Most people think of entrepreneurship as a risky and chancy endeavor. But in reality, the odds of success are actually quite good: Roughly half of all startups survive at least four years, and about one-third become profitable within that time frame. The major challenge many people face is how they can turn their amazing idea into reality. This hinders them from taking the big leap into becoming an entrepreneur. There are, however, ways by which that business concept in your mind can become a Fortune 500 company. The steps below can help you with that transformation.
It’s not good enough to have an idea or even believe in it strongly. You need to conduct market research if you want to be sure that the product or service you are offering will be wanted by others, and at what price. You need to get feedback from your target market and understand their likes and dislikes.
In this way, you can get an idea of whether the business concept is likely to succeed. If it does, even better! But if it doesn’t, be willing to change course in order to create a product or service that people actually want. Weigh the costs and benefits, and gather information on competitors. You need to do this step before you even consider registering a business name or filing for a patent.
If you plan to take your business seriously, consider hiring experts to handle certain tasks. Hiring professionals can help you do things such as develop a website, arrange for a Hong Kong business registration number if the business would be run in China, write copy for advertising and marketing materials, and even create logos. This is especially important if you’re not familiar with what running a company entails or with the industry in which you will operate.
When it comes to paying others to handle tasks related to your business idea, start with those that are the easiest to outsource. Consider those things that would either require you to hire more employees or take away from the time you can devote to the business. Outsourcing these tasks will help you save money, and it will also free your time for creative problem-solving, which is something every entrepreneur must be able to do.
It doesn’t matter how good your business idea is; if you run out of cash, it will not be able to survive long. That’s why it’s important to create a financial plan for your venture, even before you begin. Look at potential expenses and income in detail. Do the math using conservative estimates when possible, since this will give you a better idea of the budget you’ll need.
Then estimate how much money you will need to raise by selling shares to investors. It’s best to get these numbers right the first time because you don’t want to end up having to postpone your plans due to a lack of funds. Once you work out how much money you will need and determine a realistic contribution from your own savings, ask friends and family members to see if they can invest in your company.
Once your product or service is ready, you need to position it so that it stands out amongst the crowd. You can accomplish this by:
Distinguishing your business from competitors – Look at what others are offering and work on how you will provide something different. Being able to offer the best price is a good way of positioning yourself as an attractive business, but you also want to convey the value of your product or service.
Standing out with a unique selling point (USP) – Figure out what is going to make people choose your business over the competition. Think about all the things that help you decide which product to buy and use them as inspiration when deciding on your USP.
Positioning your brand – Once you’ve got the perfect product and USP, it’s time to promote those features through branding. This is basically how your business will be recognized by the public, as well as defining how you want customers to perceive you. You can even try positioning yourself against some of your competitors or current market leaders, one-upping them in some way.
Building a good brand requires more than just having a clever logo and catchy slogan. You also need to be consistent about how you speak to your customers, maintain a strong appearance, and live up to the promises you make. Your potential clients should always know what they can expect from your business so that they have no doubt as to whom they’ll be working with.
Once you have the means to properly promote your brand, advertise it with an interesting campaign that people will want to talk about. Give them a reason to become interested in what you do, and why they should choose you over your competition. If you are struggling for ideas, look at how other companies have successfully marketed themselves on social media, or search for whatever models currently exist.
If you have a business idea that needs to be turned into reality, there are many steps you need to take in order for it to come to life. We hope this article has helped illuminate some of those critical first steps, and we’re excited about the potential your new venture may hold.