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You’ve done all the thinking you could possibly do and have come up with a fantastic business idea that you can’t wait to start working on. You’ve identified a need for your business in the market and you’ve already written a killer business plan. Here’s where the hard part comes in: identifying whether or not you should go ahead and pursue your business idea full-force. Here are some guidelines you should follow regarding whether or not this is something you should pursue:
Before you are concerned with any of the other semantics relating to your business, you need to make sure that your idea is original. Sure, there could be a need for your business in the market but is it original? This doesn’t mean that you need to be the only business in the world that does what you’re trying to do. This merely means that you need to set yourself apart from all the other competitors in your field. For example, there are tons of different photography companies that do the same thing every day. If you were also opening a photography company, you could pick a creative niche such as car photography or “first-look” photography to make yourself memorable.
Besides originality, this is one of the most important obstacles a budding entrepreneur could face. Before starting your business, you need to assess what your basic startup costs will be and whether or not these costs are reasonable to fund by yourself. If not, you may want to look into finding an investor or before developing your idea much further.
It’s a pretty good chance that no matter what business you’re developing, you will have some sort of competition. Make sure you do a careful business analysis of your competitors before launching your business because potential customers/clients will be doing the same. Make sure to take note of their pricing, marketing strategy and other tactics to ensure that you’re not overstepping your target market.
Who is your target market? You’re going to need to know exactly who will benefit from your business, because these are going to be the first people you will reach out to for business. This will also help you create a defined marketing strategy and will help guide all of your business decisions such as deciding on pricing and picking a location.
One of the most crucial aspects to opening a business is timing. For example, you wouldn’t want to launch an online college in the middle of the semester. When opening a business, you want to kick off with a bang and open during a time where consumer demand is particularly strong. Otherwise, you’ll be lacking customers and will look bad to the customers who do show up.
6. State of the Economy
Before opening your business, you need to step back and take a look at where the economy is headed in the near future. You need to know whether or not this is a time where customers have some disposable income or if they are cutting out luxuries. If your business idea doesn’t currently meet the state of the economy, think of some ways you could do so like providing free shipping or offering customer-loyalty discounts.
7. Marketing Tactics
Can you successfully market your business? If no, now is not the time to open up shop. Marketing in the first year of your business’s existence is so crucial to maintaining a positive cash flow. A great way to market these days is to use Internet tools such as social media, e-mail lists and online coupons. Also, you might want to take a look at what your competition is doing and brainstorm ideas based off of their tactics.
Did your start-up meet most of these guidelines? If yes, congratulations! If no, that’s okay. That just means that you need to do a little planning and adjusting. However, make sure that if you do need to adjust, take the time to do so correctly. You can only launch your business once, and you’ll want to make sure it’s done in the best way possible.
Image cover source: ambroziac.blogspot.com