve created. For instance, maybe you plan to build a business in a field where customer service tends to fall short, and you create an incredible customer service team. Finding ways to be unique—even in highly saturated markets—is vital to the success of your startup, and once you identify your unique selling proposition you’ll be able to market your brand confidently as a company that adds value to your industry.  

 

What am I willing to do to make this work?

We’ve all heard the stories – garages turned into labs, basements transformed to studios, and living rooms re-invented as conference rooms. There are a lot of romanticized notions that you completely change your life to pursue your entrepreneurial dream and ten weeks later you’ll be featured on the cover of INC.

Steve Jobs weighed in on the topic, “I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the unsuccessful ones is pure perseverance.”

If you want to make your startup work you may have to give up some things and re-arrange your life. Startups are a huge commitment and clearly understanding your boundaries from the get-go will help you to both set realistic goals and make informed decisions—not just emotional ones—as you come to specific crossroads and milestones in your entrepreneurial journey.


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September 12-16, 2016

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