Let us go back to starting up a business.
“First of all, starting up a business is not a child’s play. It is not a game where you play to lose or win or play chances, it is a serious “business” just as the name” ~Harmony Attise
I know most of you may have read about how to start a business with no or little money and about how to start a business in some few hours and the list goes on. Let us be realistic here, can we?
“Who goes to the market without money and comes back with foods stuff or groceries? Starting a business is more like an investment than playing the magician and making things grow out of nowhere. What you put in is what you get out. Investments sometimes or most often comes with risks and most importantly with costs. Nobody starts a “serious” business with absolutely no cash or with very little cash. So I guess you know by now if you ready to start a business or not?
Now let’s just understand what a business / business idea is all about.
WHAT IS A BUSINESS IDEA?
Every business that aims to be successful starts with a compelling business idea. These ideas have to solve a need; satisfy a target need
It must be innovative
Be specific and clear
Be target focused and achieve the objectives of its establishment; make profit.
“A business idea is a plan or concept which can be used to make money. It is focused on a product or service that can be offered for money. Every successful business started as an idea.
Do your business idea meet the characteristics above?
WHEN IS A BUSINESS IDEA VIABLE OR FEASIBLE?
Every business idea no matter how excellent it is has no commercial value. Until the idea is well developed and gone through a feasibility study, how the idea can solve the target’s problems it will initially have no value.
A business idea becomes viable or feasible when It’s markets; thus consumer targets accepts it, believes in it, has value for them and meets the characteristics stated above.
As discussed in previous articles, what you are offering, (products or services) have to meet market competition. It must stand out, be unique and differentiate itself from the competition.
Also note that, to evaluate your business ideas, it should meet investors perspectives. Investors always have these few things in mind;
Market (competition, availability and demography)
Profits and more profits.
HOW TO START-UP YOUR BUSINESS IDEA(s)
Create an idea
You know what a business idea is now and whether or not yours is viable.
I remember sharing my ideas with friends to know what they thought about it. One friend asked if I could explain to him as I would to a ten (10) years old child. I laughed but today, it made much sense than when I was starting up.
Your business idea should be easy to explain to someone to understand. What you intend to develop (product or service) should be in plain and simple language. If your idea can not easily be understood by anyone and why they would need to buy your idea (product or service), then your idea isn’t fully in shape for business. It will be difficult to attract customers, investors and beat the competition to startup successfully.
So talk to a few honest friends about your business ideas. If they are able to understand and would buy your idea (product or service), then your idea is ready for the next step.
Define Target prospects for your idea
Now we have a clear, well defined idea that can attract anyone; from investors to customers.
Which group of people is this idea targeted at? Which group of people need this idea to solve their problems?
Defining your target customers simply means identifying the specific characteristics of the people or businesses who are most likely to buy your product or service (idea). Common characteristics to classify customers (targets) includes:
occupation or industry
ethnic group etc.
Develop a customer profile with these characteristics of your most promising potential customers. (The people likely to buy your products or services). Most often startups are afraid to define their markets with the fear of not having enough customers, so they end up with unnecessarily broad markets, difficult to reach with their marketing strategies and then spends more cash to reach.
To be continued…