Five questions to ask yourself BEFORE starting a business…

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by Tom Watson on June 14, 2015

Asking yourself some good questions, and answering them honestly, are invaluable to your overall success or failure when starting a business.

So for those of you who have not actually started your business, I have a collection of questions you need to address before you start spending any money on your new business.

Five questions to ask before starting a business

1 – Am I self motivated? When you are the CEO, there is no one else to tell what to do, how to do it or when to do it. It’s just YOU all by yourself! To get the business off the ground you will need to stay highly motivated for long stretches of time to make your dream come true. This is easier for some than it is for others.

As far as I was concerned, I knew that if I was able to be motivated enough to go work for someone else – and make THEM rich – then I can be motivated enough to wake up each and every day and make MYSELF rich. That was my simple philosophy concerning “self motivation”.

2 – Do I enjoy a challenge? Owning a business can, and many times does, challenge you to problem solve various issues in order to have success. When you are new, there is no “operations manual” that you can refer to in order to make a problem disappear. Instead you need to think on your feet and find solutions that are not always easy to find.

3 – What are my strengths and weaknesses? Understanding what you are good at, and what you aren’t all that good at, will help you out quite a bit once you get started. In particular it helps you better grasp what you should do by yourself and what needs to be performed by outside help.

4 – Who will be my ideal customer? Every business needs customers to survive. The most successful businesses know exactly, down to the last detail, how to describe who their best customers are. In my commercial cleaning business start-up phase my ideal customer was a doctor’s office, which was small to mid-sized and needed service multiple times per week.

5 – Will I be doing work that excites me? Running a business is a long-term commitment that requires a lot of work and effort. So it goes without saying that it will be more fun and rewarding if you enjoy the task at hand.

So opening a cleaning business is MUCH more enjoyable if you like cleaning in general. This is key because when individuals are fully engaged in doing something rewarding it helps to motivate them to keep going even when things get tough.

Well this wraps up “five questions to ask before starting a business”. I’m sure there are many other questions that could be added to this list! If anyone has one that they wished THEY ASKED before getting started, feel free to leave a comment below and get the conversation started.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Raymon June 15, 2015 at 2:11 pm

I am still asking these questions

2 Tom Watson June 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

Hi Raymon! Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so keep chipping away at what needs to be done and you’ll be fine.

3 olaitan June 22, 2015 at 10:40 am

I’m Olaitan I just started a cleaning business in my country (Nigeria) and I am still trying to build up the website but have not yet see any client and am still doing the marketing, my mind do tells me that I will get a customer but I don’t dispute that. someone want to fumigate and later change her mind and we had already agreed with the price that I bill her, but since then nothing have not yet happen but am still hoping. please Mr Tom Watson what are the best wood floor soap that can make the wood shinning, and odourless fumigation chemicals… please I will be expecting your reply

4 Raymon June 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Some times……..

5 Tom Watson June 28, 2015 at 8:19 am

Hi Olatan! Sorry for the delay, I’m in the process of moving. Keep going, you will get clients if you stick to it! I don’t know about the products you need. If I were you, you need to find a supplier near you and ask them those questions. If you buy from USA, you will have HUGE shipping costs probably.

6 Binda Kebohula June 30, 2015 at 3:48 am

Hi Tom, it seems here in Botswana residential cleaning market is limited since most people prefer to hire live-in individuals to clean their houses or clean their houses themselves over the week-end. Please advise as to how I should go about it since one’s motivation is likely to fade away if you dont get customers to pay your bills.
Secondly, the commercial cleaning market is dominated by big cleaning firms who have money to give huge discounts for contract work.
So it is really scaring for me to just penetrate the market.

7 Tom Watson July 14, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Hi Bindu! Sorry for the delay. Well maybe you have to skip the houses and focus on the commercial. Customers ARE OUT THRERE that will pay more for good service. You can’t give up! Find them!

8 Binda Kebohula July 15, 2015 at 2:44 am

Thank you Tom for your encouragement and I am determined to keep trying the commercial market.

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