5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Business

I used to think about starting a business in the internet as follows: Get the ability to create traffic. Develop and tweak a good product with a highly converting sales funnel. And wow, the business was supposed to be there. But it did not work out like that. Why not? There was an important part of the business missing: Me!

Don’t be a Leaf in the Wind

Testing of product features, price and sales copy have their place. But without a purpose the products and sales funnel resulting from your tests will be determined by the kind of traffic you use. And I am not only talking about buyers list versus freebie list. I am just talking about the people in your lists, their behavior, interest, preferences.

Testing involves several variables:

  • The traffic source
  • The copy
  • The product offer
  • The price

If you start with traffic, and a traffic source which is only defined by the fact that it’s readily available then the following consequences will appear:

  • The audience is limited and not well defined.
  • For this audience only a certain type of copy will work somehow, and no copy will work very well.
  • For this type of copy only certain products and services will work.
  • For those products you will be only able to ask for a certain price.

The audience in such a setting tends to be defined by your current relationships, especially if you avoid buying traffic. The other variables will work out according to your audience. So, your current relationships decide, what kind of copy you use to sell which product at which price point. This is a surefire way to keep your life as it is, at best.

The product or service you deliver decides what you do day in and day out. The price point decides what resources you have at hand to care for yourself, your family, and to develop your business. In one word: Your life is ruled by your friends and enemies, by your family and acquaintances. But you do not rule your own life. A tragedy.

5 Questions You Must Answer

I suggest to turn this thinking around and to ask the following questions

  1. Purpose: Where is my passion located? What do I really want to do with my life? What does energize me most?
  2. Benefit: How can I help people while following my passion?
  3. Market: What kinds of people are thirsty for this benefit, and where do I find them?
  4. Product: How can I frame my purpose into a product providing this benefit to a thirsty crowd and providing to me the money I need?
  5. Relationship: How can I build a reach out to the right people and let them realize that they satisfy their dire need with my help?

This way, you decide what you do with your life, and to whom you relate. Another word for this state of affairs is freedom.

Continuous Improvement Leads to Profit

You need to get the 5 answers pretty fast reasonably right to start a business. You need an offer to your market that fits to your personal purpose in life. The market must be big enough at least to cover your cost. Your product must be good enough to be desirable for your prospects, and you need a way to communicate effectively to your prospects. You will have to do some testing and tweaking of your offer, pricing and communication, and you will probably need some outside advice to reach there.

After breaking even, there is most certainly remaining a lot of room for improvement. You will get better in what you are doing. You will learn more about the desires of your customers, and where to find them. Your credibility will grow, and you will develop authority in the area of your passion.

Improving step by step will lead you from break even to profit. Your conversion rates will go up, because people know and trust you. You will learn to know your market better and to match your service better to customers’ desires, allowing for a higher price. You might be also able to frame your service in a slightly different way by employing more automation. This way you can also serve people who dearly want your product, but lack the means to pay for the full version.

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