No frills here. We’re getting straight to the point. Here are three big questions that every new business owner needs to ask themselves before – and after – starting a new business. If you’re OCD, you could even ask yourself these questions every day. They’re that important.

1. What does my business do or offer?

When it comes to new business start-ups, we’ve found that the simplest questions get lost in the details. Oftentimes owners find themselves battling their thoughts – fighting to silence the never-ending “good” ideas about where they want the business to go. Ideas are a wonderful thing but when it comes to focusing in on a new business, it’s best to strip away the good intentions of tomorrow and focus on the passions of today. Be you. A business that takes a renaissance man approach to life will eventually grow tired of trying to do it all. Define what you sell. Define what you offer.

*Tip: Time your story into sets of 3s : 30 seconds for elevators, 3 minutes for impromptu coffee, 30 minutes for interviews.

2. What’s my vision statement?

Along with what you do or offer is the deeper question of who you want to become. Taking the time to solidify this now helps to ward off distractions and keeps your efforts focused on your deepest passions. Passion drives business. A vision statement doesn’t have to be long-winded, but it does have to be poignant. And remember: What you do or offer should always support the vision statement of the business. 

3. What do I have time to do? 

What’s great about owning your own business? You’re in charge. What stinks about owning your own business? You’re in charge! But being in charge doesn’t mean being alone. As business grows, it’s important to realize your time is valuable and you won’t – and can’t – always do it all. You can never buy more time in the day. The challenge then is to know your weaknesses, exploit your strengths, and find good partnerships and vendors. In the end, delegation to talented, trusted individuals brings greater profits than close-fisted management.

What helped you get started? Any advice to share for new business owners?

Stephen Palacino