While climbing up the ladder, a diver visualizes the twists, flips and turns they are about to perform, as they see themselves piercing the water like a knife, completing the perfect dive. Months of preparation go into this culminating moment and they understand exactly what they came to do. As a diver enters the platform, their heart thumps throughout their entire being – It’s Go Time! Much like a diver preparing for a competition quality dive, those who wish to start a business have to prepare beforehand, if they want to enter the industry with confidence. Here we will go over the necessary steps to starting a business in order to avoid an embarrassing belly flop failure.
Determine What You Can Offer and Where the Market Demand Is
Starting a business obviously begins with an idea, but the inspiration should be immediately followed with an examination of what the market needs and what you can offer that is somehow different from existing options. Firmly decide what you are able to offer the community, and look in to how much a service like yours is needed. If everyone in your city is opening frozen yogurt shops, then there may not be enough room in that market for you. If there isn’t a frozen yogurt food truck, however, and you need a more flexible sc dule than the set hours you can find in a store, you may have stumbled upon the perfect solution for what you can offer AND what the market needs.
Monetize Something that You Love
Running a business doesn’t end when your enthusiasm begins to wane. That’s why you have to do something that you love. Starting a business just because it can be lucrative can mean that if things get tough and lean, you may not have the staying power and dedication to get through the rough patch. You’ve made a huge investment that can go right down the drain. If you’re passionate about making frozen yogurt, developing new flavors and creating ice cream converts, you’ll be more likely to work through rough periods because you’re monetizing something that you love. Passion doesn’t automatically mean success, but it does mean perseverance when the market isn’t perfect– which could be a lot of the time.
Price Your Product or Service
Do some research on what the going price is for in your area. Remember that you don’t have to undercut your competition just to drive up business. Products that are priced lower than everyone else’s don’t necessarily bring in business, and they may, in fact, drive people away because they assume your product is cheaply made. Figure out what the market is asking for the same item, and decide how close to that you can comfortably get considering your overhead and cost of manufacturing.
Have the Capital to Get through the First Few Months
(or even years, depending on the business)
It takes a while for a business to turn a profit, and operations that defy that axiom are rare. Literally bank on the idea that finances are going to be lean for a while, and plan for that by making sure that you have enough capital to float for the first few months or, if possible, years. If you’re borrowing the capital, it’s best to try to secure more than just opening expenses. Machinery and build out are important things to invest in, but they won’t get you very far if you don’t have enough capital to operate for a while.
Separate Yourself from the Competition with Better Quality and Better Service
There will likely be other businesses who are providing similar services to yours. While there may be a thousand things that you do differently than the competition, offering better, faster and higher quality services is what will get you noticed. Customers won’t know what the finished product is like until it’s all over, but they will know if the person who answered the phone was pleasant and knowledgable, if the response time was satisfactory, and if the prices were reasonable. Then, follow it up with a high quality product or service, and you’ll earn customers for life.
Determine How to Market Your Brand
Marketing is one of the most difficult parts of owning a business. If you’re opting to manage that part of it on your own, there are plenty of things to consider when you’re building your campaign. Who is your target demographic, and how to do you find them? Are you marketing to young people who do most of their communicating and information finding on the Internet? Or are you looking for more established adults who have online presences but who also still watch television on a schedule and read books? Get into the minds of your customers and find them where they are.
Figure Out Where Your Clients Are and How to Reach Them
When it’s time to deploy a marketing campaign, there are plenty of things to consider. The majority of marketing is done online, and some of it doesn’t even cost much more than your time. A good, well-followed Facebook page or Twitter profile can be just as effective, if not more effective, than paid resources. Also, starting an SEO optimized blog that offers authoritative information on whatever area your company specializes in can be an effective way of driving traffic.
Beyond this, most search engines and social media sites sell advertising, and the Pay Per Click model means that you run ads and pay any time that someone navigates from the ad to your website or profile page. You can find these on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and more.
Have the Staying Power
When you open a business, you have to have a firm understanding that things will be difficult at some time. You could get lucky and skip that part, but it isn’t likely. Make the commitment that you will see your operation through the lean periods that come before prosperity. If there is any question about your ability or desire to stick it out through rough patches, then you may not want to open in the first place. Running a business can be endlessly fulfilling, but that doesn’t make it easy. You are totally capable of it if you make the commitment from day one.
You’re standing on the edge of the diving board. Are you ready to take the plunge?
People who want to start a business should understand what they want from their business, understand their product or service, know how to market their business, and follow the above steps to starting a business in order to be prepared for what they will encounter. After months of preparation and planning, it’s time for beginning business owners to put their toes over the edge of the diving board, stare at the water below and perform the perfect swan dive, if they wish to plunge into their business venture with confidence.