The following post is from FMF contributor Brad Richardson.
Do you have a brilliant idea you’ve always wanted to turn into business? Whatever your product or service, transforming it into a reality may be a more straightforward prospect than you think. In this article, we’ll explore the various options that are available (and recommended!), if you’re considering starting a small business:
Do your research
Time spent conducting market will reap dividends in the long run. Find out where your idea might be placed in the market; are there competitors doing exactly what you do, or do you have a unique selling point? If there are already established players in the game, it’s important to differentiate yourself. Whether that a distinctive feature or a lower price point, researching the market will allow you to explore how you will set yourself apart from the pack.
Gather your initial investment
One of the most daunting prospects of pursuing your business idea is securing the finances to get started. But it needn’t be intimidating! If the initial investment is relatively small, consider whether to dip into personal savings, or ask a relative if they would like to help. For larger requirements, it might be necessary to involve an outside investor, or purse crowdfunding. You may also wish to consider a small business loan. Lend Genius helps entrepreneurs to find the best loans to suit their business. Visit their website to learn more.
Create your product
Once you have your initial investment secured, it’s time to turn your business idea into a tangible product, or if you’re offering a service, to narrow down exactly what it is you will be selling. You may need the help of designers and outside manufacturers for this process; shop around and ask to see portfolios before committing. Remember that quality is always better than quantity (or a price that seems too good to be true!).
Find a place to sell it
Nowadays, it’s easier than ever before to sell your idea. You might consider a physical store if you’re selling something that potential customers will need to see in person before purchasing (such as furniture), or going mobile (for example, if you’re a hair stylist or beauty therapist), or your product may be suitable to sell online. Sites such as eBay, Etsy, and Big Cartel make this a straightforward process.
Generate a buzz
Now that you have your product ready and a place to sell it, you’ll need to let people know! Creating free social media accounts is a brilliant first step. With no additional investment, you can begin promoting your business, connecting with customers, and generating a buzz around you. Ask family and friends to share your posts; word of mouth is still a powerful force in generating business.
Take feedback on board
As soon as your first few customers come through, encourage them to share feedback about your product or service, the customer service they received, and their overall experience. Any feedback at this stage is critical to your future performance. If this feedback is good, make sure you keep doing the right things! If your customers offer constructive criticism, be gracious, thank them, and take their opinions on board. Demonstrating the ability to adapt for your customers will keep them coming back.