25 March 2014

Questions startups should ask themselves

With many startups failing to make it through their first year of trading, how do you know whether your idea really is a winner?

For many entrepreneurs, that ‘lightbulb moment’ when they come up with a creative idea, is the start of their new business. 

But launching a startup can be a risk, with many failing to make it through their first year of trading. So how do you know whether your idea really is a winner?

Before you start hiring staff or choosing a workspace, ask yourself some key questions to make sure your start-up has the best chance for business growth and success.

1. How will you be better than your competition?

Unless you've come up with a unique idea, there will be other companies offering a similar product or service to you. So, it's vital that you spend time looking at what your rivals offer. You need to stand out from the crowd and have a clear reason why customers should choose you over the competition. Important things to focus on are:

  • quality
  • price and
  • customer service.

Identify your unique selling propositions and make sure you can clearly demonstrate them to your target market.

2. How will your product/service solve a problem?

Think clearly about whether your idea genuinely solves a problem or fills a gap in the market. Is there a genuine demand for what you are offering or will it make the lives of your customers better or easier? If you don't know there is a demand for it or find it difficult to justify the existence of your product or service, it may be worth going back to the drawing board and giving your idea some more thought.

3. What will your customers expect?

It is wise to have a clear idea of the likely expectations of your customers - and this will depend on what your target market is. If you are pitching high-end premium products with a large price tag, your customers will have different expectations than if you are offering good value, budget items. Don’t make unrealistic promises as this will only lead to disappointment. Knowing what your customers expect will help you make sure they are satisfied and you can focus on meeting, and if possible exceeding, their expectations.

4. How can you make it easy for your customers?

Take time to think about your business from the point of view of the customer. Are you easy to find? Can you quickly find information about exactly what you do? Is it simple for customers to get in touch? If you make it difficult for customers they are likely to go elsewhere, so it is important to make the entire process as hassle-free as possible. Offer customers a range of ways of contacting and make sure information on your products or services is readily available with a clear and up-to-date website. Nowadays, e-commerce is 

5. What’s the worst case scenario?

Be realistic about what problems you could face if your business does not go to plan and make steps to minimise these. For example, try not to get tied into long-term fixed contracts that could impact on your cash flow. At Bizspace, we offer flexible terms on business space, allowing you the ultimate control over your outgoings. We also have a range of solutions for startups looking to get off the ground and you can upgrade or expand as your business grows. 

Have confidence in your business and good luck!