A question I got for “Ask Claire” was “how to know the right amount to invest in a new business venture?” but I figured it would be a good topic for a blog post so wanted to address it here. But before we get into how much you should invest, these are things you should do before investing any money. So that’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog today!
Before you do anything, you need to do market research. You need to research whatever the business is you want to get into. These are some of the questions you need to answer:
-Who is your competition? Is there a lot of it/how saturated is the market?
-Is there a demand for your idea/product? If you have a lot of competition this can be a good sign that there is clearly demand but if there is too much competition, you may want to take that into consideration. That isn’t to say that you can’t be successful in the space but you need to figure out how you’re going to differentiate yourself or be a better option for potential customers. Now if there isn’t a ton of competition you need to ask yourself – is there a reason this hasn’t been done before? Or instead, is this whitespace in the market because you’ve found a great niche that is underserved.
-What does it take to get into the market? Do you have to have a physical product that needs to be manufactured or are you offering a service where that isn’t required?
-If you need to get your product manufactured, about how much does that cost? This is where you start calling around to get quotes.
-Whether you have a physical product or not, make a list of the bare minimum you would need to get started. For example, every business needs a website but this doesn’t mean you need to spend $5K+ on a web designer. You could do it yourself or find someone off Upwork and pay them $1K. Again, you want to focus on the bare minimum you need to get started. This will give you a good idea of what is required to get things off the ground in terms of if you need to hire any outside help, potential associated costs, etc.
-On that note, what can you do yourself? With Parry for example, there was obviously no way I could build an app myself (I’m not a developer, clearly). While you have to wear a lot of hats as a new business owner, there are certain things that you have to outsource. So make a list of what you can do on your own (even if it’s not perfect) for the time being and what you absolutely need to hire someone for.
-The last thing – ask yourself, if I never make any money from this business, is this something I would enjoy doing/feel passionate about? I think it’s important to ask yourself this because starting a business requires a lot of patience. From a financial standpoint, it can take a long time (years) before you are profitable. From an emotional/mental standpoint, you have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of your time, you have to be resilient and know that emotionally you’re going to have a lot of ups and downs trying to navigate everything, you need to be prepared to be resourceful, etc. It’s really f*cking hard. So just ask yourself – am I really passionate about the business I want to start? Because you will need that passion and purpose to carry you through.
Alright, I think that is about it in terms of things to do/think about before starting a new business. In the next blog, we will cover how much to invest in the new business venture!