The process of creating a company is often thought to be a series of steps to take once a written plan is in place. However there are several things a new entrepreneur must think about even before writing this plan. Here are 6 questions to ask oneself before taking the leap:  
1) What is the basic idea?
This is about presenting the outline of the project. It is first of all identifying the industry, field or domain in which the company wishes to pursue it’s activities (food industry, textile industry…etc). The vision of the company must also be specified in the chosen domain, from this vision will come the mission statement of the company. It is crucial to be precise and specific when elaborating this small presentation. 
2) Do I know enough about my chosen industry, domain or  field?
The knowledge about your chosen field is an indispensable tool for an entrepreneur.You have to know your chosen field inside out. Read about it, listen to the experts of the field, watch shows about it. All this with the purpose of knowing as much as you can about the field you want to get into. 
3) Does the idea already exist?
The skills and techniques of good research is indispensable to success at this stage. If the idea exists already, don’t panic! Just pick one of the similar companies and study it closely, most importantly find out what is missing from that company. That missing piece could be excatly what will make your company unique. If the idea is not out there yet, that’s great! You a are being innovative but sometimes that is not quite enough! 
4) Do I need help?

It is crucial to know your strengths but most importantly your weaknesses, for example do you have the skills and training for the field you want to get into and will you be a good manager? Once you have your answer to these you will know in what ways you need help  and how to ask for help. 

5) Who can I talk to about my project?
It is about finding someone in your own personal network (someone you trust of course!) who has experience in your chosen field. The point of course is not to reaveal the project in utter detail but simply to verify that it will have it’s place on the market in your chosen field. This discussion is key as it will show whether the project needs more elaboration or if it needs to be tweeked. 
6) Is the idea a viable one?
The last question to ask yourself is the viability of your project. It is about taking all the information collected from the previous steps and putting them together in order to asses if your project can function successfully. For example assesing the time needed to set it in place, the level of education needed and the skills and training that is necessary.
You have it all.
For more insight and specific examples of start-ups visit Inspire Afrika magazine

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