5 Crucial Questions If You Want To Start a Business

By James Mills, Mentorship Coach at Lighthouse International

“Starting and growing a business is as much about the innovation, drive and determination of the people who do it as it is about the product they sell.”

- Elon Musk, Founder: PayPal, SpaceX, Tesla Motors

In the UK alone, there are more than 500,000 businesses started each year and these are just the ones that actually reach the point of creation! The idea of being your own boss and leaving your job to start a business is appealing to many of us. Some of us may want to follow in the footsteps of billionaire entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Elizabeth Holmes with hope that we could be successful too. Others may want to simply make a difference in their local communities.

Sadly, whatever the motivation is, more than 9 out of 10 businesses fail in the first 5 years and many people starting out don't truly recognise the reasons why! Business struggle and failure does of course have plenty of significant knock-on effects; not just a loss of money which could affect security both in the short and long-term, but also consequences like a loss of confidence and the breakdown of close relationships.

If you are thinking of taking the bold step to start a business, then here are some must-answer questions....

It All Starts With Having Healthy Expectations

Going into business isn't just about business plans, websites, company bank accounts and business cards; a lot of the preparation is ensuring that you are prepared to go into the unknown where many fail and you have the right people around you. So these questions are ones you need to be able to answer as a starting point for setting up a business that is built to last...

    1. Building a business is definitely not for the faint-hearted! Even the world's most successful entrepreneurs have been pushed to their limits. For this reason it is crucial to know why you want to start a business.

    What are the reasons that will help you to keep going through the tough times?

    Share privately with your introducer below.....

    Have greater freedom and flexibilityIncrease my income and improve my lifestyleDo something that I'm passionate aboutEscape my job and/or bossBe a positive role model for my familyMake a positive difference through creating a social enterprise


    2. When you are running a business, the buck stops with you! There may be situations where you are completely stretched, are let down and perhaps even feel that you are at your wits' end with no apparent solution in sight.

    On a scale of 1-10, how important do you feel your personal growth and development is to ensure you are mentally and emotionally sharp and able to handle any challenge you may face?


    3. A strong network is crucial to ensuring that you are able to bring together the right knowledge, skills and resources to bring your business to life.

    Who are the people you are currently looking for who you feel will ensure you have all the support you need?

    InvestorsTrustworthy business partner(s)A peer group of aspiring business ownersReliable suppliersStrategic partner(s) to help with finding clientsA life and business mentorOther:

    4. One thing that unites successful entrepreneurs and increases their likelihood of success is having a mentor to support them.

    What are the qualities you would look for in a mentor?

    They are constantly developing themselvesThey are invested in your successHave an interest in your personal happiness as well as your business successUnderstanding of the principles behind a successful businessAble to introduce you to trustworthy contacts at the appropriate timeI don't need a mentorOther:

    5. When you are looking to start a business it can be difficult to know where you need to start.

    Would you be interested in speaking to a life and business mentor about the optimal way to start your business from the security of employment?

    Yes please I'd like to learn moreNo thank you

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