Do you think you’re ready to set up shop? Have you researched the competitors? Does your product or service have a market? To have an idea and optimism is not enough to kickstart your business. Many external factors affect your plans, skills and abilities.
So, before you start investing in your business idea try to follow these steps to make a successful start.
- What’s the idea?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what are you planning to sell? It can be a product or a service. You don’t necessarily need something very unique, it can be a pre-existing product or service which you may have improved upon or given your touch to it.
You can either enter a developed market or start your very own if you have a different product/service to sell. Both can be difficult at their own level but also exciting. There are many examples to support existing or unique ideas like Clubhouse app or Audible (audiobooks) or Signal app.
Clubhouse is considered a new concept by some while others consider it an extension of podcasts with a wider audience reach and certain new features. Signal app is considered to be Whatsapp’s rival with similar features but it is said to be safer.
- Who is your audience?
Once you’ve formulated the idea, your next step is to analyse the market and find out if people are looking for improved products or what kind of factors do they find unsatisfactory from another brand. Compare the price, quality and define what makes you different from them. This will help in targeting the right audience and marketing the product or service in the right way.
Apart from researching the specific industry and competitors, try to roll out some forms with questions that may help in understanding the audience’s preferences. Use different research methods to get a clear idea of things.
- Taking advice from a mentor/professional
If you’ve done a course in entrepreneurship, you can always contact your professors who have been part of the industry to get advice or some guidance from them. Apart from this, try to connect with professionals who have acquired success for their startup. Join webinars, workshops or contact people through social media channels like Instagram to get a direction or share your challenges or expectations for the future.
- What’s the plan?
If you’re planning on creating a website for your service or selling your products through e-commerce, you need to determine the cost involved, expenses, marketing investment, income and the starting price for your products. Detail this out to follow the cost or expenses expected in the beginning. Once you start the business, there’ll be many expenses involved and you would want to track them to compare them to your plan. Be realistic and set exaggerated cost expectations.
- Test your idea & make it legal
Put your idea to a test by taking a small step and deriving insights on how the product or service is selling. It’s important to kickstart within time and not worry about making things perfect. There may be downfalls but that will help you in determining what works for your strategy. For instance, if you’re making designer chocolates and want to see if they sell, launch your product with simple packaging and encourage people you know to order and try them out.
This way you’ll be able to tell if you get more orders that people are curious about the product and you have a market to make it a legit business. Once you know it works, register your brand and make things legal.
- Is it growing?
People’s interest in your product or service will grow slowly and you need to be patient as well as enthusiastic about it all. Start marketing your product/service online, launch it on social media and ask your friends/family to support you in increasing the engagement. When you progress and things start sailing smoothly, don’t forget to think if the business is growing. You would want to introduce more features or upscale your services to keep your customers engaged and excited.
For instance, making designer chocolates personalised based on a person’s preference. This will create a new category and also make your chocolates a gifting item.
Now that you know what to do, don’t hesitate in executing your idea. If you wish to get more guidance through a course check out different universities that offer entrepreneurship programmes for masters like Rishihood University.