Failure is the pillar of success. But we cannot depend on a proverb to save us alone. Proper strategies, clear ideas, and a positive attitude are some of the key elements to start a business. Several motivational and self-help books by successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson’s Screw It, Let’s Do It by or Shirzad Chamine’s Positive Intelligence, paves the way to set-up a business without failure.
Over 70% of start-ups face an immediate fail within the first 2 years. One of the most important reasons is the need to rush to make profits within a short period. According to Eric Wagner’s article in Forbes, the most common reason for a business to stop working is a sudden stop of cash flow. But such statistics should not be a reason for any entrepreneur to stop dreaming.
Ten of the most important points have been laid down below to understand the strategic points of starting a business without failure
Explore your idea
Before rushing into a business with the first idea that pops up, it is important to read and discuss with people who are entrepreneurs or might be into similar businesses. Books, business magazines and world reports should be studied extremely well. Make excel sheets your new best friend.
Dig out your weaknesses. To understand your service or product more closely, understand the market that you are aiming at. The only reason why smartphones and apps become popular in a short time is the clarity of marketing properly.
Make trial runs by marketing among your friends and family. Ask them about the changes that they would prefer to see in your service or product. Opinions will help you to understand the way your idea is accepted within a mixed group of people. The feedback will also give you a better approach to make your business successful.
Great idea but no money
As an entrepreneur, Ryan Westwood recollects, countless times people had great ideas but backed out due to financing. As heartbreaking as it sounds, not having enough money to start a business should not be a reason for ideas’ death.
The internet is an interesting space, with thousands of websites offering free services for all kinds of reasons. Start small and research using free services that suit your ideas. Borrow and use apps that need subscription plans from the people around you. This is not the time to hold onto your ego- do not turn down any help or suggestion.
Resort to others
Approach banks or personal funds, once your product becomes marketable. Lack of money will make you hesitant but resort to the idea of crowdfunding. If your product is based on the public good, take your pitch to the investors.
Construct your ideas in bullet points. Create informative pie-charts and graphs to put forward a more clear idea about its benefits. This might remind you of ‘Shark Tank’, but it works better in real life.
Manage your cash-flow
To manage and understand finances, chart-out your expenses. Update every expense as you go. Invest in short-term and long-term financing solutions, even if you are just starting.
To manage better accounting, create a separate bank account for your business. Install software to keep track of your invoices and assign a close friend to take care of your accounts.
Focus on your cash-flow instead of your future profits. With the limited amount of cash available, divide into parts assigning each for a particular cause.
Create the X-factor
It is more likely that your idea has already been marketed. How does this make your product different from all of them? Why should a customer choose your product over a popular one? What is the one factor that makes your product stand apart?
Ponder over these questions and push yourself to make it more unique. Ask around for feedback, to know the ways they would like your product to be. Sweat your ideas with constant trials unless it reaches a point of perfection.
Decide the price point
Your product will be used by a specific market. As discussed earlier, you should know your competition by now. Based on the average price points of your competitors, calculate material and labor costs including your profit.
By now, you are ready with your sample product. Launch a social media page and spread the word. Showcase your product and use short descriptions in every post. This way, you are engaging the attention of the followers. Remember to answer every query.
Once you start selling your product, encourage your customers to give feedback. Create a Google Form based on the usability, price point, availability, shipping issues or any other miscellaneous feedback. Try to follow up with the customers for the feedback through emails, to rectify any product issues.
Maintain a blog, where you can jot down any further ideas that you want to explore. At times, remember to keep it personal so that your readers/customers find it relatable.
Once a while, post a behind the scenes video to keep the manufacturing process genuine and transparent. No matter how rustic it is, posts like these with prove your authenticity as a small business.
Engage your partner, friend or employee in small video clips to show the faces behind the products. This creates a psychological bond between the customer and the product, once they are aware of the faces behind it.
More social media
The world is more connected these days than it ever was, and social media is hugely responsible for it. Apart from Facebook, Instagram is one of the biggest communities where brands reach out to market their product. Without any initial cost, create a business account to keep track of each posts’ popularity. Using marketing tools, create polls, use trending hashtags and make 10-second videos to upload in Instagram stories.
Collaborate with small brands from other industries. The current generation invests their energy into sustainable living, comics, and illustrations. Reach out to an illustrator, make them use your product in their illustrations to create more buzz.
Reach out to popular YouTubers and social media influencers with a huge following. Discuss different ways in which they can market your product into their daily lifestyle, without making it look much like a sponsored post.
Expand into popular online services
Jeff Bezos’ status of being one of the richest and most successful businessmen is supported by millions of sellers and customers. The household name of Amazon has made it much easier for every small business expansion. By selling on Amazon or any other popular site your product will become accessible to numerous customers without the need for a physical store.
Above everything else, believe in yourself as you continue to persevere. Everyone around you will believe in your idea once you have convinced yourself. Enjoy your work. As Eric Wagner puts it, think and move quickly. If you have to fail, make sure to fail fast and rise up to make your business successful.
Some Frequently Asked Questions:
How to choose the right business?
Start small and experiment. Choose your business according to your niche. If you are interested or specialize in software, you have ample options to create an app-based or web-based business.
What is the cheapest business to start?
To start a business without enough capital, sales consultancy is one of the popular ways of fast income. Companies like Tupperware, Oriflame, Avon expand and sell their products through local sales consultants. Businesses like catering and homemade food products can also be started with low investments.
How to start a business blog?
Research and get familiar with SEO tools to increase traffic in your blog. Plan adequate content that resonates with your product or service. Once you are ready, create a blog under WordPress or Blogger, register a domain and start writing!
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