Starting a business can be an incredibly daunting endeavor. From creating the initial concept to executing it in a smart, cost-effective manner, building a business and continually fostering it takes time, strategy and a tremendous amount of determination.
From starting his own company five years ago to leading the No. 7 fastest growing company in the hospitality and travel industry, I continually ask myself these five questions on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
- How passionate am I about my idea?
In order to be prosperous in business, you must constantly be pitching to yourself. You may not always pitch investors, but speaking to people in general about the company is in itself a mini pitch.
Question every negative, every facet and every scenario, and how you would face those potential obstacles. If you are not continually thinking about your business, it might not be the right one to pursue.
- (Is my solution simple?) The simplicity of problem solving.
If your business fills a specific need or solves a problem, be sure it solves a problem in the most effective, streamlined way possible. Solve a problem and do it simply. More importantly, make sure your website and all marketing collateral is clean and laser-like focused on your solution.
- Do I have the best business partners?
Choose business partners that will challenge you to think outside the box. You may not always get along with someone but this does not automatically mean they do not make for great business partners. In fact, they are often the best ones to work with.
Don’t be afraid to play devil’s advocate as well — knowing the answer to every potential question is key to a successful business.
- Have I tested it enough? (Test, test, test.)
Test the market, and test it multiple times. Trial run everything on a small scale and work your way up. If positive results are achieved, amp it up and test other things. It’s simple and effective. Although there is a great deal of risk in business, small-scale testing will help minimize those risks and the associated costs.
- Did I do my homework?
Be sure you do all your homework. It is common to get engrossed in the concept or business idea that proper market research can be an afterthought, or on a subconscious level, you may not want to find a potential roadblock.
If your business idea is not viable for whatever reason, it will save you more heartache (and money!) in the long run.
Jay Yadon is co-founder and CEO of ResortShare, an award-winning company helping timeshare owners share their vacation time with travelers. For information, visit www.JayYadon.com.