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Got a great guest post today from the folks at Digital Exits on the things you need to know before starting a business. Let us know what you think and check the team out on DigitalExits.com.
Starting your own business can be daunting and leave you with countless questions about how to best make an impact and hit the ground running. It’s always good to do your research first to make sure you know what you're up against and how the market is looking.
No matter how good your business idea is, or your potential product or service offering, its rendered useless if someone’s beaten you to it or if there’s no market for it.
By far the most vital part of starting your own business is knowing the market. This consists of taking a look at your competition as well as the sales of products and services similar to yours. If you know the market and the products and services your competition is selling, you'll be able to use this information in your development phase and hopefully create a product that sells like hotcakes.
Your market research should also give you a good look at your target demographic, or at least help you define your target market. These are the people you’ll be pushing your services and products towards, and remember, you can’t start off selling to everyone. You have to find your niche, or as Healthy Vending puts it, you have to find your “Why?”.
An example of a company who found a gap in the market that their competitors weren’t filling was Apple with its iPhone. This is a best-case scenario outcome, but you can use a similar workflow to look for gaps in the market and fill them with a product or service better than anyone else's.
A focus on your branding is essential before you begin your business. Things like a logo, a font and your brand colors are the backbone of your business.
One of your first steps before you undertake any official business development activities is thinking about your branding. You can’t start selling a service or a product without a brand to back it up. Think of what needs to be completed for your first marketing campaign to be successful:
Those questions and many more will need to be answered before you begin your business operations.
Brand recognition is also vital. Being unique means your audience will remember your products and services and be more inclined to buy. More than 89% of marketers say brand recognition and awareness is their most important focus.
A few other technical things to consider when branding, is the color wheel and the human psychological reactions to certain colors and fonts. Food branding tends to utilize greens, whereas consulting and business firms use blues.
Your business plan will be our best friend if it’s developed correctly and covers all the bases. You'll look to it for answers to questions of general guidance on decisions you don’t feel confident about.
Drafting up your business plan is the one essential task every business owner needs to undertake. There is a myriad of reasons behind having a comprehensive business plan, with the main being that it’s a requirement to enable banks or investors to invest in your business. It needs to outline your plan, where you’re going and how you intend to succeed.
Think of your business plan as the backbone of your business. It should have the answers to almost everything and be able to prop you up when something goes bad or if you’re not sure what to do in a scenario.
The plan will become your best friend throughout the initial development stages of your new business, as well as throughout the expansion of marketing and campaigns.
Just because your business or services are new doesn’t mean you need to discount them out of sustainability. Keep your pricing with the competition.
Often businesses who are just starting out have their growth devastatingly slowed be incorrectly pricing their products and services. The illusion that simply because your company or brand is new to the scene it should have low and entry-level prices is just that, an illusion.
Larger and more established businesses price their products and services at what they're worth, plus an extra for profit and their brand name. You should do the same thing. Apple, again, has a great example of appropriate initial pricing: their first computer was exceedingly more expensive than the competition and the iPhone was released at more than twice the price of other established smartphone developers.
When it comes to starting your own business it can be challenging to know where to start and what you need to do, but starting with these 4 steps will get you on the right track to having a successful business.