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Five questions to ask before starting your own business

For many people, starting a business can seem like an insurmountable task. While bringing an idea to life in business form can be rewarding, getting that idea from vision to reality does take a little extra work at the beginning so you can reap the rewards later.

Ask yourself the following questions as you solidify your business plan so you can be prepared for whatever comes your way!

1) What is my vision? While this might seem like an obvious question with an obvious answer, writing down reasons why you want to start your own business will help you differentiate whether your business idea satisfies personal or industry-related needs. “[When your reasoning for starting a business] is focused on meeting a need meeting a need in the marketplace, the scope of your business will always be larger than a business that is designed to serve a personal need,” said Glenn Gutek, CEO of Awake Consulting and Coaching in an article in Business News Daily.

2) Where is my opportunity? Now that you’ve narrowed down your vision, now is the time to check out whether or not your vision can turn into a successful business. The best way to do this is by conducting market research by doing a quick search for existing companies in your field. By doing this, you can determine what brand leaders are doing and think of ways where your business can improve the process. Once you are able to determine what your business can do that others can’t, you will have found where your opportunity lies!

3) What’s my plan? Once your vision and opportunity are firmly in place, you’re now ready to create a business plan! The team of business consultants at The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center can provide templates to get you started with crafting your business plan. Even better, once your business plan draft is completed, they can work with you to hone your plan and prove suggestions on how to improve. They can also be a major ally as you progress through the next steps to starting your business.

4) Where do I get funding? You might have heard the saying, “You’ve got to spend money to make money,” and that applies when starting a business. Ask yourself if you have the ability for self-fund your business or if you need to borrow money. Will you be starting your business while working for someone else or can you support yourself while building your business? According to Business News Daily, many startups fail because they run out of money before turning a profit and it’s never a bad idea to overestimate the amount of startup capital you need.

5) What legal questions will I need to answer? Your small business consultant at The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center can best help you answer this question, but you will need to think of factors such as how to legally register your business in your state, which federal and state tax IDs you will need, and which licenses and permits you will need. You will also want to consider opening a business banking account and credit card.

There are many more questions that might arise when starting a business, but these basic guidelines will help you as you work to bring your business vision to life! As always, The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center can help you every step of the way, visit www.scrantonsbdc.com today to set up a meeting with a member of the team.

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