Business Start-up Questionnaire and Checklist
In the early days of thinking about your potential new craft business, there are a lot of issues to consider. As part of your planning process, and to help you notice and work through any possible issues, it’s useful to complete a business start-up questionnaire and write yourself a checklist of things to do.
Although you may be keen to get started with actually doing something concrete, spending time writing down your thoughts and experiences, and answering key questions, is a valid and important task. They’ll help you ascertain all your strengths and weaknesses, spot any areas of running a business that you’re not currently 100% sure about and give you a good foundation for building your craft business.
Answer the questions as honestly as you can. It’s tempting to look on the bright side and hope everything will be fine, but it’s far better to be completely honest at this stage and acknowledge any potential problems. Once they’re written down and you’ve recognised they exist, you’re more likely to be able to work things out and try and solve the problems.
- Do you have any existing business experience?
- Why do you want to start your own crafts business?
- Are you a motivated person?
- Do you work well on your own or do you work better with a team of others?
- Do you have the creative skills needed to run a craft business?
- Do you have any financial backing?
- Are you good with money and finance?
- Are you hardworking?
- Are you prepared to adapt to the needs of your business?
- How will you create balance between your personal life and work?
- What motivates you?
- Are there any factors that may prevent you from realising your business dream?
- Are you willing to have to work harder and potentially for less money? (at least to start with).
- How do you feel about having a fluctuating income, rather than a set salary and standard pay check at the end of the month?
- Do you have management and training skills?
- How much emotional and practical support do you have?
- Are you prepared to adapt to new technologies and try new promotional ideas?
- Do you believe in yourself and your craft business idea?
- Where do you see your business in five years time?
It may be interesting to keep your questionnaire answer filed away with the rest of your start-up information. When your business has been running for a year or so, you can then have a recap and see how you’ve fared and whether there are still any of the original issues that you still need to resolve or work harder to fix. Of course, lots more new issues may well have evolved since then!
Business Start-up ChecklistNow that you’ve answered the questionnaire and evaluated your answers, it’s time to put what you’ve learnt into action. In the early stages of creating a business, there’s a huge amount of things to do and organise. By using a checklist you can keep on top of everything, know what’s got to be done and see at a glance how you’re progressing. The checklist can be written on paper and pinned on a notice board, written on a white board on the wall, typed up on your computer or stuck to a door – whatever works for you, just remember to keep it close to hand so you can tick things off as you progress.
The list below offers a useful guide to what may be on your checklist, although the actual items you include on yours will inevitably vary, depending on what you need to focus on.
- Decide on a business name.
- Create a business website, or find a designer to do so.
- Create a logo and stationery.
- Conduct market research and assess the competitors.
- Find business premises.
- Investigate finance and start-up loans.
- Have a meeting with a business advisor.
- Investigate wholesalers.
- Find an accountant.
- Open a business bank account.
- Look into advertising opportunities.
- Look for any business start-up training schemes.
- Think about staff and management issues.
- Check the availability of your business name, then register it. Also register relevant domain names.
Armed with this checklist, you're ready to tackle the tasks that lie ahead - good luck!