Going into business is not always about having an exceptional business idea. You must not create a product that will revolutionize life on earth.
In fact, to build a successful business, one only need to be able to modify or improve well-established products or services into something better but it doesn't stop there.
Your marketing strategy is another factor that will determine if your great product will even get to its target customers. Then, you need to have a good management culture and keep your customers happy.
One major reason most people are striving to be entrepreneurs these days is due to the freedom it accords. You get to be in charge of your time, resources and finance.
It's a craving. However, going into a business based on this ideology is a dangerous decision as entrepreneurship entails a lot more than that.
Are you disciplined and accountable enough? Do you have the patience and determination to see your business succeed?
And most importantly, are you passionate about the business? Once you have all these in place, then running a business effectively will no longer be a challenge.
It's true that most of the world's successful Entrepreneurs started out small and grew their business to a larger empire. You too can learn from it.
Besides, it's important to start out small to help you fully understand and capitalize on your market but you should always aim higher.
The most important thing is that you are innovative enough to improve your business regularly to keep your customers loyal.
You can always start with the version 1 of your product but ensure you roll out version 2,3,4 to as many as you can. Well, here are a few tips to help you kick-start your own small business.
Focus on your passion
You may never succeed in a business if you are not passionate about it and this is why if you are going into business, you should do what you love.
This is not to say you should throw away any idea you have that is outside your scope of expertise or businesses outside your niche but overall, you ought to find something you like about that business before doing it.
There just has to be some form of motivation that will help you succeed – A driving force. Believe me, within the line your initial enthusiasm may dry out when it gets tough (and it will) and that thing you love about the business will be the reason you keep pushing.
Most people quit their job because it makes them miserable so, why start a business in a niche you dislike? The whole idea of starting a business is to make you follow your dreams.
Whatever business you are into, you will need to devote a lot of time and energy to keep it a successful enterprise and to do this, the business has to be something you enjoy doing.
If I didn't like Ghavoch, I wouldn't have succeeded in building and developing it this far. In fact, I recently prepared a complete guide on how to build your own profitable membership website like Ghavoch.com in case you are interested.
Have an effective plan
Having a plan for your business is pretty much a requirement. Planning ahead has always been a very important factor that affects the success of our goals and your business is not an exception.
A plan helps you give an analytical look to the feasibility of the business concept, market value as well as revenue projections. But it doesn't stop there.
Your business plan is like a roadmap that helps keep you on track throughout your journey until you get to your proposed destination.
Planning helps you make a better decision and figure out the best strategy to help catapult your startup from the incubator stage to a multinational corporation.
Even if you are just opening up a kiosk-kind of business, you still need to plan on the best spot suitable of the sale of your products.
You still need to plan on how you will attract and retain good paying customers. How about how you will keep your product supply flowing?
Or how you to operate safely from law officials and street thugs? You need to plan on your finances, operation, management, marketing etc.
And no one is expecting you a sit and draft out a professional business plan. The most important factor however, is that you lay out the steps on how you will operate the business and use it as a guideline in your decision-making processes. This will increase your chances of success by over 200%.
Have multiple funding sources
Poor funding culture has always been known as one of the major reasons businesses fail and I believe you are not about to play around here.
Starting a quality business isn't cheap and as such, you should have several sources of financing your business should your initial capital dry up.
This is one of the things you should have planned about. How will you fund the business? Sometimes, you don't necessarily need to have all the capital for your great business.
You only need to have enough to get it started but do you have any plan in place to help you get funds along the way?
You need to have a steady supply of funds till your business breaks even. Thankfully, there are over 12 ways you can raise funds for your business. Whether through investors, banks, grants, presales or even partnerships, the success of your business depends on the smooth operation of its daily activities and this won't be possible without proper finances to cover the cost.
Involve the experts
You really can't do it alone. I mean, how can you? Most businesses need lawyers, accountants etc. so, pray tell, do you have all the skills? Of course, you don't.
Okay, even if you took several courses at the university and you now know how to handle every aspect of your business, it still illogical to isolate yourself with all the work.
You gain a lot more when other professionals look into your business and offer their expertise in the areas that need retouching.
If you don't hire the right people to handle such affairs or outsource the tasks to the experts, you will only end up wasting time and possibly money trying to do things you are not qualified to do.
Even sole proprietors need help and you shouldn't be afraid to ask for it. Depending on the kind of business, you will likely need help in many areas including website setup, consulting services, legal issues, marketing, finances as well as branding.
And if your business doesn't have employees, from time to time, you will probably need to outsource some tasks to freelancers.
Get a good team
Similar to seeking help from professionals, you will need to source for a good team that will help you manage the business.
Being self-employed and running a small business are two different things as every business need some assistance from staffs. Even sole proprietorship.
While it's not advisable to start hiring and including several employees on a payroll at the startup stage, you will need to involve some additional hands along the line and a business can only succeed as far as the team leading it.
This is the exact reason you need to get the best possible management team you can hire. With a good team, roles are shared, more work is done and more money is made.
Sometimes, this team is not a professional body of employees working for you, rather, they could just be some handpicked reliable friends or family members who do nothing other than help you make good business decisions.
Get a good team together and you will have an invaluable business at hand. You should also consider getting financially educated.
Get legal backings
Do you know how much it could cost you when you get paraded by government officials for tax issues? It's hardly cheap and it's probably would cost you less if you handled it before the mess.
Almost every country demands that businesses get registered with the government and playing against it is an indirect way of saying you want to crash your business.
Some governments might even arrest you and charge you with several counts fraud, money laundry etc.
While kiosk-kind of businesses or online businesses with no physical offices may seem exempted from this, most people may still not want to carry out any transaction with you till they can verify that your business is registered.
You need to learn as much as possible about what your legal responsibilities are before starting your business.
The best way is to involve a lawyer and seek proper counselling and business consultation (this is available to my premium user on Ghavoch) from the professionals.
Study all the government policies regarding your business industry and how best you can operate hindrance-free and when making any business deal, ensure you have proper documents that are legally signed and sealed to help bind and protect your interest. If possible, trademark your business name and concept.
Get recognized as a brand
According to Nigerians; 'it's all about packaging'. Even as an individual, it's highly recommended you create a brand around your services.
See Ghavoch.com for instance, I could have easily built the site without creating a logo and personalizing everything but I did, and after today, you will probably know it's me anytime you come across the Ghavoch Logo.
That is what branding is all about. You simply need to get recognized and make it easier for your customers to remember you. It's all about presenting yourself as a professional who is running a serious business.
Even your business documents and emails (I recommend ConvertKit for your email campaigns) need to have a professional layout with a cover-head that includes your logo.
Then, you will also need to handle your customers professionally. Even the smallest business will generate more sales when handled professionally. Package your business and make it look standard, it helps.
Build your list of prospects
This is also a great way of validating your concept or let's say, you should have validated your idea before now and you are just supposed to enlist all those interested prospects as they are the first set of people you can build your customer base on.
For instance, if I did a market survey to check how much my idea would scale through, I would simply take note of the email addresses/phone numbers of everyone who is interested in the idea to inform them of my business launch date – they are more likely going to buy your products.
This way, you would already have a huge customer base even before you launch your business. This is to say you should start marketing even now.
In fact, you should be creating a buzz around your concept a few months before your actual product launch. This way, you would start generating revenue right from your launch date.
You don't necessarily need to carry out huge promotions but as long as you are building your clientele, you are in the clear.
Consider networking with potential clients, doing some presales discounts or even getting interviewed or getting your products publicly reviewed.
With powerful tools like ConverKit, you don't need to be an expert in email marketing to see results in record time. Also, Lati Codes is ready to help you with all your digital marketing needs.
Build customer relationships
You just have to involve your customers in product development process if you truly intend to remain in business– Never build products based on assumptions.
Always find out from your prospects what features they prefer to see in your products. Believe it or not, your customers actually hold the future of your business in their palms.
You will be out of business the moment your customers decide not to buy from you anymore. So, why not do the kind of products they want?
This is the essence of doing a solid market survey and product validation process when creating your business plan.
And even when you are sure you have enough prospects hooked on your product, you ought to still accept some suggestions from them when improving or creating more versions of the product.
It's true that you can't please everyone but at least build your products based on the preference of the majority and if the only difference is in attributes such as colors, weight, size etc.
then you should consider building multiple versions of your products because more customers tend to buy when they are given several options – They are more likely going to find a version that suits them.
You can join me on my journey as I launch a new entertainment company without capital.
Stay focused & committed
No one starts a business in hopes of failing so, I assume you intend to succeed at your business which means, you will need to discipline yourself and hold yourself accountable at all times.
Many businesses fail because the entrepreneurs treat them like hobbies when they should have taken it seriously from day one.
If you want a hobby, it's best you participate in any of the productive activities around you because your business failure doesn't only affect you but your investors/partners, employees and customers.
Treat your business the way it should be treated – as a business. Yes, you are probably the boss but if you go doing anything you like without minding its negative effect on your business, you stand at a higher risk of failing.
This is to stay, you should also treat yourself as an employee by assigning certain tasks to yourself and paying yourself a salary too – if you go spending carelessly from your business account, you go bankrupt and lose your business.
Set measurable goals and set your focus on achieving them. You can't expect to get an ounce more out of your business than what you've put into it.
Running a business requires focus and commitment. You need to constantly remind yourself of the reasons you started the business and keep working towards bringing it to reality.
Every business (big or small) started from somewhere but their survival always depends on how serious the entrepreneur is and the type of decisions he/she makes for the business.
Most great businesses today are just series of proper decisions and you too can catapult the success of your startup using my solid tips above.
Overall, all you really have to do is lay out a quality financial/marketing/operational/ plan for a business you love, get friendly with your customers and legal bodies as well as coming off as a professional.
Well, now that you have started your business, are you ready to learn how to grow it effectively? Here are my 7 proven methods on how to grow your business. Also, are you interested in the real estate business? Here's how to get started.