Everyone has a great idea from time to time, but what sets entrepreneurs like you apart is the determination to make that good idea happen. It doesn’t matter how crazy the idea is, entrepreneurs are incredible at making things happen and setting up businesses that change the world.
While there are lots of concerns that you should have before you even think seriously about how your business could work, for now, let’s not concern ourselves with questions like Who Can Perform a SOC 2 Audit? Or How can I take my business idea global?
We’ll just focus on honing your business idea and figuring out the basics.
What is the Problem You Are Planning to Solve?
Every single business that there has ever been had solved a problem. Ford solved the problem of getting from one place to another quickly; Steve Jobs solved the problem of not having the internet on your phone; Musk is working on solving the problem of not being on Mars.
However weird and wonderful your idea is, it must solve a problem and, in doing so, benefit your customers so that they don’t just buy from you, but recommend your business to their friends. While technology is the most obvious problem/ solution business model, you can apply this idea to all business quite simply by working backward from what the customer seeks to what they gain.
Theatres entertain and put on shows customers will enjoy; therapists listen and advise their customers on how to improve their lives; toy companies fill up the spare time of bored children.
So, before you get started on creating your amazing idea, think about which problem it is solving and do consider whether there are already solutions on the market. This will help you to figure out whether your idea is viable and who you will end up competing with.
Who Will Want to Buy Your Solution?
The next question is who needs the problem solving – who wants to spend money on your solution? Figuring out the demographics of your audience can be quite difficult, but you should take some time to refine your audience.
Though you might think that having universal appeal would be the best way to sell as much of your solution as possible, in actual fact, most businesses do better by creating a narrow target audience – at least to begin with – and dedicating themselves to them.
Having a smaller audience means that you can tailor your marketing and product to them specifically. This makes your product more desirable because it stands out from the crowd and speaks to them directly.
If you are are going to end up competing with much larger brands, you should also be aware that they have already cornered the general market. Think of them as a standard you need to compete with and consider ways to make your own product different by targeting different people. You can always broaden out later on.
How Will You Market Your Solution?
After developing your solution and figuring out who it is for, you need to think about how you are going to market the product. This means thinking about which approach will appeal to your target audience most as well as the media you should use to reach them.
Social media marketing is huge now and it is the best way to reach a specific audience using the refining tools available to advertisers. Indeed, so many people are now on social media that you can find almost any group here.
While Facebook is the biggie, Instagram, Twitter and even LinkedIn are great for getting your message across to the people you want to target.
Content marketing is also a big game now and people want more from you than just your product. British fitness coach Joe Wicks is a good example of how this works: he uses his Instagram account to post pictures and encourage people to visit his site, has published cookbooks about healthy eating and has a YouTube channel offering workouts. All of this is simply content marketing for his main product which is a training regime to get the perfect body.
Whatever you plan to do to market your products, make sure that all the marketing has broadly the same message: your product or service can solve this problem.
Where Can You Get Funding?
So now that you have the foundations set out for your business, it’s time to turn to the finances and figure out what is going on there.
Firstly, you should think about how much your project will cost to set up and how much you will be able to earn in the first year. This is pretty basic stuff as it will show you whether your business plan is viable or not. If you can’t make enough money back to pay off the debt you took on setting your business up, then you are simply going to fail at the first hurdle.
While you should be realistic with your projections, do think about the worst case scenario too. Entrepreneurs are positive people and when you have such a determination and optimistic outlook, it’s easy to forget that things might not go quite to plan.
Being tough with your numbers should give you a slightly thicker skin, but it will also set you up for a greater success. Being cautious now won’t do any harm.
Now you can think about funding. Bank loans and credit cards might be the most obvious source of money, but have you considered crowdfunding or attracting an angel investor? These options are worth thinking about if you are also unsure whether your business is a goer or not. If you attract funding and investors, it’s clear that these people have faith in you and your idea.
Setting up a new business is an exciting deal and once you have your funding, you are ready to go. Throw yourself into your work and keep asking yourself these same questions over and again: how does my product solve a problem, who wants the solution and how can I market it to them? With that, you should have the recipe for success.
What are you doing to create your business proposal?