At a time where the technology has never been more advanced, it feels like there’s no better time to start a new business. If you think you’re ready to venture into the entrepreneurial world, be sure to take note of these pointers to help build a solid foundation to your company:
The first thing you should ask when you start creating your own business is: “What problem of my target market am I trying to solve?” This is the foundation your business is built on.
You should have a deep understanding of your target market -know their pain points and listen to their needs. Allot money for research, interviews, focus groups, forums, and surveys. You can even use social media to listen to your consumers. The important thing is that you do not blindly assume their needs.
Meet their actual needs and learn to adapt when those needs change. Ultimately, your business is there for the consumer and not you. No matter how revolutionary your product or service is, if no one needs it, it won't fly.
If you don’t have a concrete understanding of your business model, it’s best to take a step back, analyse your business, and make a solid business plan. Business plans act as a guide not only at the beginning stage of a business but also as you go along. When you feel like you’re losing track, the plan is a map that would help you get back on the road. Don’t get too caught up in your plans, though. Be sure to stay flexible as you adapt and listen to your consumers and the market.
Building a strong presence is key to establishing your place in the industry. Especially for start-up businesses, it's important to make connections with fellow entrepreneurs, potential business partners, investors, and customers who can help spread the word about your company. It never hurts to have an elevator pitch ready, so you can show them what value your business can add to theirs.
Never forget the power of social media to help you connect with the right people in your industry. Every business worth their salt has established their presence in the digital world, and you should use these platforms to connect with people who can help you grow your business.
Having people with the right passion, skills, and work ethics are fundamental to a successful business. Be it a team of five or a company with hundreds of employees spread across different departments; you have to have the right people doing the job that would best suit their strengths.
As a business owner, you have to surround yourself with people who would help turn your vision into reality. However, this doesn't mean looking for people who fit in a single mold you've built for “the perfect employee.“ Building the best team means looking for people who complement each other's personalities, skills, strengths, and weaknesses.
Your business needs to grow, and that means you should have a return of investment and a net income that would sustain and, someday, expand your company. Passion and technological knowledge play a huge role in that, but so does finance. You need solid financial management in place to help you balance spending and acquiring your funds.
Always generate financial statements each month to keep track of your cash flow. Profitability is key, so having a record of your finances will help you better understand where your money should be.
If no one knows about your business, you won’t get sales –it’s that simple. Because you’re a startup, you want to get your name out there as much as possible. Always include marketing in your budget. It doesn’t have to be a huge marketing campaign with full TV ads and billboards. You can start with a solid social media presence.
I'm sure you've heard of the sentence “Content is King.“ That's because it really is. Write blogs, create videos, do podcasts, be active on social media. You'll gain measurable engagement, and you can get invaluable insights from there as well. As your business continues to grow, follow where your market leads you. Spend on platforms your target market frequents. Just be sure your marketing is in line with your company's main goal: to solve your customer's needs.
It doesn’t matter how good your marketing campaigns are, how much capital you’ve amassed, or how passionate and hardworking your team is -if your service or product is substandard, your business will always fall short. Be sure you have a product or service that will pique the interest and meet the needs of your target market, and put it into their hands with a smile.
It's all about timing. You may have the most amazing business model and the most innovative product, but if the market is not ready, it won't pan out well. And if you're a few months too late to a trend, you'll be competing with hundreds of companies for your target market's attention. Before starting your business, you have to listen to what’s going on in the playing field, and with your instinct and a little luck, you might just strike gold.
One thing business owners often fail to realise is that focusing on a small set of services or products is never a bad thing. Most people want to offer everything in the get-go. This leads to providing a huge range...of mediocre services that won’t satisfy your customers.
Know your team's expertise and internally lay out a list of services or products you can offer. From there pick out a few your team can master and start from there. You don't need to offer every product or service in the book; you just need to pick the right ones.
Innovation is where ground-breaking technology meets the needs of the market. After all of these “business secrets” shared, entrepreneurship is bringing something new to the market, while addressing their pain points. When you have a profound understanding of your consumers, combined with expertise on your product and the technology behind it, you’re just a few steps away from being a start-up success.
April9’s team of industry-leading professionals can help you create systems tailored to your business that will ultimately help you reach your business goals. We’ve helped start-ups many times before, and excel at delivering fast product iterations and MVPs for market testing.