Questions To Ask When Starting a New Business or Taking It In A New Direction

Here's a list of questions I ask myself & clients when starting a new business or figuring out where you want to take. Hope it helps:

Discovery Questions:

What is your company?

One sentence that doesn't leave them guessing ideally.

What does your company do?

Say it like someone asked you in a bar or at an event.

What’s your TARGET MARKET? Who do you do it for?

Huge question most people miss or go generic. Go DEEP! Make a list.

Ex: Start at the obvious, they are business owners doing $1M-$20M in sales, down to... They watch Netflix, listen to Podcasts on Spotify, likely have strong family values, a sense or humor, they're around my age, likely don't have time for politics so they sit in the middle, they likely know Gary Vee & Grant Cardone, and admire... DEEP.

This will help your marketing & business THE most, in my opinion. It'll give you SPEED, Certainty, and accuracy.

Generalities are boring and broad.

It's not for everybody, it's for somebody.

What do you do for them?

Say it like you'd tell someone who asks at a bar.

What does it do for them?

Argue the benefit of your sector generally first, and benefits from their viewpoint. You might not need to even go into why you than others, because you're already more than halfway there, but it's good for you to know for yourself. Why you over other people who do what you do?

How do you get business?

This is why knowing your target market is so important. If my clients listen to podcasts about business, it might be a good long and short play to start a podcast around business to attract those clients.

Or if they love entertainment, then I start making entertaining videos, they follow me and realize I have a company that does advertising and marketing that they could use for their company. At the point, they "know you," you entertain them, they like you, and you can help their business... There is no competition, you're it. That is content marketing.

What’s the cost of doing business?

Always good to know. Go as cheap as possible first.

What’s your minimum and maximum profitability?

I like to know this going in before getting involved.

How much do I need to break even and get into the black?

What's the bare minimum I gotta make each month?

And then what's the max? Is there a cap?

This will answer the next question.

Is it scalable?

Does it require you at all times?

Are you the business?

Can you hire people to replace things you do?

Can it be done without you doing it?

Can it grow beyond that?

Can it be replicated?

Is it scalable?

What’s your Big Why? Why are you doing this?

This will keep you going and get you started.

Always good to know why you're doing it, short and long-term.

Is this something you’re passionate about or like a lot?

The only way you're really going to put in the work and have longevity is if you're passionate or really like some main part of what you do.

Does this fit with your long-term goals and aspirations or is this short-term?

It's okay if it's short-term, but it's important to get real self-aware and understand you're just doing this for the short-term cash grab or if there's more to it.

Does this make you excited & happy?

At the end of the day, does this excite you?

Does it pump you up thinking about it?

If not, might need to take another look, and maybe do it another way or from another angle that does excite you.

Like me, I'm not super passionate about photography, but I am super passionate about social, video production, marketing and advertising, so if I combine those things, I've got a production studio that does advertising and marketing and THAT is exciting to me.