Top 25 questions you should answer before you leap

You have determined that your competencies are right for starting your own business. But then there are a number of other questions which must be mulled over and answered before you move forward:

1. Why am I starting a business ?

2. What is my most significant goal in life and will the business help me reach the goal ?

3. What business sector is my area of interest and competence ?

4. Who kind of customers do I want to serve ? Area or region I will serve ?

5. Who are my competitors and what are the products/services they produce ?

6. What products or services should my business provide?

7. Am I prepared to spend the time and effort needed to get my business started ?

8. How is my business idea and the products or services different from others in the market?

9. Where will my business be located?

10. How many employees will I need?

11. What types of raw material suppliers and service providers do I need?

12. What kind of machinery and equipment do I need ?

13. What is the area of building and land required for my business ?

14. What is the investment required for my business? Capital? Working capital ?

15. Do I have the necessary funds for investment in the business ? How much can I raise?

16. Where can I raise the rest of funds required ? Loans ? Equity ?

17. How soon will it take before my products or services are available?

18. How long do I have until I start making a profit?

19. How will I price my product compared to my competition?

20. How will I set up the legal structure of my business?

21. What taxes do I need to pay?

22. What clearances, permits and licenses should I obtain before I commence the business?

23. What kind of insurance do I need? For Machinery ? For Stocks ?

24. How will I manage my business?

25. How will I market my products/services ?