Michelle: Step one, is to really consider if this is a product you want or if there is an actual market for your product or service. You do this by defining your target market. What group of people will benefit from this product or service? What does this group of people have in common? Age? Income? Education? Geographics? If there is a group that will buy your product, then you can go onto the next step.Question: What’s the next decision that needs to be made?
Michelle: Then next decision is does this product or service serve a local audience or a national or international audience. If it’s a salon, or gift shop, while there may be an online element, a majority will happen online. While it’s easy to say you can sell to everyone, it’s hard to reach them unless it makes business sense that matches the product or service.
Question: How do you decide if you want to bootstrap your business or if you need income from another source?
Michelle: Many small business ideas can be bootstrapped. But tech companies and inventions could need capital or maybe just a small business loan. If you’re still not sure, consider the income and expenses that your business has. Many startup hopefuls consider the income but not the costs. Understanding both is very important.
Question: One final quick question, how does one know they’re ready to dive into a startup?
Michelle: The truth is you’re never ready. There will be things you figure out on the road whether you start you business now or 6 months from now, but thinking and planning can only get you so far. Do some initial work and then get started and dive in. You can adjust your sails as you go, but you won’t move forward until you push away from the dock.