One of the first questions you want to ask yourself is why am I starting a business, or why do I want to set up my own business. The value of asking yourself any question you get it helps to focus your mind and clarify thinking around a sense of reality, rather than simply a fantasy bubble that feels more comfortable than the drudgery of working for someone else or not working at all. That is not to say there is not some value in using the motivation of a situation that you do not want to be in as a way of pushing yourself to do something else. There are no right or wrong reasons for wanting to start up your own business, but it is hugely important to know what those reasons are.

Following on from that, it is important to ask yourself what type of business you want to be involved in, and what sort of business you want to be running. People will have different views on this, but essentially if you're going to be focusing a lot of your in life and energy on the business it needs to be something that in some way really interests you. Simply making money is not a valid enough reason for going into a business. You may succeed in one sense, but it is a real danger you will kill your spirit. Look for something that brings you alive as a person, that really excites you or something that you would be happy spending your life doing, then decide how you make money at it and use that as a template to decide what type of business you want to be running.

Following on from that, it's question of who is your ideal customer, or who is the person who is essentially going to pay you for the product or service that your business will be primarily giving to them. This is a hugely important question and one that most people answer with the term everyone. They may qualify by saying everyone who has a car, everyone who has a dog, or everyone who has a house. This again is more around the fantasy of a huge market that they only need a tiny share of, rather than something that is based on reality. Pinning down the exact nature of your market and who your customers are is quite a difficult focus but one that is really important if you're going to build or target how your business is going to succeed effectively.

Perhaps one of the most important questions you need to ask yourself, is whether you are genuinely willing or able to give the time and commitment needed to setting up and running your own business. In one sense this is almost an impossible question to answer as you won't really know until you are doing it. However it is easy to recognize that setting up and running your own business will need a level of dedication that a so-called normal job will not. Running your business is likely to take over your life at a level that means you do not have your own time any more. That is fine if you are aware of it and happy for that to be the case, depending on other circumstances in your life and other family commitments.

Another question that is also extremely important is to decide how the product or service that you are intending to bring to market will be different from any that are currently available. Again one of the reasons why this question is important is because people tend to answer instinctively that it is about themselves that will make the difference. The logic goes that because they are quite unique and special as people, that is what will differentiate their product or service from others in the marketplace. A person's uniqueness will certainly add value to the service or product but is not the answer to this question. You need to know why someone who does not know you decides to use your business or service as opposed to another one already there. Answering that question will give you a focus that will give you a unique advantage over your competition. It is an ongoing question that you would do well to continually ask yourself as your business develops over time. This will give you a focus as to how to improve the level of service of your business or product that is inherent in the service or product itself.

Author's Bio: 

Peter Main is freelance writer who has spent almost twenty years in the insurance industry, working at Lloyd's of London. He writes extensively about small business insurance and in particular about how understanding the various factors that make up the different liabilities that small business's may have to deal with, such as health insurance