Think you’re ready to be your own boss with your own business?

Before you go ahead and take your chances at the ultimate dream, it’s important to remember that not every person who launches their own business will necessarily be successful. A lot of small companies struggle to make it past their first year, and often, the problem is that the people behind those organizations didn’t spend enough time planning before they launched their company.

If like many ambitious people across the world today, you’re thinking about starting your own business, make sure that you don’t do anything until you’ve asked yourself the following questions.

1.        What are You Going to Sell and Why?

Before you start your business, you need to know how you’re going to be making money. Some people offer services, like a specific type of technical help or branding support. Other companies offer a particular product, like a type of clothing, or a new aftershave. Whatever you decide you want to sell, it’s important to know why you’re getting involved with a specific industry.

How do you know that there’s a demand for what you’re going to sell in your chosen space? Have you done your research and made sure that there’s money to be made in your area? Are you passionate about the thing you’re going to sell? Make sure you know the answers to these questions before you begin.

2.        How Are You Going to Promote Yourself?

Once you know what you’re going to sell, you need to think about how you’re going to get the word out about your business to your customers and potential clients. The good news is that there are plenty of forms of marketing that you can explore, and each come with their own specific strengths. For most small companies, social media is a great place to get started, as it doesn’t cost much more than your time.

It’s also worth building an organic flow of traffic through things like SEO and content marketing. Consider publishing a blog that will drive people back to your company.

3.        Where Are You Going to Get Capital?

The unfortunate truth of the business world is that you will need to spend money before you can begin making it. A lot of businesses spend several months in debt before they eventually start to break even. This is natural, but it’s a good idea to think about whether you can launch your business as a side project alongside your regular job, to begin with – just so you can afford to pay the bills.

You’ll also need to think about where you’re going to get the money for initial expenses like building a website and buying materials. Most of the time, a business loan will be your best bet. However, it’s worth noting that there are different types of loan out there. Look for the one with the lowest APR rate to keep your interest payments low.

4.        Are You Going to Need Employees?

Next, consider whether you’re going to need some professional help to assist you in bringing your business to life. Some people start off running their companies as a solo entrepreneur and eventually bring more people on board as their business begins to grow. Other companies start straight away with a few employees on the payroll.

A good way to determine what kind of company you’re going to be running is to begin by writing out a strong business plan for your company. Although a business plan can seem like an exhausting process at first, it will show you exactly how much support you’re going to need to get your company up and running. Your business plan will also come in handy when you’re trying to convince investors to get involved with your organization.

5.        How Are You Going to Stay Motivated?

Finally, remember that running a business is rarely a simple experience. Most of the time, you’re going to experience periods of feast or famine in the beginning, and you’ll need to know how to stay focused when the going gets tough.

Decide how you’re going to keep your self-motivated when times get hard. Some people have a mentor that they can turn to for advice, whereas other people use things like yoga and regular exercise to keep their stress levels in check. Find out what works for you, and stick to a routine to make sure that you don’t lose faith in yourself or your business.