Anyone who has ever contemplated starting their own business knows that there are lots of questions to answer before hanging out the “in business” sign. Here are a few of those questions along with answers from Southwest ISBDC advisors:

Q: Is there a market for my product or service?
A: Too many people start a business based solely on their interest or advice from friends or family who like their idea.  If you offer something that’s already available in the market, it should be unique or competitively priced to attract a sizeable market to support and sustain your new venture.

NOTE:  The Southwest ISBDC has the latest industry research that can indicate if there is a market for a particular product or service. 

 Q: How much money do I need to get started?
A: A realistic cash-flow projection is essential.  In addition to your regular expenses, take time to estimate start-up costs for inventory, building renovations, insurance, etc. and also allow for adequate working capital to get through the first few months of operation.

NOTE:  Southwest ISBDC Business Advisors have a variety of template to help navigate the process of preparing financial projections.

 Q: Who is my competition?
A: New businesses can get off to a slow start simply because they have underestimated their competition.  Taking the time to do a thorough competitor analysis will pay off in the long run.

NOTE:  With the help of Southwest ISBDC demographic reports, clients can not only identify their competitors, but can also find information like spending habits and buying patterns for potential customers.