You’ve got a great idea for starting a new business. You’re excited to be your own boss and branch out on your own. Congratulations! Now what?

The hard truth is that businesses need more than dreams and ideas to grow and thrive. Take a look at the statistics. Of newly created small businesses, 20 percent do not remain open past the first year, and half close before five years. You need a solid plan if you’re going to see a return on your investment of time, money and sweat equity. Here are three questions that will help you formulate a plan for your new business and set you on a path to success.

What Do You Want?

Take some time to outline what you want out of your business. Sit down with old-fashioned pen and paper and list your goals, wants and needs. Do you just want to create a job for yourself, or do you want to create a business that will endure after you retire? What are your interests and talents? Do you want partners? What are your financial goals?

Your answers will create a roadmap for your business and help set you up for long-term success.

Who Are Your Customers?

Just as important as deciding what you’ll sell is figuring out who you’ll sell it to. Is there a market for the goods or services you want to provide? What need are you fulfilling? Who are your ideal clients, and how can you reach them? If there is no market for your business, if there’s too much competition in your local area, or if you are targeting too small of a niche, your business may be doomed before it starts. Identify your market well in advance.

What Do You Need to Get Started?

First and foremost, do you have enough startup cash to get you off the ground and support your business until it starts making a profit? Will you need equipment, offices or infrastructure? Will you need staff? Think about the skills and knowledge you might need to run a business. Do you know how to do bookkeeping and payroll? How about setting up your business structure, licenses and permits? Fortunately, you don’t have to have a business degree to open your own business. Numbers House can help you with turnkey business startup services, bookkeeping, payroll and more. We can take the hassle and busywork out of starting and running your business and keep you doing the work you love. Contact Numbers House to find out more about how we can help you succeed.

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