Saturday, 18 February 2012

How Solid Is Your Business Idea?

Hustle is dedicated to your grind and over time we will bring business related articles. It won't be ABC easy to get whatever business started but with persistence nothing will hold you back.

If you want to start a business, how full proof is it? Do you have knowledge in the business you want to venture into - most important, how to run your business - is the most potent weapon you can have. It often means the difference between a good and a great business, as well as success and failure.

That said, one of biggest mistakes most would-be entrepreneurs make is going into business based on what they think people should buy, rather than what people really want or actually do buy.

Here are four simple and inexpensive things you can do before you get into business to make sure there is viable, sustainable and growing market for your business.

Identify your market. How big in terms of money, is the current market for your product or service? Is it a new or mature market? Are you in a new or mature category? A lot of these questions can be answered with research over the type of business you want. Or go to someone that is already in that type of business on a facts finding mission.

Another good tactic is to go to a trade show or exhibition and look at your prospects as well as your competition. What does your potential customer really want? Who are they? What is your competition selling and at what price point? Can you deliver the same at a lower price, or can you add value and charge a premium? Is the sales cycle long or short? Is the exhibitors' list growing or declining from year to year?

Answers to these types of questions will give you a big advantage in getting a handle on the opportunities within a marketplace, and if your initial assumptions about your product or service really hold true.

Because this knowledge will give you additional insight into how your own sales process should be structured. It will also help you operationally tailor your product or service offering to better fit your audience.

Test and measure demand. Big companies spend lots of resources testing ad campaigns and hiring focus groups, but you can do a lot more effective research on your own by simply starting small then testing and measuring everything you do.

Start your list of contacts. At this point in your start up and planning phase, you may have a list of vendors, suppliers or even potential customers. If so, great. Keep building that list and start to develop a communication strategy to keep in contact with that list on a consistent basis. Today's contacts may be tomorrow's customers. More importantly, they have access to entire networks of people who may want or need your product or service.

The real goal of networking is not making a sale to your direct contact. It's about creating a relationship with that contact that leads to referrals and word-of-mouth leads down the road. Whatever you do and however you keep track of your list make sure you protect it and treat it like gold. For most businesses, your contacts database often becomes the most valuable asset you own.

In the end, there is no fail-safe formula for business success, although people are always trying to find one. The best indicator is a proven market with room for growth, populated by people willing and able to pay for something unique or different that helps them make their lives better, easier or happier in some way. It's the business that does the usual in an unusual, unique or different way that wins customers and keeps them coming back for more.

We still maintain that the road isn't ABC easy as this article but its the will inside you that will determine if you succeed or go down as could have worked type of idea.


  1. I love the Article

    My business is in events management. I know my target market, I've broken it down to demographs, I know my visions, my objectives, my strengths and weaknesses. My idea is solid yes and my company is slowly developing and through time, it will grow.

    Thanks for the article

    I'll share this article, I think young entrepreneurs could find this useful

  2. This is what I have been looking for. This way of putting it makes it easier to understand and really interesting to read. Nicely done. Good job with this.