At some stage, every one of us had a million-dollar idea but the difference between those who become a million-dollar business and those who don’t is the action you take with your ideas.
If you believe you have the next big successful idea and have no clue where to begin – start right here by reading this article and taking action…
p.s. if you are not an action taker – you may as well stop reading here… 🙂 because entrepreneurship takes courage, belief and an insane amount of action and perseverance.
I am not saying it will be easy – I am saying it will be worth it!
So let’s begin: The 10 things you need to start your own business and become a successful entrepreneur.
- Define your purpose – without a clear purpose neither you or your business will have the reason to stick it out when the times get tough. If you have a definite purpose of why you are pursuing this business, what your bigger goal is and why you have started it, not only you will be motivated to see it through to success but also your team and customers will be compelled to support your purpose. Far too many people start a business without this key ingredient and quickly give up. Remember – you can do anything – but you can’t do everything. So time is precious, so whatever idea you are going to pursue it will require your full dedication and commitment.
- Break it down – we usually fall in love with the big idea of creating something epic! In the end, all entrepreneurs are dreamers, visionaries, idea creators – that’s great – but can you break it down into simple actionable steps, make it so simple that an 8-year-old would understand it. What problem does it solve and for whom? Do not over complicate it. Do not try to be everything to all people. Be good at one thing, and do it very very well. Be obsessed about that one thing, get known for it and then add to your product or service offering.
- Research before creating a brand – yes, you need to be known as something – but chances are someone has already done it before you. When creating a brand, keep things simple and easy to understand branding. Something catchy, memorable, easy to remember. Check if the name is available. Are there domains that you can register for that brand name? What about social media handles? Do some research, chances are someone has already thought of the name or even have established a similar business with a similar name. The more research you can do when starting out, the quicker you will be able to execute and make decisions. Yo don’t want to find out that someone has a trademark and all domains registered after you have already invested in creating a brand.
- Test the waters – and see if what you are creating will have demand in the market you are anticipating. Are there people with the problem you are looking to solve? Will there be people who will actually pay for it? Are you targeting the right end of the market? Very often people create products or services that simply do not match the market need. Then they work relentlessly trying to sell ‘shoes to the shoemaker’ – or in other words sell things to people who do not need the solution or are not willing to pay for it. The easiest way to test the waters is to put together a 10 question survey and ask your ideal clients/customers to fill it out.
- Build an MVP – start out small and build a minimum viable product / service. Something simple that will show people what the idea is and present them with the offer. Ask them – will they buy it? If not, why not? What could you change? If they want it, then you know you are onto something. If not, don’t waste too much time trying to perfect the dream that only you have fallen in love with. Build lean, learn fast, and pivot if needed. The quicker you can eliminate things that will not work, the quicker you will be able to land on the idea that will work and start bringing in the money.
- Price it – this is the big question everyone asks – how do I price my product or service? My question to you is – have you looked into your competition? What price do they sell their products at? What do people expect to pay for it? On another spectrum of the equation of pricing is – what does it cost you to make it, create it, market it, deliver it and sell it? Consider all of your costs, including brand creation, consulting fees, website build, cost of time and resources. Of course, at the start there will be lots of initial set-up costs and those are usually spread over time, but do not forget to include those things in the grand scheme of things when pricing your products or services, because you will need to make a profit at some stage in order to have a successful business.
- Create a launch – that draws attention to your brand new business. Of course, when you are starting out it is not easy to create awareness, and as a start-up you do not have the budget to invest in marketing, but what you do have is resourcefulness and creativity to think outside the box and create a launch that ‘brings people through the doors’ or onto your website / landing page etc. Creating a launch is one of my favorite parts of seeing a business take off, but far too many people just ‘launch their website’ and then try to climb up the brick wall trying to attract one customer at a time. If you spend a little time strategizing your launch and executing it correctly, it will bring a lot of people all at once and will be worth your while.
- Deliver epic experience – there is a reason why people buy from small brands and that is the personal touch and experience they receive from the founder or a small business owner. Treat every customer like gold dust, make them feel special, shower them with gratitude, show them you care. They will keep coming back for more and tell all their friends about you. Treat your customers like a number – and you will see those numbers drop like dead flies.
- Collaborate – as a start-up business you really do not have the luxury of marketing spend – that is why you need to be even more resourceful when it comes to getting in front of your ideal customers. Have a brainstorming session to figure out who your customers are and who would have ready existing access to your ideal audience? Is there another type of business or a brand, maybe a micro-influencer who has the audience that you are trying to target? Maybe there are events where you could find your ideal clients or customers? Do a target list of potential collaboration partners and start approaching them. But before you do, have a clear idea about what it is you have to offer and what it is that you would like your collaboration partner to do to help you raise awareness. Remember, be kind, be personal and do your homework.
- Believe in it – this is last but by far not the least thing on this list. Belief in yourself and your product or idea is the key ingredient to your success. Remember, if you do not believe in your product, your service or yourself – no one else will. In the end – entrepreneurs sell dreams until those dreams become reality.
Did you enjoy this article? Leave a comment and let me know what part of the entrepreneurial journey you are at.
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