Do you think a wildly revolutionary business idea is all you need to excel in business?
If so, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, you’re wrong!
One of the biggest mistakes most entrepreneurs make is thinking that ‘If I devise a new solution or come up with a revolutionary idea to a problem, I can succeed in business!’
And they get eternally stuck in the ‘building a better mousetrap’ scenario.
They start spending all their time, money and efforts in improving and innovating their product/service, without doing any reality check or having a solid business plan.
While a brilliant idea is absolutely crucial to solving problems, you also need to know how to take that product/service to the market.
You need to take the necessary steps to successfully launch your business.
Here are those 5 definitive steps:
1. Clarify your vision
Sounds too lofty? Too corporate? Or, just a bloody waste of time?
Well, you’re not alone. Many entrepreneurs think that way!
But here’s the thing.
If you don’t know what your vision is and goals, you will be aimless.
A business without a vision is like driving a car without knowing the destination. You are going to end up who knows where!
And when you don’t know where your business will be in the future, you will never inspire other people to believe in your idea, commit to your business, and do their best.
So clarifying your vision is the very first thing you need to do while launching a business.
Only with a clear vision, you will be inspired to act with determination. Only with an inspiring vision, you will be able to attract the right resources and people to grow your business.
2. Define your target audience
Once you come up with an idea, you need to define your target market.
Your target market is your ideal customers.
They are the people who will benefit greatly from your product.
They are the people whose lives will be transformed after using your product.
They are the people who will be tossing and turning in bed at 2 am, wanting to know how to solve their problem.
They are the people who have a great desire to buy that product or service.
To make sure your business idea is successful, you need to cater to a very specific target market.
From age and gender to demographic location and occupation to income level and personality, you need to have a well-defined target market.
Remember: if you are creating a product for everyone, you will end up selling it to no one!
So take time to define your target market.
3. Evaluate your product market fit
Selling ice to Eskimos might be a creative exercise for a salesperson. But in reality, it would just be an exercise in vain.
Because Eskimos don’t have a genuine need to buy ice.
Ice, as a product, has no market-fit in those countries where Eskimos live.
Likewise, if your product/service has no market fit, then you will have a hard time selling it.
In fact, the lack of product/service market fit is one of the top reasons why most start-ups fail.
So before you build something, discover if there is a need in the market.
Ideally, you will have a product/service-market fit if:
- You improvise/revolutionise an already existing product/service.
- You fill a genuine gap in the market, even when your target audience is not aware about it
For instance, the classic yet convenient Ray-Ban Aviators that fold up are considered a simple improvement of an existing product. Whereas Uber is a unique innovation that solved a gap in the market that wasn’t even known as something that needed to be fixed when it first started.
So does your product have a market-fit?
And then, only then, spend your energy and money to build it.
4. Identify your unique value proposition (USP)
Identifying your USP is a crucial step in business.
A well-defined, strong USP can help you stand out in the market, attract the right kind of customers, and level up your game.
However, most entrepreneurs have a hard time figuring out their USP.
Some come up with generic and unquantifiable statements like ‘high-quality product’, ‘fast customer service’, or ‘cheapest in the market’.
Well, such claims are not your USP.
A great USP should answer one simple question:
Why should someone buy from you and not your competitors?
Try answering this question in a clear, compelling, and convincing manner. You will be able to define your USP.
5. Set a decent marketing budget
Setting a decent marketing budget is a crucial factor that many bootstrapped entrepreneurs refuse to do.
If you want to grow your business, you need to reach more people. So they will be aware such an amazing solution exists in the market.
To make people aware of your business, you need to evoke curiosity and interest in your product/service.
For that, you need to spend money and time marketing your product/service
Without marketing, your business can never take off!
From putting up a business website to getting found on Google to generating leads through online ads to even attending networking events, you will be spending a considerable chunk of your money in marketing
So plan ahead and have a realistic marketing budget – even if you are bootstrapped.
Now if you are ready to follow these five steps and do the groundwork in a meticulous manner, you should be able to launch your business with a bang.
Agree? Disagree? Got questions? We would love to hear from you. Share your comments below.