You have a good idea and are now thinking about going into business. Okay. But where to start? This is the question every entrepreneur faces before setting up his first business. But don’t worry, here is a step-by-step plan for getting started on a solid foundation.
Validate your perceptions
We don’t do it alone. If you have a good idea for a product or service, first meet your potential customers to validate if your idea meets their needs and if they intend to pay for your solution.
Approach them with open questions in order to get maximum information from them. Maybe you will identify the persons who will test first what you have to offer. You can click here for the best choices now.
We take the example here. One company markets maple sodas. Before launching their products, they proceeded to tastings. They then adjusted their recipes based on comments from participants. The mistake to make in such a case is to approach only those around you. Since loved ones tend to encourage rather than say the real substance of their thoughts, their comments may misguide you. The example of the pilot project also deserves to be studied.
Identify how you will stand out
We rarely arrive in a market that is not already occupied by competitors. So be sure to identify what will make you stand out. Will it be the price? Product quality? The possibility of offering tailor-made? It’s up to you.
And this is not only true for products. We can also stand out when we offer a service, whether through customer experience, speed of response and quality of service, for example.
It is therefore important to know your competitors well and to identify how you will avoid becoming a “me too”, that is to say a company that offers exactly what another offers, without distinguishing itself.
Evaluate the cost of the project
This is a complex but essential step. How much will your project cost you? Entrepreneurs tend to underestimate the costs associated with a business. For example, they will underestimate the size of their working capital, or the cost associated with leasehold improvements. Some also overestimate their debt capacity.
To avoid a miscalculation, you will have to knock on doors. Turn to suppliers, companies and merchants who know your area. For example, a baker will meet with flour suppliers to assess the costs of raw materials. A real estate broker could inform you of the costs associated with leasehold improvements.
Your competitors, or the people who do business with them, may even want to help you. We must dare to ask them.
An entrepreneur should not stay behind his screen to learn about his market. He has to be out there and talk to people.