Market Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Own Business

March 25, 2008

Do you know anyone who runs their own business and is always struggling to find new customers or make enough money?  Wouldn’t it have been easier if they would have done more research about the competitiveness and viability of their business before launching it?

Mid Life Crisis
One of my co-workers is having a quarter life crisis and decided he wanted to start his own business in an industry totally unrelated to the one he and I are working in now.  One of the main reasons he’s interested in his own venture is that he’s fed up with our current job.  Although I feel his pain, I just hope he’s not jumping into it unprepared just to get away from his current job.

Research Your Idea
I subscribe to several small business newsletters, all free of course, and one of them offers the advice below to anyone looking at a new market.  I’ll have to share these with my friend; the important thing is to answer them honestly.  This can be tough if you already have an idea in mind that you’re really excited about but it’s most useful if you research and answer the questions realistically rather than putting down the answers you’d like to see.

Market Evaluation
Below are the questions you can use to investigate and confirm the need for your new business.  For anyone not interested in running their own business but looking to switch careers and industries, some of the same questions still apply, they can help you decide whether it’s worth your time and energy to enter a market as an employee.

1. How big is the market – and is it growing?

2. How responsive is the market?

3. How reachable is the market?

4. Can I bring real value to this market?

5. Are there repeat sale opportunities?

6. What kind of infrastructure investment is required both ongoing and just to get started?

7. How long will the market be around?

8.  What is the profit potential after I pay for the product, the marketing, the delivery, the customer service and the overhead to support the sale?


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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One Response to Market Questions to Ask Before Starting Your Own Business

  • AJC @ 7million7years

    Nice post … I wrote a very similar one today, also! There are 4 absolutely vital questions to ask before buying a business and at least two of them apply to anybody thinking of starting their own business: 1. how much can it grow?, and 2. who are you going to sell it to?