Loving what you do, finding your ideal customer and honesty.
If you want to make sure that your dream doesn't fall flat on its face before it gets much further down the line, you need to cross-examine your idea carefully and ask yourself some very honest questions.
Play to your strengths
What are you good at? What do you really enjoy doing? Do you have a passion, a skill or a hobby that you really enjoy? Do you have some great experience? Do you have a network? Do you have a real advantage in your industry? Ask your family and friends if they agree with your idea.
Find your secret
What makes you different? How will you sell your service to potential customers? Do you have a particular product or service angle or something that sets you apart from the competition? Could you provide better quality? Could you be more cost-effective? Could you provide better customer service? Are you the only, or one of a relatively small number of local businesses that do what you do?
How will you reach your target market?
Draw up a detailed plan
How much will it cost to make or provide your product or service, from production to staff to packaging?
How much profit can you make for each item or service?
How many can you sell?
How much you need to invest upfront? When will I get paid?
Identify your ideal customer
What would your customer buy? What would your customer pay for your product and service? What are they really looking for? Which competitor products do they buy at the moment?
Hone in on your ideal customer then research.
Be honest with yourself
Now back to looking in the mirror again. How committed are you? Is this a 9 - 5 job or a 5 - 9 job in the evenings (or both)?
Is this a lifestyle business that will allow you to earn a nice living?
What you are willing to spend and risk. Any business will take a fair amount of time and effort to get off the ground. You may need starting capital to cover set-up costs. What is your appetite for takings risks? Do you have any savings and are you prepared to use them?
If you are serious about starting-up, if you have the passion and desire to be your own boss – then you will find the answers.