The massive changes up to 2020 could have triggered an entrepreneur boom. Many people found themselves in a situation where they had lost their jobs. However, due to the unemployment, they finally had time to finally work on their business ideas. Others may have realized that working for someone else just wasn’t for them anymore. Regardless of motivation, starting a business requires a huge leap of faith, but it should also involve careful planning.
If you are one of the many people who have been inspired to start a new business then congratulations! You belong to a unique group of people who set out to make their dreams come true. While companies often build on these dreams, execution determines the success of a company. Before you buy web domains and update your LinkedIn profile, here are five tips to get you on the right track.
1. Know your customers’ pain points and how to solve them
Chances are that the motivation for starting your business comes from your personal experience or expertise. At some point you may have uttered the words “I can do better”. Perhaps your unique background makes you offer something that others cannot.
Problem solving is an integral part of doing business. When considering how your unique skills or approach can better solve your ideal client’s problems, be conscious. Write down the pain points your ideal customers may experience. Find detailed and specific information here.
For example, if you are considering starting a cybersecurity consultancy, write down what you offer what others don’t. Perhaps you helped government agencies avoid paying for ransomware forays – and kept it all out of the news. List the problems and how to solve them until you have a robust service offering.
2. Have the right tools in place on day one
Have you visited a new restaurant only to find that the signature dish was not available? What if you can’t transact a website because the company’s payment options were so limited? Your first customer experience damaged your perception of these companies from the start. And it’s likely that the review you shared with your friends – and on social media – wasn’t exactly thrilled.
Avoid this fate for your business and make sure you have the tools you need on day one. Don’t skimp on the right technology. Often a good starting point is your ability to connect and analyze your customer profiles and behaviors. The small business solution Plume WorkPass, for example, can provide your company with more than just great WiFi. With this platform you gain customer insights and meaningful marketing data that will keep you on the road to success.
3. Pay attention to your competition and what makes you better
You start this business for a reason and you probably think you have a competitive advantage. Take the time to review your likely competitors using competitive analysis tools like Semrush and SimilarWeb. Then determine what you offer that defines you.
Make a note of the price, service, and quality offerings of your likely competitors, as well as their customer experience. Nowadays, many companies offer the same or similar services. It’s details like this that make them stand out.
Once you have that information in front of you, reach out to family and friends and learn how to rate your product or service. While this group may not be a perfect example of your ideal customer, you should be able to rely on their honesty. Remain open to constructive criticism and take it to heart. If your offering needs improvement, it is better to do it now before starting your business. With this information, you can better identify your value proposition.
4. Evaluate yourself fairly, but know your worth
Ah, price – it’s always fun to dream of the income potential of going out on your own. Before you publish your prices, however, make sure you are calculating the correct amounts. Check your competitors’ price lists if they are publicly available. If not, send some no-obligation queries for a benchmark. Once you have this data, compare it to your expectations.
As you do this exercise, don’t forget to budget your overheads, taxes, and replacement costs. Now you have enough information to determine if you are in the top, middle, or bottom tier of your competitors. If you’re on the high side, make sure you position yourself in the best light to balance with your price. Premium pricing requires a premium experience. Stand out from the crowd by offering a product that is unique, better, or faster than your competition’s.
5. Plan for the future
Is this new business a part-time job or a total career transformation? No matter what this business means to you, it is important that you have a plan for the future. Develop a six-month, one-year, and five-year plan to get started. Log income and profit expectations, figure out how many customers you want to serve, and figure out how to stay relevant.
With this plan you can go down to the tactical level. Ideally, you’ll be checking this plan in regularly and being able to review what you’ve accomplished. Remember, it’s always okay to gradually adjust your plan. Make informed decisions about the changes you are considering. If you don’t, you run the risk of surprising your loyal customers with something they haven’t asked for.
Building a business is commendable. You are realizing a dream and have the opportunity to change your life and that of your customers with your offer. Take to heart the responsibility that comes with business ownership and your customers will pay you back. Take the time it takes to planning before starting your new business and your business will stand the test of time. You can just become more fulfilling in your life and career – because you built it yourself.