By Robert Andrews
I would ask questions like these in a couple of iterations, meaning I would go through them once quickly to see if there is some clear deal breaking problem, and then again in more detail, and finally as part of the development of a detailed and researched business plan:
1. Is it a product or service that honors God? (Helping society, is good for the environment, etc.)
2. Is the business viable? Is there a market need for the product/service? Is the market ready and able to pay for the product/service?
3. Are there ways in which the business can make a positive contribution to the needs of the kingdom in this city/country?
4. Are staff, suppliers and other essential services available?
5. Are there legal restrictions or other government regulations that would make it unworkable?
6. Do I have the skills and other resources necessary to run the business and, if not, can I get them through training, hiring, consulting or other partnerships? (This would include management skills, technical product skills, local business knowledge, language and culture skills, just to name a few.)
7. How much capital will it take to start and maintain? (Estimate the capital requirement. Then double it. Then double it again!)
8. What happens if it all goes the wrong way… can I afford the loss if it comes?
9. Do I have the time and energy to make this work and is my family willing to make the sacrifice with me?
10. Are there other opportunities available that will bring a better financial and/or spiritual return on my invested time, money and effort?
Robert Andrews is part of our Ask a BAM Mentor panel of experience BAM mentors. Robert is a westerner who has lived in Turkey since the early 1990’s working in manufacturing, consulting and business training. Part of Robert’s consulting work is with TransformationalSME.org, managing the global mentoring process for missional businesses. Robert also serves as a leader at a Protestant church in Turkey where he often teaches on the theology of work and on discipleship in the workplace. Robert tells us he married a woman he doesn’t deserve and with her has raised a bunch of great kids who are now raising grandchildren for him!