Starting a successful business requires much more than a great idea. Can you define your innovation in the market?
Most people start with a predefined idea in their head about what they want to sell. The reality is the world may not be waiting for your product or service. Define what you will you do, what value will you create that makes you different from similar businesses? Identify exactly what benefits you are delivering: better service, more convenient location, innovative design, hands on training? The process to determine your product involves testing, searching and reacting to feedback provided by your target customers. Never assume you know what your customer wants. unless you have asked. Invest time upfront asking questions to potential customers. Data driven decisions will beat guesswork every time.
Where will you get customers? The magic is customers who pay you for your product or service. Many entrepreneurs start with ambitious product plans, but no customers. Don’t fall in this trap. Have a structured process for testing your idea and validate with customers before you begin. That way you can adjust your product vision to fit what customers will pay for.
Where will you get the cash to start your business? Most people start with funds from family and friends. It takes money to launch. Consider bartering for services, and avoid fixed costs prior to solid revenue. The only financial metric that matters when you begin is cash. Consider your start up costs and operating cash needs. When will your customers pay you for your product?
Do you have the stamina to succeed? You are the primary source of energy and capital. Failure is part of the process. It matters that you are persistent and resourceful. All forward momentum depends on your ability to self start every day. Expect to embrace change and adapt to whatever it takes to move forward. There is no road map for success, only uncharted territory that you navigate one step at a time. Embrace change as a way of life.
Your goal is to launch as a start up business and survive. Answer these questions first.