Look, we can’t all be employed. Some of us have to make things work somehow i.e start a business and create employment for ourselves and others, in short be an entrepreneur. However most people get it wrong even before taking off, then end up messing the entire “Great Idea” you had.
Before I spill the 7 secrets, remember that every idea is not always original. Somebody has though of it before. What makes you stand out is how well you execute the same idea.
Every business sells to two groups of people, either consumers or businesses. Establish who you’re selling to before anything else.
1. Create a solid business plan: Nothing beats a plan that you keep locked in your head than a written one. This is a professional approach to your business, regardless of the size. Whether one page or a thousand, write down what you want and need to do to accomplish a successful business entity.
The documents you keep enable you to stay focused on your aims, because we can’t always remember what we initially intended to do with a plan when you keep it as a thought. Also write down any new ideas you may come up with. These will help to improve on your original plans and help your start-up business grow.
A great business isn’t just about the goals, it’s also about the numbers. Calculate every little cost needed to run it, as well as your profit margin. These figures may help you make a strong case even when you need to pitch the idea to a potential ‘angel’ investor. Try to be as realistic as possible about these figures as well. Don’t wallow in fantasies!This will also help you to avoid having a burn rate of finances before your profits are maximized.
Consider joining an incubation hub e.g Bongohive
2. Research clientele base: Find out what people around you really need/want. Is your business going to be the best solution to that need/want? You have to be relevant. The best businesses are those that have something to bring to the table that nobody has before, and that caters to very basic needs. Be original though.
Don’t just try to sell to anyone. Does your business cater to one organization or client base that needs the service/product, or does it provide for a wide range of consumers and/or businesses? Think about that.
Will your business be disruptive, one that changes the way the existing market works? Hopefully you will create one that does this positively.
3. Develop a profile of your customer base: Who do you want to sell/provide a service to? You have to create an image of the person your start-up is selling to. For example, if you’re going to start providing mobile money services, will you create a cheaper transfer rate because you want the average Joe, who gets less than a dollar a day, to still be able to send the little money that he earns at a minimal rate, so he does not have to feel the pinch of the cost of the transfer?
Then also consider the location that suits your customer base. Where are they found? Move closer! Sometimes, you may not need to even move, depending on what you are selling/service you’re providing. Working from home may save you rental costs.
4. Test the product/service to a small audience: After seeing your competition’s abilities, market the product/service to a test group and see the response you get about it. If it works out well, seek better marketing tactics and market the hell out of your business’s products/services.
The importance of this test is that you will be able to get feedback and work on what’s missing from your business before the cat’s fully out of the bag. This will give you time to work on errors well in advance, before you officially launch, which is the next step.
5. Launch: When you’re done ticking all 4 above, get that product/service out to your client base and get that paper! Use it wisely, grow bigger!
6. Keep innovating and evolving: Just because you’re out there doesn’t mean you stop creating new ways to improve on your idea. Get a team that believes in not settling for less. Hustle until you no longer have to introduce yourself…
7. Social Media, folks: Stay connected to your clientele. Not only through calls and emails. Even social media platforms. Most of them are more likely to check their social media pages before they get to their emails so get to them first.
Hope this helped. If you have anything else to add on, feel free to do so below.