The idea of starting your own business may frighten you – and that’s okay; it’s normal to have some questions when you’re stepping into new territory. But the longer you spend doubting yourself, the sooner someone else can come up with a similar idea, leaving them to start making profits before you even made the decision for yourself. And with it being the start to a new year, it’s time to start building healthy habits for ourselves (and our businesses), such as decision-making.
Officense has helped numerous startups over the course of us being in business, and with that we’ve been able to share some helpful tips with business owners and entrepreneurs along the way. To share with you too, here’s a list of 4 simple, yet helpful tips to answer the most common questions that may be delaying you in your independent business owner journey.
Question 1: DOES THIS MAKE A GOOD BUSINESS IDEA?
OFFICENSE’S TIP: If your idea can solve a problem or address issues that can affect individuals, then the answer is YES. It’s important to consider the audience you are trying to reach, and why your service could add value to their lives. You should test out your theory on a couple of friends or family members before trying your product on potential customers. This allows you to determine the pros (and cons!) of your product or service before putting yourself out there. You’ll also want to consider the price point of what you are offering and how it appeals to your target audience, as that will play a key role in your business both initially and over time.
Question 2: SHOULD I WRITE OUT A BUSINESS PLAN?
OFFICENSE’S TIP: Business plans are always a good idea, whether it’s formal or informal is up to you. Some people find that writing Elevator Pitch plans work best for them – they’re naturally short, sweet, and to the point. Other entrepreneurs require more detail to ensure they don’t miss any important aspects of the business and operation of it. Some banks, angels, or venture capitalists will want a formal business plan that should include a financial overview of expenses and marketing strategy. Again, it all depends on the audience you are targeting.
Question 3: WHEN SHOULD I GET A PATENT?
OFFICENSE’S TIP: You should only get a patent if you do not want your competition to take your ideas. Tesla founder Elon Musk decided he would not sue anyone who used Tesla’s patents. He said, “Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly evolving technology platform.”. However, if you need an investment, investors tend to favor companies that hold patents.
Question 4: DO I HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A FOUNDER?
OFFICENSE’S TIP: Being a risk-taker plays a key role in becoming a founder. However, some people could struggle with that mentality. If you struggle with it, you might want to consider joining a team/mentorship for added support, rather than working alone. At Inc. 500, 85% of CEOs identify as risk takers. Another key factor in becoming a founder is having what it takes to identify and solve problems. Once you acquire these skills and characteristics, then you should have what it takes to be a founder.
If you’d like to discuss more details or questions about your business, contact Officense to speak with an Executive Assistant. We’ll assist you with a business consultation, and discuss other details, such as adding a mailing address, or call answering. Give us a call at 410-814-7500 for further details.