So you have been reading a lot about entrepreneurship. You study the thoughts and behaviors of successful entrepreneurs and learn lessons from their past failures. You are constantly listening to podcast and watching videos that teach about entrepreneurship and provide tips about business ownership.
You are done just consuming information, you are ready to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality.
This is great, but you definitely want to make sure that you do the proper research, planning, and defining of your strategy before starting your business. Entrepreneurship, while empowering, is a lot of work. You don’t want to rush into being an entrepreneur and derail your process because you skipped over some important information that is required for your business to succeed.
Ask any successful entrepreneur about what led to their success, and they will tell you that it was due to them writing everything out in detail before they got started. They had to understand what was needed for their business, so that they would have the knowledge required to operate successfully.
You can’t just wing it as an entrepreneur. Eventually being unprepared will catch up to you. You don’t want this to happen because you will have to waste time and money trying to correct mistakes that could have been avoided.
We are here to help you prevent such a situation from occurring. We want to help you start off your entrepreneurial journey on the right foot, and this will be done by helping you define your business right now.
The 9 tips provided will help you develop a complete outline for your business, which will help you operate with more focus, efficiency, and effectiveness.
Know Your USP ( Unique Selling Proposition)
What makes you different from the other businesses that operate in your space? If you can’t answer this question right now, then you definitely want to find the answer to this question before starting your business.
It is foolish to jump into entrepreneurship without knowing how your business will stand out from the competition. You have to know what type of products and services are currently being provided in the marketplace, and determine how you can differentiate your business to create appeal among consumers. When you operate in a crowded market, and you look and operate the same as those you are competing with, you will find it hard to grab people’s attention. Now your business is struggling to gain attention and make money.
You are in business to make money, so you must position your business to attract customers who want to spend their money with your business. Think hard and long when doing this. It might not seem important at first, but as time goes by, and your business is struggling to acquire customers, not giving proper attention to this process will be the reason why.
Provide a Solution
Don’t jump into entrepreneurship just for the purpose of making money. Yes, it seems like an oxymoron. Every entrepreneur wants to make money and a lot of it. But you can’t make money if you are not providing a solution to a problem.
What problems are customers complaining about that need solutions? Do you see a problem that will arise in the future that will need an immediate solution?
People pay for solutions to their problems. If you can make their life easier, and they can focus on the things that they want to, you will have a loyal and growing customer base.
To determine problems, you need to talk to customers – learn firsthand what they need in their life or business that will help them improve their situations. Do online research by participating on forums, engaging in conversations on social media, and asking questions through your own blog. Gather as much information as possible.
Once you have gathered your information, develop your products or services and push them into the marketplace. When you do this, the most important thing that you must do is communicate your value. People must know exactly what your business provides that will be of great benefit to them. You can have the greatest product in the world, or provide the best services within your industry, but if people don’t know about your business, how great you are means nothing if you have no customers to serve.
Be Clear & Authoritative
Are you an expert or a person pretending to be an expert?
Experts don’t use the words: like, maybe, probably -those words that indicate that they aren’t sure of themselves and what they are talking about. If you want people to believe that your business is legitimate, and the owner understands how to provide them with quality products and services, your words have to be an indicator of this.
The content you put on your website, social media pages, and marketing materials must illustrate that you are an expert. Your words have to be precise and strong, laying out problems and leading to solutions. When doing videos, you must project knowledge and confidence – people recognize such things and form opinions based off what they perceive.
Never come off as weak and ill-informed. Your business will suffer from doing so, and you will have to work hard to reverse the images already formed in people’s’ minds. If you know your business thoroughly and believe in your capabilities as an entrepreneur show it to the marketplace.
Do Your Homework
This should be something done without question. You don’t just take on something so challenging and risky as entrepreneurship, and just expect to produce results because you believe you are so smart and talented. Too many people have failed in entrepreneurship due to their arrogance and ignorance.
You must study your marketplace, your customers, pricing, industry trends, the practice of successful businesses, and much more. Entrepreneurship involves so many different moving parts, and you must be aware of how these moving parts work together to develop a successful business.
Trying to guess as you go will slow your business growth tremendously. It is better to gain knowledge beforehand, so you can be better prepared to handle any situation that comes up. Knowledge is power in any situation, but especially in the world of entrepreneurship.
Define Your Target Market
Please, please don’t have the, everybody is my customer mindset. No, everyone is not your customer. If that was the case, the small business failure rate wouldn’t be so high. Businesses fail because they don’t define the customers who need their products and services – those who will actually pay for what they are offering.
What products or services are you providing? Are you focused on quantity or quality? What problem are you solving?
These questions help to target a specific demographic of people to market and sell your products or services to. Instead of wasting your time on people who won’t be interested in your business, you can focus all your efforts on those who are in search of what you are offering. Concentrating only on those who will buy from you will lead to a business that grows, brings in high revenue, and has the ability to make a profit.
Know Your Startup Cost
It is never a good thing to start a business and then be hit by an unexpected cost that put your business in serious jeopardy. You must determine how much money is needed to fund each process of developing your business. You don’t want to get in the habit of stop and go when developing your business due to not having the required money in place. This stops your momentum and you lose focus.
You may be starting off on a shoestring budget, most entrepreneurs had to start off in this manner. This only means that you have to focus on the most important aspects of developing your business. Getting an office isn’t an immediate cost to be budgeted for. Your budget should be focused on product or service development, marketing and selling. These 3 functions are what lead to you developing a business that can afford luxuries, such as an office.
Test Your Idea
You may believe that you have developed and amazing product or service, and then come to realize that nobody wants it. You have spent all this time and on something that nobody wants, leaving you to feel defeated and frustrated.
You avoid being put in this situation by testing your product or service as you develop it. Find a small group of people and offer them a test trial, this allows you to gather the proper feedback that can be used to make your product or services better. You need to gather as much feedback as possible before going all in.
You may love what you have produced because it is your idea. But your opinions don’t matter. You are serving other people as an entrepreneur, not yourself. Therefore, you must give them exactly what they want.
Forecast Your Finances
Wanting to make money and knowing how to make money and how much money is projected to be made are completely different things. If you don’t have financial goals in mind, you a will not be able to effectively make money.
Forecasting your finances is more than just plugging in financial numbers to reach. Understanding your finances is about understanding the money making activities of your business. You must have complete knowledge of your marketing and sales activities and determine how well they will work to produce revenue for your business.
You must also be well aware of your expenses and calculate how much money will be needed in order to offset the expenses you incur while operating your business. Don’t be one of those businesses that has high revenue, however having trouble because their expenses exceed their revenue.
Write Your Strategy
Any action with no goal to guide its destination is useless. Your business must have a well-designed plan of action that helps you to maintain focus and provides you with goals that must be accomplished.
Having goals help you define your daily activities and to continuously chart your progression. When goals are defined, then you have to create a strategy that helps accomplish them. A strategy leads you to create effective actions because your goals are being placed under a specific timeframe to be accomplished. Therefore, you will only do those things that help you accomplish a lot of things in a short amount of time.
When you decide to turn your entrepreneurial dreams into a reality, do it with a well-defined plan of action that is backed up by real information. Dreams only become reality when they have a strong foundation to be developed upon.