Showing posts with label Business Startup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Business Startup. Show all posts

Friday, June 11, 2021

4 Things You Need To Get Prepared Before You Launch Your Business

When you retire from your 9 to 5 job, you might find new business ideas come to you far more easily. Plenty of people start new businesses after they retire. 

Whether you are starting a new business to bring in a bit of extra cash, pursue a lifelong passion, or realize a great idea, there are many important things to sort out before you launch.

Of course, there are all sorts of things to prepare that are unique to individual business fields. This article, however, is focused on some rather general tips that apply to almost any small business.

Make Sure That Your Business Is Legally Registered

Every country has its own laws regarding registering businesses for tax purposes, and you need to be ahead of this before you even think about launching your own business. 

If you are in the US, the law likely even varies from state to state, as well as nationally. You should keep yourself up to date with any changes in regulations that might affect the status of your business in the future.

Build A Great Website

Having a great presence on the internet is invaluable. The internet is one of the primary ways a business can find new collaborators, clients, and bring in customers. 

A good business website is almost invariably a simple one. Simplicity keeps the user experience smooth and ensures that people surfing on mobile devices don’t see a confusing jumble of images and words. 

Make sure your website is in keeping with your brand identity and ensure that visitors are offered easy ways to contact you or make purchases. 

Hiring some professionals to design your website can save time and make sure that your space on the internet is top-notch. ALT Agency is based in Birmingham, West Midlands, and is a great choice if you want to get a website designed.

Know Your Market

Market research should be part of any good business plan. Knowing your market and your target audience can help you develop strategy, design products, and build marketing campaigns. 

Market research can take many forms. A hybrid approach is usually considered the most comprehensive. This involves seeking in-person qualitative feedback such as can be gained through focus groups and quantitative research that can be gleaned from data. 

Depending on the size of your business, you might need to hire some specialist help to plan out your market research strategy.

Plan For The Future

No matter what size your prospective business is, you are going to need to map out a long-term strategy. If you want to prepare a sound business strategy, comprehensive research is key. 

Modern business strategizing is very data reliant. The huge quantity of data produced by people online has proven to be incredibly useful to business people looking to map out projections. 

Projections are essentially evidence-based predictions of how a market might change in the future. These can be used to plan sound strategies.

Monday, July 22, 2019

How an Idea Becomes a Marketable Product

For the world’s leading entrepreneurs, it is no secret that the first step towards creating any life-changing product is to formulate and develop a winning idea. 

While turning that winning idea into a marketable product may seem like an intimidating process, the truth is that adequate time and preparation in the product development process can allow you to succeed in ways that you may not have believed possible.

The Importance of Research and Development in Product Realization

Even on a small scale, a solid approach to research and development in the early stages of concept revision can significantly boost the likelihood of a product’s success. Putting effort into market research will enable you to better understand the potential place of your product within the current marketplace. 

A person who develops an idea for a new mobile app may wish to see if similar applications already exist, where they are sold, and how much customers pay for their use.

By understanding the landscape in which you will market and sell your new product, you can give your product a better chance at thriving in a competitive market.

Sourcing Quality Product Components

It isn’t enough that your product have an attractive outer casing or flashy marketing gimmick; you’ll need to ensure that you’re building a quality product with quality components. 

Just as you would want to use the best ingredients available to you in order to cook a dinner for your family and friends, you’ll want to ensure that your product is built with the best components available in your price range.

Make sure the components central to your product, such as rigid flex circuit boards, batteries and other electronic necessities, will adequately fulfill the needs of your customers and will last more than a few months. Without a functional and reliable product, your idea will stand little chance of winning over buyers in the long-term.

Seeking Feedback

Whether you’re seeking advice from trusted mentors or scheduling full-scale focus groups to study what the public thinks of your product idea, seeking feedback is a vital step towards understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both your concept and your marketing plan. 

When you solicit the viewpoints of others, you’ll allow yourself the chance to spot design or conceptual flaws that might otherwise derail a successful product launch. Instead of waiting for your product to hit the market, use feedback to prepare in advance for any hiccup that may arise in the development and marketing process of your product.

Turning a great idea into a great creation is often a product of time, effort and responsiveness to the needs of customers. With the right approach to research, product components and critical feedback, you’ll find that a successful product launch is well within your abilities.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

7 Key Challenges of Launching a Startup

It may seem daunting to know that 8 out of 10 startups will fail in the first 18 months, but it doesn't have to be. To begin with, many successful startups took a few tries to actually get right. 

Just because an initial startup may fail doesn't mean it doesn't provide valuable experience to get the second or third try up and running. Ultimately, all startups fail because they run out of money. 

What causes them to run out of money is the question. Here are 7 key challenges to launching a startup.

1. Expanding Too Quickly

When people think of growth, they often think of expansion. In truth, those are two very different things. In reality you often have to grow before you expand. Getting an order for 1,000 units of your new product may seem like a windfall, but not if you don't have the production facilities in place to handle an order that size. 

Suddenly having more clients than you can handle sounds ideal, but in reality it can be the death of your business. When you plant a seed, it can be months before you actually see growth. 

That doesn't mean the seed hasn't been busy beneath the surface planting roots that will support the expansion when it happens. Make sure you understand the difference between growth and expansion.

2. Having the Wrong Partners

No one individual can singlehandedly build a successful startup. They need partners that bring something to the table in the form of wisdom, experience, contacts, money or some combination of all. 

What you don't need, however, are partners that bring little to nothing to the table. Your best friend since high school might be your most loyal friend, but that doesn't make them a good business partner. 

Similarly, be careful who you allow to invest in your startup. Most investments come with strings - make sure you have a very clear understanding of what they are before taking any money.

3. Failure to Adequately Judge the Market

No matter what product or service you have to offer, you need someone to buy that product or service. You may find an area you think would be perfect for an upscale coffee shop, but that doesn't mean the residents of that area are going to buy your upscale coffee. 

Before you offer a product or service, you need to ensure there is a market for your product or service. If there isn't one, that doesn't mean all is lost, it simply means you will have to build one.

4. Failure to Build a Market

While you may actually hit on a product idea or service people are genuinely hungry for, it is rare. More often than not, you actually have to convince people they need the product or service you are offering. 

When Starbucks first started selling coffee in the 1970's it was unheard of to spend more than about 50 cents on a cup of coffee. Starbucks actually had to convince the entire world that a cup of coffee was something worth spending upwards of $4 on. They didn't walk into a ready-made market, they built one.

5. Lack of Security

The minute you actually invest something into turning an idea into a reality, you have something to protect. Whether that is your proprietary blend of spices, your manuscript or customer information, you have something that can be stolen. 

Anything that can be stolen needs to be protected or it can signal the end of your business. These days it is important for all businesses - from the smallest startup to the largest corporation - to invest heavily in cybersecurity. 

Small businesses are often in the greatest danger of being hacked because they think they are too small and insignificant to be worth hacking. They are generally wrong.

6. Lack of Proper Insurance

There are any number of catastrophes and cataclysms that can prematurely derail a startup. From fires, floods and other disasters to the death of a partner or investor to costly lawsuits, startups can suddenly find themselves stopped. 

Making sure you have the proper insurance is critical to any startup. In addition, you should always work with a reputable agent from a reputable carrier. It is also important to do periodic reviews of your insurance with your agent to make sure that your coverage is keeping pace with the changing needs of your startup.

7. Burnout

Building a startup into a full-fledged business is a marathon, not a sprint. The tasks involved in building a startup are never-ending and they can easily become overwhelming. 

Generally, the people that actually successfully shepherd a startup into a fully operational business pace themselves and don't lose sight of what is truly important. They take care to maintain their relationships, their physical health and even their outside activities. 

While it may take longer to build a successful company by going at a slower pace, you also give yourself a far better chance of actually seeing the finish line.

Wrapping Up

People who successfully guide a startup to a full-fledged business often seem to anticipate what is going to happen long before it ever does. That's because in one sense they do. 

While this list doesn't cover every potential pitfall of building a startup, the full list of things that can derail them is not actually that long. Savvy entrepreneurs make it their business to know every single thing that can go wrong and generally have a plan in place for dealing with it.

Jasmine Williams covers the good and the bad of today's business and marketing. When she’s not being all serious and busy, she’s usually hunched over a book or dancing in the kitchen, trying hard to maintain rhythm, and delivering some fine cooking (her family says so). Tweet her @JazzyWilliams88

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