Startup business is not easy but it’s extra fun, You must be asking yourself, how to start a business? Every day, ordinary people start their businesses, often with no support, no experience and no business plan. Just think about the piano teacher who built software to track work schedules for his students and turned it into a full-time source of income, making more than $30,000 a month. Startup business is not easy but it’s extra fun.
There is no reason why your startup business should not achieve similar success. It’s simpler than you think. All you need is: a product or service to sell, potential customers who are willing to pay for it, and a method for them to pay with. The most important stage in the whole process is the decision to act. The biggest obstacles on the way do not come from competition or market forces, but from ourselves. Our personal fears and doubts are the worst enemies. It is necessary to resist and to take a step forward. Get moving.
Passion is not enough – you need customers and the right skills
Many people dream of doing what they really love, starting their own startup business. However, there is a catch. If someone isn’t willing to pay for it, it’s just a hobby. Your product or service must provide value to potential customers. For example, one passionate traveler, Gary Leff, started his business using his knowledge to book the best possible trips for others with their bonus air miles, which many people struggle to find good use for. This example shows us how important it is to have both the right skills (travel knowledge), and potential customers – people with bonus miles who don’t know how to use them. But what if you lack the skills to do the job you want? Don’t worry. Use your existing skills to make up for the ones you don’t have, and learn new ones as you go.
Understand your customers’ deepest needs – get under their skin
Research the market. Constantly ask yourself who are my customers, what are their desires and needs. When you answer these questions, the next question to consider is whether they are interested in buying the product or service you offer. Access potential customers. Create your offer based on their wishes. Be careful though. Sometimes what customers say they want is different from what they really want. Airlines have been receiving complaints about cramped and uncomfortable seats for years. But whenever they have offered better and more comfortable seats, at a slightly higher price, no one was willing to pay.
You must go beyond the superficially expressed needs and address even the unspoken ones.
Get creative with marketing – highlight your strengths
When advertising your product, don’t waste words describing it. Focus on the benefits customers will get from your product. Make your advertisement evoke emotions in potential customers.
A really good example is the V6 Ranch in California, whose owners emphatically declare: “We don’t sell riding, we offer freedom.” You must be wondering how to successfully present your product on the market with a limited budget. Breaking through and being visible on the market is a very difficult task. You need to hustle and be persistent. Contact journalists, cooperate with other companies, use social networks. This method of promotion can bring much better results than classic advertising. One of the best methods to spread the word about you is a strategic giveaway. In this way, you will very easily attract attention and spread a good word about yourself and your product.
Market success depends on preparation and creating a sense of urgency
The persistence and creativity of your marketing directly affects your success in the marketplace. It’s every entrepreneur’s nightmare to spend time developing something and then not sell a single one. It is necessary to promote your product months before the launch day. This is how you make the first contact with potential customers. The first contact with potential customers is crucial and should arouse their interest in your product. Then, when you have their attention, offer them a promotional price for a short time. That small pull factor is often the trigger for making a purchase decision. From there on, continue to sell the product at the standard price. This way, you will ensure the first sale of your product even before the official launch day.
You need to make money – focus on expenses and income
No matter how much effort, work and love you put into your business, if it doesn’t make money, give up before you go bankrupt. If you want to succeed, you have to constantly take care of finances, expenses, and income.
Financing your business has never been simpler. For most of the modern market, you need nothing more than a smartphone and a laptop, and there are numerous incentives and loans for financial construction.
Expenses are a constant concern and threat, and require constant attention. The key is to keep costs low and not spend more than necessary. You don’t need to spend money unnecessarily on creating an attractive website, if you can promote yourself for free through social media. Track your income and always try to increase it.
Maximize your profit – small tweaks make big impact
How to make your startup business more profitable? Constantly monitor changes in the market and shape your offer accordingly. One way is to introduce subscriptions and premium versions of the product. Many users are ready to shell out extra money for a beautified version of the same product.
Another important factor is pricing: make your service prices based on the benefits you provide, not the cost of production. Previously mentioned, Gary Leff, a travel expert who books trips for his clients using their bonus miles, charges a flat fee of $350 per booking whether it took 5 minutes or 5 hours. This is because the benefit to the customer is the same. Also, don’t hesitate to raise prices from time to time. Quite often, customers’ reactions are much more positive than you think. Optimize your business and focus on profitability. At the same time, experiment with small modifications that can bring additional profit.
Make your business as big as you want
Entrepreneurs differ in their ambitions. Some want to stay small, and some want to grow and become big players. Both decisions are acceptable and depend on your ambition. If you do decide to grow your business, it can grow either vertically or horizontally. Vertical growth means selling new, additional services to existing customers. For example, if you are selling software, vertical growth would imply selling users guide or tutorial how to use it. Similarly, you can sell both pro version and demo version of the same software.
On the other hand, horizontal growth implies the creation of a new offer for new clients, very often in cooperation and with the help of other entities on the market. As you grow, you will realize that you cannot do everything by yourself. One solution is to hire someone to do certain work for you. However, don’t lose control of the creative part of your job and don’t let someone else make decisions for you. The point is: If you want make your startup business as big or as small as you want.
Keep it simple – focus on the action
When it comes to running a startup business, action is what matters the most. Too many entrepreneurs waste energy and time creating complicated business plans that will never be realized. Most of them give up before they even start. When you do plan, keep it simple: your business plan should fit on one page. Write down what you’ll sell, whom you’ll sell it to, why customers would buy it and how you’ll actually get paid. Simple as that.
It is also important to set yourself a deadline. It helps turn the plan into action. Likewise, your mission statement should also be short like a Tweet, 140 characters. Forget about complicated business jargon and unnecessary descriptions.
When you quit your regular job and start your own startup business, you’ll surely find a lot of people trying to give you advice. Although they wish you well, most of these people don’t have their own business, so their advice is often useless and even distracting. You don’t need anyone’s permission to succeed. Learn to trust your guts and make a difference. You won’t believe how good you’ll feel after your first sale.
Think about your skill set and your passions. Then evaluate whether you can meet the customer’s needs with them. If you have what it takes – get going. Understand the customer’s deepest needs, get under their skin, and be creative with your marketing. When you advertise your product, evoke emotion in your customers and create a sense of urgency. Take care of your finances. Control your expenses and maximize your income. Remember, your startup business must generate profit, if it doesn’t, then your startup business is headed for failure. Set goals and deadlines. Keep your plans simple and focus on the action.
Inspired by a book “The $100 Startup”; Chris Guillebeau