A quick tutorial on how to get your idea off the ground, and how to accomplish your entrepreneurial goals.
There are two types of people in this world. Entrepreneurs and Wantrepreneurs. The latter never take action. They're dreamers without results. You deserve better than that, and that's why DS&P has prepared a quick tutorial on how to get your business concept or idea off the ground.
It's not going to be easy, but it will certainly be rewarding. Let's look at some practical strategies on how you can evolve from Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur in a few simple steps:
1. Keep your day job
If you have a job and you can start your business on the side, you put less pressure on yourself. But, know who you are. Some people need the added pressure. If you are that person, and you have the proper capital already in place, it might help you to start a business without the safety of a job. Just be honest with yourself and understand the risks involved.
2. Create deadlines and stick to them.
Someday is not a deadline. “Soon” or “later” won’t work either.
Deadlines have dates.
Set dates to achieve certain milestones.
I will come up with a name for my business within 30-days.
I will pre-sell my product or service to at least 5 people/business within the next 60-days.
I will launch my website within 30-days.
To increase the chance to meet your deadlines break them into smaller chunks.
If you fail to set deadlines, you will fail in business.
3. Ask yourself very key questions about your business
What is your “why”? If you are serious about starting a business, you must
be sure that you are doing it for the right reasons. Can you define why you are starting a business? Your “why” is what will keep you going when it looks so appealing to give up. Your “why” is what gives you purpose. One more very important thing about your “why“. Your personal and business “why” must align. If you want a lifestyle where you can work fewer hours, you can’t be happy building a business that requires you to work 80-hour weeks for the next 5-years.
What are you passionate about? You have to enjoy the business you chose for yourself. Passion isn’t everything and it will not guarantee success, but it is a great start.
What advice do people ask you? There is a good chance that your environment is already giving you clues about what business to start.
Are people paying for what you want to sell? No amount of enthusiasm will make up for a lack of paying customers.
Are there others selling the same or similar products/services? Having said that, don’t be scared of competition.
Who are your competitors, and how many of them are out there? Competition is good. It means that there is a market there, there is money to be made.
Who are your customers? Be specific here. Don’t just write, “my customers are women.” What age are they? Where do they live? What do they do? How much money do they make?
How many of them are out there? If you chose a market that is too small, your business might never make enough money to support you.
The key to the above questions is to be brutally honest about your answers. This is no time to fool yourself.
After an honest assessment, you might realize that the business idea you had in mind will not work. It is better to figure this out sooner rather than later. It is not the end of the world. You just have to keep thinking about the right business idea that will work for you.
4. Identify and Validate
Let’s say you want to sell office supplies to small businesses.
That’s way too broad.
Narrow down your focus. Here is an example:
I want to sell office supplies to attorneys in Fort Worth, TX, who specialize in
divorce. This is a market you can go after. You don’t want to focus on a group too large such as all attorneys. It is too broad of a market.
After identifying your target market, you are very close to being an entrepreneur. Most people never get to this point. We call them wantrepreneurs. If you are not a wantrepreneur, read on.
Next step is to validate your idea.
Do people want what you sell?
Reach out to your customers. The best way is to ask one-on-one or create personal emails or social media posts.
Here are some questions you should answer as you validate your business idea:
What problem(s) are you solving better than other available solutions?
Are others solving the same problems? How are they failing or succeeding? What can you learn from them?
Are there similar solutions on the market? How is your product better?
What are the benefits of your product? If you are unable to provide a detailed explanation, your idea is not yet ready.
Who are the competitors? If you don’t think that you have competition, you haven’t looked hard enough. How are you going to differentiate your business from the competition?
What is the size of the market? If you can’t define it in actual numbers, you haven’t done enough research.
Most of the above answers should come from your potential customers. If you try to answer them without external input, you will fail.
When you talk to customers don’t sell.
Ask questions. Find out the challenges they face.
Then, listen more.
Ask more questions.
Get permission to follow up.
Most people don’t follow up.
You will know if you are on the right track if you:
Presell several customers. There is no substitute for sales. The ultimate test is sales.
Are able to get people to help you improve your product.
Can find strategic partners to help you grow your business.
Are able to attract investors.
5. Sell like there is no tomorrow!
Are you a born salesperson?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be.
Selling is a skill anyone can learn.
Do you really have to?
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you have to learn how to sell.
It’s easier than you think.
You have started selling during the earlier steps. You are only continuing it now.
Present solutions to the same people you have talked to in step 4.
If you have listened carefully, you heard their pain points. Now, it’s your time to sell them your services or products.
There are only two options here.
1. You sell – And you become the hero!
2. You fail to sell – It's a good thing you tried, but there is a problem. You either didn’t listen and failed to understand the needs of your customers or you are too expensive.
If you need further assistance launching your business or marketing your existing effort online, contact DS&P today by filling out the form below. We have an almost FANATICAL approach to increasing your profit and revenue. Look forward to hearing from you.