There are a million motivational factors of entrepreneurship. Maybe you are one of those individuals who has had enough of applying to hundreds of jobs and never getting a response or you are tired of working long hours to just barely make ends meet every month. Or maybe your finances have to change immediately and you see entrepreneurship as the only option that will change your financial future for the better.
I applaud you on wanting to make the transition to being an entrepreneur. You are probably excited and anxious about starting your life as an entrepreneur. You may be having visions of pitching your business on Shark Tank.
Whoa, Whoa! Slow down. Do you even know what type of business you’re going to start? Do you know how to turn your idea into a successful business?
It’s a process to turning your entrepreneurial idea into a successful business. You have no clue where to start. Well I’m more than happy to provide you with guidance on how this process works. I’m giving you 4 steps that will transform the idea in your head into a business that prospers. Just know each step will involve a lot of hard work. Nothing in entrepreneurship comes easy, especially as you’re just getting started.
Identify a Need
Too many entrepreneurs confuse what they want with what others want. As an entrepreneur, you have to take your personal bias out of the equation, and focus on providing a product or service people will actually purchase. You learn this information by doing market research. This allows you to gather the important information that communicates how consumers feel about the products and services within a certain industry. You are supposed to take this information and start devising a product or service that will be in high demand based off what consumers expressed as being their ideal offering to purchase.
Companies such as Mcdonald’s and Apple use market research in order to improve the performance of their products. Market research has also been used to save failing business ideas. Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube weren’t the original ideas of the founders who started each company. When their initial business ideas failed, each founder did the market research to pivot in a new direction to better serve their marketplaces. The companies they are today wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t listen to what consumers were saying they needed.
Test the Viability of Your Idea
Before dumping all of your savings into your business idea, you need to test it out in the marketplace by doing a soft launch. You want to do this so you don’t end up creating a product or service that has very low demand. Test your product or service by holding focus groups that allow people to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your offering. They will give you first-hand feedback that you can use to improve your product or service before doing a full launch.
The founders of Tender Greens tested their product for two years before finally launching it into the marketplace. This time allowed them to create a product that would have immediate success with their target market. “During that time we were testing recipes and refining our business,” Erik Oberholtzer says. “Because we were already working in the restaurant industry, we were able to actually test some of our recipes on customers at the resort, for two or three times the price we planned to charge at our own restaurant.”
No one can purchase your product or service if they don’t know about its existence. You aren’t Apple. People aren’t eagerly anticipating the release of your new product. This type of anticipation has to be built up by consistently marketing your product or service before it is even available to be purchased. If you wait, you will find yourself desperately trying to find customers to purchase your products and services when your business opens. Playing from behind is very stressful for a new business owner because your anxiety is very high. You will feel like you have made the wrong decision until you gain your first customer.
When you are on a shoestring budget, content marketing will be your best option to gain attention for your new business. Good Greens founder, Keith Pabley, reached out to local bloggers to help get word out about his gluten free bars. By doing so, his sales jumped 50% in 4 months. Find a low cost way to effectively market your business with content marketing that will grow your business tremendously as a result.
It is unbelievable how many entrepreneurs are afraid to ask for the sale. It is as if making money isn’t why you went into business. This means you must go to your target customers and convince them why they should purchase your product or service. Even if you get rejected, ask why the rejection occurred so you can improve your product or service in order to increase your sales performance.
Even if you don’t have a product or service to sell immediately, you can still presale what you plan to produce. John Lee Dumas, of Entrepreneur on Fire, pre-sold several of his offerings before building them. He asked his audience were they interested in his concept, and then had them pay upfront so he could validate investing into its development.
So what are you waiting for? You have been given 4 important steps for success, if you are ready to step into the role of entrepreneur. Remember, nothing happens overnight. Don’t rush the process because you want immediate results. Do everything right and your business will be built to succeed.