Whether you’re thinking of quitting your day job someday or starting a small business to supplement your income, it’s important that you think long and hard before filing that business permit. From deciding whom you want to share your profits with to how you plan to get the word out, here’s a list of factors you need to consider before setting up shop.

1. Your partners

There are plenty of perks to starting a business with friends and family, but before you invite other people on board, Entrepreneur.com suggests asking yourself a few questions first. Are you and your partners are in it for the same reasons? What will each of you bring to the table? What are you going to do if you can’t agree? If you can’t answer these with confidence, then you may want to consider going at it alone or postponing your partnership plans indefinitely.

2. The product
It’s not always about keeping up with trends. According to GIRLTalker mic_parro, who sells imported underwear overruns, you also have to know your product. In her case, when customers ask her for feedback or about which particular designs are great to wear with jeans or dresses, she has no problem answering their questions—an important trait in budding entrepreneurs. Passion, however, is also important. For wedding gown designer Jazel Sy, this was a key factor in the success of her bridal boutique. “Kailangan ko gawin kung ano yung gusto ko,” she says.

3. Your customers

Market research is invaluable to your business’s survival. Know who your customers are, what they need from you, and how you can serve them better.

4. Your marketing strategy
“Understanding the basics of marketing is essential in getting your name out and gaining clientele,” reports Forbes.com. After all, no matter how wonderful your product or service is, no one is going to avail of it if people have no idea it exists. Do you want to gain traction via word-of-mouth? Is traditional advertising the way to go? What can you do with social media?

5. Your risks
There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic about your prospects, but you should also prepare yourself for the threats and risks your business may face. According to Entrepreneur.com, you need to determine those pitfalls, develop a plan, and most importantly, be ready to respond. You’re an entrepreneur. Even if you can’t predict what’s going to happen, you have to be prepared to adapt or risk closing shop.

FLASHBOX PHOTO: Rebecca Schley/Flickr Creative Commons; GIFS: Giphy.com

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