Many people want to start their own business at some point in their lives. The thrill of going it alone and being your own boss means there’s a lot to like. But sometimes your business idea may not be right, or maybe starting your own business is not the right decision. Here are five questions to ask before you take the plunge.

What Problem Does Your Business Solve?

Does your business idea solve a specific problem? Does it meet a need? At the end of the day, for a business to succeed, you need to provide something that people want.

Look at the market and work out exactly what problem you are solving. Talk to people about your idea and get feedback. If people cannot see the point in your business, you may want to rethink before going all in.

What’s the Competition Like?

When starting a business, find out about the competition you will face. Are there already lots of competitors in this niche? This could mean it is too crowded. It should not stop you on its own, but you will need to have a way to differentiate your business from the rest.

On the other hand, no competition may also be a bad sign because it could suggest there is no demand.

How Will I Fund It?

You will probably need some money when starting your own business. You may have some savings already, but if not, how will you get funding?

There are many options for getting funding. A small loan may be enough, or family and friends could help. You might want to look into crowdfunding as well. Do your sums carefully and work out how much you need, then find out whether you will be able to get the funding.

Should I Go All In?

If you already have a full-time job, a mortgage to pay off and other monthly expenses, you have to carefully consider whether you should go all in and dedicate yourself entirely to the business.

If not, could you start it on the side as a part-time thing? This may be the safer option. Perhaps you can choose a business that you can run in a few hours a day to start with.

Also, consider the reality of what you are doing. Will it provide you with the life you want? Will you end up spending all your time on your business and not with your family? These are all important considerations.

Get Help when Starting Your Own Business

Starting a business can be incredibly exciting, but don’t jump straight in. Ask yourself the above questions and be honest. It may be that now is not the right moment or that you need to have a rethink before starting up.

When you are starting your own business, get everything in place before you launch. You may also want to hire an accountant to help you plan your finances along with getting advice on starting a business. They can help to advise about everything from taxes to self-assessment to whether you should be a sole trader or register a limited company, helping you to get started on the right foot.

For more advice in the small business world, check out the Accountants East London blog.