“A big business starts small.” – Richard Branson
It is often said that businesses are not built by money. Instead, they are built with the right vision and strategy. So don’t shelve your plans to pursue your dream business due to lack of funds.
There are over 28 millions small businesses in the USA, but unfortunately, only about half of the businesses survive for five or more years.
You need to have confidence in your business idea, risk-taking ability , and an adequate amount of perseverance to make it happen. Once you’ve got that covered, your chances of becoming a successful business go up manifold.
Create a winner – Start a business the right way!
Here are the top 6 questions you need to ask yourself when you embark on a new venture.
1. Do You Really Want it?
If the ONLY reason to start a new business is because you have lost your job, think again! Or even because your existing business is not doing well. Maybe the better option is to find a new job or work hard to scale up your current business. If you’re getting overwhelmed in your business, try these tips to stoke the entrepreneurial fire.
What is your motivating factor? If you are thinking of taking more holidays and make easy money, then you are subscribing for the wrong job. Starting a business demands a lot of sacrifices, dedication, hard work, and self-motivation to sustain the starting phase of struggle.
Are you comfortable taking risks and dealing with uncertainty? Good at selling? Do you like connecting with people and love networking? Because without these qualities, it is impossible to run a successful entrepreneurial endeavor.
Never start your business for the wrong reasons. Because in the long run it’s only your dedication, motivation and conviction which can help your idea become a real business.
Also read or see : 5 qualities of entrepreneurs
2. Deliver a clear solution
The majority of start-ups went on to become unicorns because they were able to solve problems. Uber made mobility easily accessible for every smartphone owner, and Airbnb made high-quality, cheaper accommodation available to the masses. These businesses helped people make their lives easier and simpler.
Even if your idea isn’t revolutionary, make sure that you offer a solution that is clear, and stated with clarity. Define your business idea in a few sentences or 1-2 paras.
Then assess your skills to see they are a match for your venture.
Also read: 20 Essential Soft Skills for Business Success!
Communicate, clarify and more...
Can you refashion an existing business model more efficiently? Improve current offerings, cut down operating costs, and increase revenue through better products and services? A fresh approach can bring a higher value proposition to the existing business model.
Consider bootstrapping with a small amount. You can always scale the idea if it works.
And if you are really restricted in the funding department then starting a service business is more feasible. Because unlike selling products, selling services is not capital intensive.
Need help creating a business plan? Check out this free business plan template for a service business
For instance, if you are good at coding then you can startup with web and app development service. All it would need is a computer and an engaging website to attract potential customers. Similarly, blogging, copywriting or even starting a virtual assistant business need good skill sets but a very small investment.
Even if you choose to be at home with your family, here are 10 great legit options to earn money and be a Stay at home Mom.
3. Leverage Free Digital Marketing Tools
Digital marketing is the way to be more visible and reach your audience in a focused manner. There is a plethora of digital mediums through which you can easily market your business to your potential customers. You can be visible on social for free, and even advertise or promote without burning a hole in your pocket. An engaging Facebook post can help you grab more eyeballs than a bundle of colorful pamphlets while Instagram is the best way to market your brand or visual business.
From social media marketing and web analytics to designing stunning creatives and sending emails to hundreds of people in one go; you might find it money-intensive. You can leverage these free digital marketing tools to kickstart your business.
- Google Analytics – Track the traffic and activity of users on your website
- Canva – Create stunning designs and images
- MailChimp – Shoot newsletters in bulk
- Grammarly – Keep your online content error-free
- Evernote – Keep your schedule, notes, meetings, discussions and other stuff organized to multitask efficiently
- Buffer – Manage multiple social media accounts
- Charlie – Free CRM
- SurveyMonkey – Run online surveys free of cost to get real feedback
- WordPress – Create stunning landing pages
If you’re looking to amp your online presence, check out these 25 top free business tools from Google.
Here is a very comprehensive list of free business resources for entrepreneurs and startups alike.
Well, the list is endless but above mentioned free digital marketing tools can help you start your marketing activities very easily without spending a single penny.
Need more DIY business solutions from experts? Check out the Digital Tools Marketplace
Get the best business tools and freebies!
4. Research your market and customers
You need to stay prepared for any competition or market challenges well in advance – this is one of key considerations in creating your business. If you are not prepared, you will lose your business. There are no excuses.
You can choose many avenues like surveys on Survey Monkey or Google Forms. Offer an incentive to fill them out, if your budget permits it.
Informal polls and questions on Facebook groups are another great way to get answers. Entrepreneurs have posted questions asking for feedback on strategic things like business premise and idea. Others ask for opinions on elements like logo or web design. Many also gauge consumer interest on pricing products or services.
Talk to existing and potential customers multiple times – this can save you costly mistakes.
Find out whether your idea is unique or not. Because when you start researching, you will find that most of the ideas are already in the market. There is no need to get disheartened or shun your concept. All you need is a better business strategy to execute your idea more efficiently than others.
Proper market research will also help you understand whether your business idea will work or not.
If you are a startup, you can conduct robust market research by making a prototype of your product or service and rolling it out to a group of people. You can also ask people you personally know to give brutally honest feedback and suggestions. This will help you with insights for further improvements.
The key is to blend online and offline research efficiently to churn out actionable business insights and patterns. It will also help you cut costs while enhancing the product or service.
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5. Keep Networking
The success of a business largely depends upon the kind of people you meet and the number of resources you can leverage from them. Keep attending trade shows and seminars where you will get the opportunity to meet potential investors who might invest in your business.
Around 9 out of 10 people feel that face-to-face meeting is the best kind of interaction. Your social capital, the network of authentic personal and professional relationships is the most important asset in your portfolio.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that among the 165 lawyers at an American law firm, those who are able to network efficiently were more successful than their peers. They were able to fetch more business for the firm and get themselves assigned to choose clients more effectively. Aside, lawyers who avoided networking could secure lesser billable hours than their peers.
Image – your network is net worth
You should boost your presence on social media, including LinkedIn and Twitter. There, you can find most of the successful investors and entrepreneurs interacting with people. Always remember that if you are looking for funds, then investors are also looking for the right investment opportunities. You need to keep on trying until you meet the right resource to help your business.Also read: 14 ways you can stand out on Linkedin
Make the right connections!
6. Wear Different Hats
Of course, you are the founder and CEO of your enterprise. But that shouldn’t deter you from taking customer calls or meeting them whenever required. Similarly, it is possible to create your own blog or build a simple website to get started. You can always hire technical help, but a DIY attitude and legwork can save you a lot in costs. Initially, you may also have to handle your digital marketing activities by yourself. Similarly, specialized services like design and SEO can mean a big outlay if you are hiring pros.
A successful entrepreneur needs to be open to the idea of wearing different hats to make their business a success. For instance, e-commerce behemoth Flipkart’s founders used to deliver products once in a while even after their business was a hit. The idea was to gauge customer satisfaction and gather first-hand feedback about their business. It helped them cut extra cost and at the same time helped them improve customer service enormously.
Do whatever it takes to make your business a success. For now, you might have to work for hours and days on end. But it will all be worth it in the end. Following these considerations while creating your business will stand you in good stead.
However, don’t proceed further with a business idea unless you plan to give it your 100 percent. Remember, once you get your business in the market, you will need to.
Hopefully, these steps will help you take prudent business decisions with confidence and clarity.
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