Quick Business Guide #1: The 5 Key Questions You Must Answer Before Launching Your Business

Watch this video of Jay Abraham to understand Key Question #3 in this Quick Business Guide

In order to understand the importance of preparation in going to market with any business, you must first install processes that will support your business. One of the most important overview processes to perform is answering the 5 Key Questions to starting a successful business.

If you do not have answers for any of these questions, it is important to stop and examine the “missing ingredient” that may create long term problems for your new startup.

The Five Key Questions

1. What is Your Substance Factor?

These are experiences, education, career titles, collaborations, successes, or lessons learned from failures you accumulated throughout your career that provide the “expert” substance factor that will give you credibility in your business

2. What Are You?

This is identifying what type of company you are about to launch and the market you are targeting

3. What Are Your Products, Services, and Market Strategies?

This is simply identifying whether you provide a tangible or intangible product, services only, products and services, and the strategy that allows you to cross sell and or up sell your customer base on an ongoing basis.

The #1 Market Strategy you can review before going to market is provided by the $7 Billion Dollar Man Jay Abraham in “3 Methods To Grow Your Business”

4. Who Is Your Customer?

Identify your customer, their demographics, their propensity to buy, and the habits this target market exhibits. Identify if you will sell to the general public, small businesses, large corporations, or a combination of the aforementioned. Investigate the possibility of opening up to a global-world wide market

5. What Is Your “Differentiating Factor(s)”?

What makes your product-service special or standout from the marketplace? Do you have an advantage that your niche competitors do not have in their businesses? Can you market this differentiating factor and make it a driving factor in your launch? How can you leverage this differentiating factor in order to convince an established business, in your niche and with established-developed channels into the market, to partner-collaborate-or present you to the marketplace?


12 thoughts on “Quick Business Guide #1: The 5 Key Questions You Must Answer Before Launching Your Business

  1. Dean,

    I’ve always loved that Jay Abraham clip. I posted it on one of my Squidoo pages.

    It’s not only start-ups, but existing businesses looking to grow (or survive and thrive in today’s tougher market)that need to focus on these basics.

    So many businesses are running around operating from a tactical perspective.

    With all the social marketing tools (tactics)emerging, if you don’t have these basics in place,you run the risk of a whole bunch of people realizing you’re a fraud. But, good for you… you’ll spread the word fast.

    Getting the fundamentals down is more important now than ever.


  2. Walt,

    Jay Abraham is a common sense positive thinking force who is very instructional in his approach. Nothing wasted in Jay’s approach it is purely straight forward talk and no nonsense approaches and how to guides.

    I agree with you Walt too many folks start without asking the 5 Key Questions.

    You can survive and thrive withOUT a differentiating factor BUT you can’t make it without the other 4 keys!

    Thanks for always adding your experienced voice to the mix.


  3. Dean,

    Regarding your answer to Walt – that you can survive and thrive without a differentiating factor….I am not sure I agree on that one. With all the new businesses “out there” – be it brick and mortar or online – if you are not differentiating somehow – you’re setting yourself up for mediocracy. At least that’s my two cents of opinion on that issue….
    What say you?


  4. Sabine,


    In my experience the most difficult concept is a true differentiating factor. I believe, right or wrong, that if you imitated or copy another business concept you can do it better than your “model” if you have the other 4 keys to starting a business.

    If you take a look throughout history you can see examples of this idea.

    For instance Ray Kroc’s McDonalds. Kroc copied Detroit’s assembly line process in making cars and applied it to making hambergers. He understood how to take someone else’s idea, he understood how it applied to his industry, and he inadvertently created an entirely new industry on his own–fast food.

    Nordstrom was built on the concept of Dale Carnegie. I worked for that company for 7 yrs and their secret was no secret. I was asked time after time–Your customer service training must be amazingly rigorous what does it entail?

    The answer is simple! Nordstrom hired the best most educated and passionate people they could find. They paid them higher than scale and asked them to take “ownership” in the success of the business. They still pay to this day a $1 for $1 contribution on their profit sharing program.

    Bottom line for me is simple. Many businesses do it right. Take or steal from them the best of their ideas. Then do it better. You do not need to reinvent the wheel or have a differentiating factor if you can beat the companies in your niche at their own game.

    That’s what I say


  5. Sabine,

    Now that I think about it Kroc’s taking of the assembly line process could be considered a differentiating factor because nobody else was using that process in the food industry at the time.


  6. dean,

    I agree… and disagree.

    You can no doubt survive without a differentiating factor. Your business will be like all the others. Congrats…you’re a commodity, forced to compete on price.

    You’re right, finding your differentiating factor is simple, but not easy. You mentioned the clue. Often times it’s looking outside your industry and applying an innovation or system to your business.

    Thrive without being different? Those days are over. Consumers have been blasted with too many brain dead messages.With a couple clicks of a mouse,prospects today are armed with information at their fingertips to make buying decisions.

    Not only must you know your difference, you gotta tell the story of your difference.

    My experience is that the vast majority of businesses are stuck at Question #3. They don’t really even have a clear idea of the three basic ways to grow a business.

    Only the top tier market leaders get all 5 strategies right.


  7. Walt,

    I am with you all the way. I have finally begun reading the old book by Seth Godin “Purple Cow” and it is making me believe that new businesses must find a differentiating factor or “create” their own purple cow scenario.

    Your writing of late has been so on target and full of explanations and useful informative strategies that I almost can’t keep up.

    Check out Jason at Gorilla Sushi’s latest article on “How to get traffic” through Stumble Upon. It is a step by step detailed guide book on creating readership–mass readership. Great article!

    Thank you for your comments Walt you add value every time through!


  8. Thanks dean for the mention of Jason’s StumbleUpon article. I’ve recently seen lots of traffic to my site from Stumbles.

    Every business, if they look hard and close enough, has a “Purple Cow” inside ’em.

    Most of us are too busy working IN our daily business tasks to discover our own amazing “Purple Cows”.


  9. Pingback: Awareness and Trust: Keys To Leading a Happy-Purpose Driven Life « inner architect

  10. Thanks for the good suggestions. I have been selling my jewelry at flea markets believe it or not and doing very well. Funny how most people don’t consider flea markets when you can start for so little and do so well in just 2 days per week.

    If you are considering it as a way to get started, I highly recommend a DVD that showed me how to do it successfully. It talks about making $1,000 per day at flea markets and I have been very successful since I started using these techqniques. Take a look at http://www.salesandmanagementsolutions.com/lp_flea.htm to see if it might help you.

  11. Hey Joseph,

    That is a great tip. In the 1970’s and early 80’s a flea market existed in Sausalito, Marin City, that was a fantastic method for raising quick cash. They closed that market due to the amount of swag that was floating through the event.

    But that lesson never left me. People look for bargains and you can launch a product or service from a flea market–for very little investment.


  12. Pingback: Awareness and Trust: Keys To Leading a Happy-Purpose Driven Life

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