I have something I want to sell, now what?
So you have a great idea for a business. But the next part seems mighty intimidating. How do I actually get this idea off the ground, get customers through your doors (physical or online) and actually start making some money!
Because this blog focuses on marketing, this post will start with some of the first steps in turning your idea into a business from a marketing perspective. But, as all these decisions you make at the beginning are about setting your business up for a great future, I hope to have some guest posts from experts focusing on some of the other important parts of setting up a business. Like business plans, finances and accounts (all the important things like tax!). Summarise how things are now for your business and map your vision for the future. Make sure you run the numbers and that your business idea will be profitable. For now we will assume you have done all that and have a viable business ready to go.
You need to start with some market analysis. What other products or services are out there in the market as your competitors. What do they do well, what do they do not so well? Is the market flooded already? Or is there a gap where you can offer something better or different than what is already out there?
The most important thing you need to do when starting a business is work on your unique selling proposition (or USP). What is it about what you do that makes you special, what makes you stand out from the crowd from your customers perspective. The following 3 questions can help you form your USP.
Who are your target customers?
e.g Individuals and businesses who use overnight couriers
What do you do well?
e.g Reliable service all different locations and sizes nationwide
What do you do different?
e.g Door to door pick up for individual customers, overnight guarantee
Taking your answers to these questions you want to come up with one or two sentences which sum up your USP. Your USP will include a promise to your customers. For example, Overnight delivery, any size, every time.
Our customers are at heart of what we do. Without them there is no business. So once you know who they are and what you are offering them that is unique you are set up to focus your efforts on these people. Just like a success blog needs good content, a successful business needs to be customer focused.
Some other things you need to do right are the beginning are:
Register your web domain names and any trademarks if needed.
Create your social media accounts – look at companies you aspire too for inspiration on what social media platforms might be good for your business. You can register all these things long before you launch and make sure you get the url’s you need.
I hope this helps you start to take your great idea to market.