Here is my checklist of crucial questions to ask yourself about your solo business, whether it’s still in the making or already cranking out a profit.
Yes, there are some important things to consider beyond what you’ll see on this list.
But this is a place to begin, a reality check of sorts, to make sure that you understand what your business is about and where you’re headed.
[ Just in case you missed the definition of a solo business, it is a small information based business operated by one person on the Internet.
The subject of the business will be related to the owner’s knowledge, skill, passion, training, or life experiences. – Author’s note ]
If you have any doubts or questions about a particular item, it will pay to clear those up prior to opening your doors to the public.
1. What do I know that others will pay me to share?
Make sure that you stick to an information subject about which you are an expert.
Deviating from your core competencies will nullify the advantages you have over other businesses because of your knowledge and experience.
2. What will my business be known for?
Identify and focus on something that will give your business an edge over all other competitors in your niche.
Sometimes referred to as a USP (unique selling proposition), this advantage will set you apart and give your prospects a solid reason to buy from you.
It could be anything from fast shipping, to a great assortment of products, to low prices, to a free trial, etc.
3. Who is my perfect customer?
You must be able to identify and fully describe your perfect customer.
He is the person that is the very best prospect for your targeted product or service.
If you don’t know him and what he wants, how will you ever find him in your marketing?
4. How am I going to generate needed revenue?
Many entrepreneurs head into business without a clear recognition of just how they are going to be making money.
To answer this question, you’re going to need to know what your revenue model will be, how you’re going to package your information, how you’ll handle financial transactions, and other pertinent issues.
5. How can I conserve my cash?
Cash is king.
New business owners need to be extra protective of every dollar they have earmarked for their new venture.
The success of your new business will probably be inversely proportional to the size of your new desk!
6. Is my business scalable?
Most often you will begin your business in a small way with few customers.
Will you be able to ramp up your sales numbers based upon the way your business currently operates?
Can you become a dominant force in your niche without having to close up shop in favor of a total makeover?
7. How well am I protecting myself and my family?
Do you have adequate health and life insurance?
Have you structured your business such that your personal assets are protected from those who would sue you?
8. Do I know who my competitors are and what their businesses are all about?
It would be rare indeed for you to be in a business niche without serious competition.
The better you know what it is, the easier it will be to implement strategies that will increase your share of the market.
9. Am I prepared to stay in business for the long haul?
Your business will adapt and change over time, but you’d better be in a position to endure and persist with your business idea.
Sometimes owner persistence is the biggest reason for success.
10. Will I be able to pay myself and all my obligations on time?
Get your business in the habit of meeting your obligations without fail.
Trust and confidence will accrue and your suppliers and customers will be loyal because of it.
11. How will I market my business?
There is not a more important question for the business operator.
Marketing is everything.
If you can’t successfully spread the word about your products or services, you will not have a business.
If no one shows up to see your offer, where will you find buyers?
12. How will I manage to keep balance in my life?
Owning and operating a small business can be a totally consuming activity.
If you don’t learn to strike a balance between the business and your family, your health, your spiritual self, and your associations, you’ll suffer greatly.
Sure, there are other important questions to ponder, but these twelve will get you thinking about the very basic foundations of your business strategy and structure. Good luck!
To your online business success,