The rewards for successful business startups include flexible working hours, amazing work-life balance, more time with family, working on projects you are passionate about and believe in, having access to an uncapped salary, and becoming the expert in your field.
Although it involves hard work on your part, deciding to launch your own business might be the smartest move you ever make, especially if you are clever about how you launch your product or service. The right structure and planning can make all the difference when it comes to getting your business off the ground.
In this article we will cover:
Solid foundations: Plan and prepare for success
Market testing: Feedback and targeted messages
Publicity builder: Stimulate interest and get people excited before your launch
If you are thinking about launching your own business, you are not alone. This can be of comfort, there are hundreds of people taking this step with you, which makes small business a business of its own. Packages and starter packs, tax breaks and promos for small business owners can be found in everything from communications (phone, internet and web-hosting packages) right through to car lease and ownership.
Now is the time to get going on that dream project, take your passion to the next level and show the world what you are made of.
While the trend for small business ownership gives you some benefits, including lots of networking options, there is a downside; the statistics for failure can have you doubting your ability to succeed before you’ve completed your napkin sketch.
Figures for start up failures are high. Most new businesses will not make it to their first year.
As a Small Business Maven I can tell you, the success of a business has nothing to do with the luck of the draw. While it might appear random at first glance, the difference between success and failure comes down to commitment and planning, luck and chance has nothing to do with it. Your business success is entirely up to you.
This isn’t about IQ or aggressiveness either, no matter your business style, age or skillset, you have the ability to create and run a successful business if you are committed, passionate about your business, and set it up correctly.
There are very real steps you can take to meet your business goals and rise to the top.
If you plan correctly and are prepared to ride out the initial headwind of take off, your business can be one of those that not only works, but thrives.
The difference between those that win and those that lose is planning and preparation. Smart work and some effort at the beginning will help ensure a strong finish.
If you want your business to enter the market with a bang, you need to plan some fireworks.
The fastest and most effective way to plan is to work with a small business expert. Choose someone who has experienced the ups and downs of owning their own business. A business mentor, business consultant or business coach can give you genuine information about what to expect and show you effective ways to analyse your preliminary plans to find gaps and weaknesses.
Your first step is to go in with realistic expectations. Knowing your limits and your abilities can sometimes be tricky when you haven’t been put to the test previously. A second opinion will be eye opening and valuable for getting your head on straight and your business direction formulated.
Of course your idea is great, you thought of it. Your passion and excitement will give your business the edge and drive it needs to go all the way. Not everyone will be quite as excited as you. Every person is unique. It takes time to find a way for your product to fit perfectly into someone else’s life. Telling someone, ‘you need this!’ is only going to get you so far, successful products actually fill a need that is already there.
Luckily, help is at hand, the internet has statistics and data within easy reach.
To gauge how ready the world is for your business you can use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner which will reveal how many people currently search the internet for what you provide. You can also join Facebook groups and explore groups with overlapping interests. Ask these people to follow your business profile and form a database and sounding board if Facebook is the right platform for your business.
Determine if there is a market need, how big that need is, and how many providers already meet that need (or a portion of it).
If a need exists and you effectively meet that need then it’s time to go public, quietly. Build a business website, create a survey or a brochure, host a webinar, and build a groundswell of enthusiasm around your offering.
It’s important not to push sales at this point, it’s a platform and space to share information, get creative and engage with your audience. The better you know them the more effective your end product and marketing will be. Be interested in what they do and get genuinely excited and curious about who they are.
Remember to listen. This is the biggest and most valuable piece of advice most start up businesses ignore. Listen to your audience, get feedback, be flexible.
People need to be ready to buy well before you are ready to sell. Generate some excitement, anticipation and connection between your product and service and them. It needs to mean something to them and their lives. You are going to make a difference.
There are a lot of ways to achieve this and the right one for your business may be unique. If you established a database early keep them nurtured and share the love, give out free information, spend time talking to them and answering their questions or giving your expert advice, try Q&A time on Facebook (Facebook Live is a great option for this) or host a webinar or series of webinars. The more familiar your customers are with you the more they will trust your product.
Some examples of ways to generate a waiting market are:
When you launch your own business the success of your business is something you need to plan for, it will not simply fall in your lap. There is a lot of work, preparation and tactical thinking that tips the ‘odds’ of business success in your favour.
With so many successful businesses out there, you don’t have to go it alone. Get the right advice and support you need to get up and go strong from day one.
And yes, when you get it right, it is absolutely worth it.
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