When what you think, what you say, and what you do is in alignment – that is success!
Because you have to start thinking, speaking, and acting like an entrepreneur, I’m going to help you to take the first 4 steps to making that happen. I will eventually take you through all 12 steps, so stick with me. Now lets get started.
1. Killer Business Idea
Your passion likely originated as a result of a hobby or passion you have. Now you want to take your super power to the next level – a small business.
Okay. What do you do now? You have a great idea, but beyond that, you’re kind of lost.
Tip 1: Killer Business Idea
Get a piece of paper, draw a circle, and write your KBI inside this circle. Keep it simple. If you are starting a woodcarving business making items for different purposes, just write “woodcarving business”. We’ll get more detailed in step 2.
2. Evaluate yourself
Ask yourself WHY you want to start a business? Maybe you want extra money, more freedom, maybe it’s time to leave your 9-to-5 job and start something new. Maybe you want to be a “Mom-preneur!”
What skills and expertise do you have that qualifies you to start up a new business? It certainly takes more than a good idea and a willingness to work long hours. According to the Small Business Association (SBA), 30% of businesses fail during the first 2 years of being open. So what strengths, talents, and credits do you have to offer this new venture?
Tip 2: Draw out Your Super Powers
Draw a line out from this center circle (your new business) to another circle. Place a skill or area of expertise you have that benefits your new business idea. For example, you want to start a housecleaning business. You may have worked for a cleaning company for the past 5 years. That’s super cool and so important. Write it down. Keep doing this for each and every skill you have that will benefit the launching of your company. Hopefully you will have a bunch of circles filling up your paper after a bit of thought.
Don’t forget your SOFT SKILLS – your PEOPLE skills, COMMUNICATION skills, CHARACTER or PERSONALITY traits, and SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL intelligence. These attributes are important and should be noted here.
3. Market Research
Determines your product’s potential. Is anyone else already doing what you want to start doing? If not, is there a good reason why?
Every time I start a new business, this is one of the first things I do. Check out your competition. What are their prices? What options do they offer?
Know your competitors.
Price checking can be as simple as a Google search that leads you to their website. Consider calling as a potential customer to get quotes for services or products.
Understanding the Competition
Keeping track of who your competitors are, who buys their products, and how they brand is crucial. Inc.com says “Staying smart on the competitive landscape helps you make very practical decisions around product development, pricing, promotions, messaging, as well as where you fit in the brand landscape.” Find out what’s trending and what market needs are not currently being met.
Order a Product
Order a product from competing companies to determine its quality, level of customer service, how it was shipped, and how you want yours to be different. This is a great way to find your niche.
Tune into Social Networks
Marketing outlets like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow you to pick up interesting facts about your competition. Check out reviews on forums such as Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Glassdoor, Consumer Affairs, Yelp, or Home Advisor. And it’s a good bet that they put out a newsletter that you can sign up for.
Attend a Conference
Or trade show is a great way to get up close and personal to your competition by picking up literature and product information. To this day, I have “new to the industry” entrepreneurs (like bridal consultants, wedding planners, or bakers) that show up to a show I am in to get a price list and information.
Tip #3: Strength = Action
See where you placed your positive attributes in circles surrounding your product? I want you to draw a small line from each strength and show me how you are going to use it. For example, if you wrote that socially you are a good communicator and people person, tell me how you are going to market your business. If you mentioned that you have 5 years’ experience cleaning houses, do you know how much you plan on paying your employees? Do you know what suppliers you plan to use? Perhaps one of your strengths is in product development, tell me how your product is going to fill a need based on your research of the competition. Each positive you wrote will now have a plan of action attached to it.
4. Mission Statement
Now that you have checked out your competition, you should start differentiating HOW your product is going to be different and what niche you are going to fill. Think of your idea in terms of its product/service features, the benefits to customers, the personality of your company, what key messages you’ll be relaying and the core promises you’ll be making to customers.
Entrepreneur.com offers some great tips and advice for creating a strong mission statement.
Tip #4: Write MISSION STATEMENT at top of paper
Next week, we’ll go over steps 5 – 9. At the conclusion of the 12 tips, I’ll feature a short quiz for you to see if you fit the role of entrepreneur.
About Today’s Author
I am happily married with one daughter and two step-sons. I have owned and operated a small wedding cake business for over 25 years and most recently started a new company handcrafting carved egg shells. A truly unique talent.
In owning and operating small businesses, I have personally experienced many successes and failures along the way that have made me a seasoned DIY entrepreneur. I don’t claim to be a professional marketer or consultant. Just consider me your new best friend that is sharing my personal knowledge and experience.
I welcome your comments and input, so please feel free to share. Each week, I post a new topic. So follow me so you won’t miss out! Next week, I will continue on with steps 5 – 9.
In the meantime, check out my businesses below!
Hope to see you next week!
Believe in yourself.