Starting a new business is often the most exciting, energizing and frustrating thing an entrepreneur can do. But if you were to get advice from 10 advisors on what needs to happen, you would get 10 uniquely different responses. So how does someone know where to begin?
While the starting place for each entrepreneur will be different, there are a few common misconceptions about how and where to begin the journey to building a new business:
I Can’t Start a New Business Without a Following
The most critical component of launching a new business is to establish your authority on the industry, technology or science of your new venture. The easiest way to do that is to begin writing to those who know you, sharing free advice about your subject matter.
Rather than building a website, simply start with a blog post. It is simpler to build, easier to maintain, and immediately creates engagement with those interested in your new business idea.
Small business owners often tell me, “I do not have a “following yet.” To which I normally reply, that’s right – so let’s go build one! All it takes is a blog site connected to a CRM (a tool to collect followers’ contact information – name, email, etc.).
Simply start writing, sharing what you know, giving away free information on your area of expertise, engaging with those who are interested, asking them to share with others who might find your information valuable, and before you know it, you’ve got a small tribe of prospective customers or clients for your new business.
Now you can engage these folks in the design of your product or service offering and your pricing strategy – and they will feel invested in you, your business and your success.
I Need to Have a Finished Product Before I Can Launch
If you want to guarantee the failure of your new business, just wait until you have your product or service offering “perfect” before you go to market. Here’s the big question: In whose eye is your new offering “perfect”? In many cases, it is in your eyes, not those of your target market or prospects.
It is always better to start your journey with a largely unfinished or unpolished product or service, and allow its early adopters to help you make improvements. This likely means that you will not have your pricing firmly set, your offering complete, or your services automated. That’s fine: now make room in your launch schedule for feedback, allowing those who know you well, or like the concept, to put their imprint on the final version.
Nothing is more frustrating than spending time designing the product or service that you know your customer “needs” when it turns out to be not what they “want.” You won’t be successful selling them what you think they need, but you will be successful if you let them tell you what they want, and you incorporate that into your finished offering.
I Need to Design my Logo and Build my Website First
Many want-to-be business owners focus far too much on trying to design the perfect logo and building their initial website. The reality is that you don’t need either to get started.
Rather than spending time and money to create an online identity, take those resources and put them into landing early business. What you need is the experience of delivering your product or service to those willing to pay for it, and getting their feedback on what they like, what they would change, how they would suggest you improve it, and how they think you should market it to others like them.
This first customer experience is invaluable to the direction, focus and success of your newly formed business.
Start with these three thoughts in mind, and you’ll be on the path to new business start-up success. Have fun, and enjoy the ride. Let me know if you need help moving beyond these first few steps in the process.
You can contact Rich Allen, at www.tourdeprofit.com for more information.
Rich Allen helps create businesses with solid foundations, unique marketplace positions, reputable processes, high-performance team, and a visionary leader. Prior to becoming an advisor, Rich was VP HR with Texas Instruments then Division President/COO with Pella Corporation. Rich is a proud Rotarian and serves on several boards. He holds an MBS in International Business from the University of Texas and hosts a weekly radio show. His iOS App is titled “Ultimate Business Tune Up.”