You have a great plan swirling in your head about opening your own business and you are ready to turn that plan into action.
You are tempted to dive into the process of putting your product or service out into the world and waiting for your business to grow. But have you thought about whether your product or service will sell? Did you do a market research? Of course, most of you have done so. It is what business school teaches. First you need to draw up a business plan on paper, do the market research to investigate whether your plan is viable.
In the past market research was done by physically going out into the marketplace, reaching out to the general public, handing out flyers, leaflets, samples, persuading, convincing and gauging whether you could attract enough potential clients to support your business. When all is ready you open your business and wait for customers to walk in the door.
But this could be a long wait, and money is needed up-front to build a business from scratch, such as these 5 resources below:
1. Financial Funding - The foundation of any startup is to, first and foremost, establish these three things - Register a business name, Get a telephone line and invest in business cards.
2. Human Resource - Employees are needed to ensure the goals of the company will be executed with the utmost efficiency and competency. They should be carefully selected, be team players, qualified to execute specific tasks assigned to them and be focused to deliver the goals of the Company. There are agencies which carry out searches to allocate the appropriate person to match the talent of the industry wanting to hire them.
3. Physical resources - premises and equipment. The most costly resource a company must invest in is workspace, telephone lines, information system and marketing material.
4. Emotional resources - A support team fall under this category. It provides inspiration and guidance to a budding entrepreneur who may need shoulders to lean on when the going gets rough. This team can be found in friends, family, a mentor or support group.
5. Educational Resource - Understanding the business. The smart entrepreneur will invest in educating himself or herself on the type of business he or she is ready to jump into, learn about its competition and gain in-depth knowledge and other aspects of that particular business.
These resources could break your bank account.
Here we will delve into the steps how NOT to spend all that money before starting your business.
It is as easy as sitting in your own home and reaching customers with one click.
Your marketplace is right beneath your nose, in your own home, sitting at your desk, clicking the keys on your computer, or you can even be out and about using your phone to surf the web. There are hundreds or thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of potential customers at your fingertips daily. That's right, go on-line and you will find anyone and everyone chatting and sharing stories on social media.
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and other platforms bring customers to you. You listen to them, connect, engage, read their stories and find out what services and products customers need, why other businesses are not satisfying their needs, or where they are falling short. From this analysis you work out a plan on how to deliver what is lacking and which product or service would suit you to supply to potential customers.
But you can take the other route too. Instead of searching for what people need, you can also build on the product or service for the business you plan on starting. Then you create content on blog posts, videos or images and post them on social media. While creating content you are building an online community. Soon this on-line community will get to know you, become loyal to you and your brand as you build it. As people become interested in your content for the product you want to deliver, their interest will guide you in the process of building your business.
Such was the interest of three young men who went to a conference and found all the hotels were booked out. They saw many people scrambling to find a place to stay. On the spur of the moment they came up with the idea to rent their own apartment which were already fitted with three air beds that they did not use. Why not rent it out to people who could not find a place to stay, they thought.
And this was how Airbnb started in 2007 with three airbeds and only three customers. Opportunity was at the doorstep for Airbnb. Their customers were in front of their eyes. They noticed it and they grabbed it. Airbnb acquired a place on the value of taking an audience's first approach. However, like every business they were not without chalenges and working to overcome them is the name of the game. Today Airbnb is a company that has a place on the New York Stock exchange. In December 2020 as reported in https://www.bloomberg.com/ Airbnb reached $100 billion on the stock exchange.
The bottom line is -
- Find the right audience
- Listen to them, their stories, their concerns
- Find a solution to their problems
Let these tips guide you on your journey to turning your plan into action, to starting the business you want, while saving loads of money in the initial investment.
But remember to maintain contact with your audience by always creating new content, continue to engage daily. Be mindful of the saying "the customer comes first" so too "the audience comes first"
You are building trust, loyalty and while growing your brand and at the same time gain traction to growing your business.
But you still need to draw up that business plan.