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7 Key Questions To Ask Yourself When Starting a Business

By: Steve Johnson

10/30/2008 - 201 Comments

If you can honestly and completely answer these questions, then your business has a chance of success. 

I use this list to filter my business ideas, although I’m not fond of it because it usually tells me the bad news – that my idea is probably not good enough to support a business model. 

Market Validation Questions

1. What is your customers’ pain? Is the problem going to continue to grow in the future? – The problem

2. How are your customers dealing with it now? – The competition

3. How your solution addresses the need? – Requirements/Solution 

4. How much are your customers willing to pay for a solution? How much would they use it?  – Pricing/ Profitability

5. How do you expect your customers to pay for it, monthly bill, pay-per-use, annual license? – Purchasing model

6. What type of support are your customers expecting, e-mail, online, phone, training, upgrades? How much are they willing to pay for this support, if any? – Support

7. Where would your customers typically look for a solution this like? Events? Magazines? Contact from directly from sales? Online demos? – Marketing channels to reach your customers

If you cannot answer all of these questions with a solid answer, hope may not be completely lost. Use this list to discover what your business is missing.  You may be able to find a solution to resolve the question that you cannot answer.  The answer to these questions is also what everyone else will be asking when you tell them about your business.  Use your answers to these questions to create your marketing material.  The answer to these questions could help you solidify your ideas and clearly communicate your business concept to the marketplace.

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