By Jerry Mooney
Do you fancy yourself as the next big thing in business? If you do, you’re not alone. There are thousands of people all over the world preparing to launch their own ventures and hoping to take the world by storm. The challenge is to succeed in an increasingly hostile environment. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? If so, here are some tips to help prevent you falling at the first hurdle.
Offer something different
Before you print any flyers or set up a website, think carefully about what your business offers. What exactly are you selling? What kinds of services are you providing? Is your product different to anything that is currently on sale? Are you offering more than your competitors? Do you have a USP that will set you apart? If you can’t answer these questions, take your time. Focus on developing products that are an improvement on those currently on sale. If you’re producing a different version, but it’s no better than the original, why should people choose you?
Once you’ve got your product, maintain this string of thought when it comes marketing and branding. Choose techniques that have a proven track record. But be original with the way you design and implement your strategy. Make sure your campaign highlights the best aspects of your business. Focus on methods that will work well for your business. What achieves success for one company may not necessarily work for you.
Do your research
Before you put a product on the shelves, do your research. Are you working on a prototype of something that people actually want or need? Is there a market? If there is, is there space for a new company? If you’re going into a saturated market, it’s even tougher to succeed. You’ll need to make sure that you can somehow beat your competition. Carry out market research to determine suitable retail prices, and think about the buyers you want to target. Are you selling high-tech radio-controlled helicopters that feature a micro linear actuator, for example? If so, there’s no point in lining up meetings with supermarket buyers. You need to focus your energies on tech companies and gadget suppliers.
Focus on finance
It’s easy to get carried away and take your eye off the balance sheets when you’re setting up your own business. The reality is that it’s very easy for new businesses to go under, especially in the first 24 months. You need to have money on your mind constantly. Have a budget in mind, and work out what you can afford to spend on each sector of the business. Try and get cash flowing as quickly as possible. When you’re drawing up plans, overestimate costs. This will help to prevent an overspend. Investigate ways to cut costs and make savings. Keep an eye on sales data, and invest in your most lucrative services or products. If one part of the business is flying, and the other has fallen flat, consider remodeling the company.
Succeeding in business is no piece of cake. If you’re willing to give it a go, hopefully, these tips will prove useful.
Jerry Mooney is co-founder and managing editor of Zenruption and the author of History Yoghurt and the Moon. He studied at the University of Munich and Lewis and Clark College where he received his BA in International Affairs and West European Studies. He has recently taught Language and Communications at a small, private college and owned various businesses, including an investment company. Jerry is committed to zenrupting the forces that block social, political and economic justice. He can also be found on Twitter @JerryMooney