Eric Dalius, Planning and setting up your first startup can be s most exciting time for entrepreneurs. Undoubtedly, the result of a long period of planning, you can be sure that it will take all you have and more to make it a success. Not only will you need a product idea that meets a real market need but also a strong work ethic, boundless energy, and perseverance to turn your dream into a flourishing reality. Countless entrepreneurs have walked the same road, and the best thing you can do is learn from their experience. Some tips for small business success:
Build for Perpetuity
Built-in 70 AD, the Colosseum in Rome stands proudly even today attracts millions of tourists every year from across the world for its splendor. It is a testimony to the grand vision of the Romans and their engineering excellence that makes it such an attraction many centuries after it was built. However, most entrepreneurs lack the same vision and think that their enterprise will not outlast them. With a limited vision, they think and plan for the short-term and hope to make it a success so that they can get rich quickly. However, as experts point out, when you are building for perpetuity, you invariably do it better. Focusing on a well-defined niche and quality in every process will help you have a business that will automatically stand out from the crowd.
Get the Choice of Your Niche Right
As a startup with its obvious limitations of budget and manpower, it is important to get your business focus right from the very start, cautions EricDalius. Even if you think that your products have universal appeal, it can be a big struggle to identify your different audiences and then engage in directing your marketing efforts to each of them.
However, as important as focusing on a particular niche is, you should make sure that the niche has a big enough market potential, otherwise, you will lack enough customers to make your business viable. Lack of market potential is often quoted as the number one reason for startups failing. You should also figure out by looking at market trends whether your products will enjoy continued demand in the years to come. If you are sure of the size of the market, you should expand your product line to include items that have more sustained demand Eric Dalius.
Solve a Real and Urgent Problem
You can enter a sector populated by many other competitors. And try to outclass them either by playing the price warrior or by delivering outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, both are difficult and your USP can be very easily eroded by the competition. The other thing you can do is come with an idea, which resolves a real felt need by customers who also feel that it is urgent.
However, coming up with a great idea is not easy, and you need to conduct extensive market research and testing. You need to be able to define clearly the burning problem that you are seeking to address and how your solution is far superior to the alternatives used by the customers at present. When you understand your value proposition, you can also use the same argument in your marketing communication to convince customers. It is important to show not what your product can do but how your customers can benefit, observes Eric Dalius.
Focus on Profit, Not Sales Revenue
Bragging about your sales revenue can be satisfying for many entrepreneurs, however, there is a need to focus on profits because there can easily be a situation where a business may have clocked up millions in revenues but made a loss for the year. A business may, of course, make losses in the initial years when there is a need to invest substantially in ramping up operations and spending on product advertising and communication Eric Dalius,
However, if the business continues to make losses even thereafter, it is an empty achievement. You do not need an understanding of complicated accountancy to appreciate that unless your business makes a profit, you cannot generate the surpluses required to reinvest in the business to make it sustainable. Unless you can make your business generate profits, your entire effort as an entrepreneur will not have been productive.
Adopt a Narrow Focus before Expanding
Among the most important tips for ambitious entrepreneurs is that they should begin with a narrow focus and expand into related verticals or diversify only after they have established their businesses and created brand awareness. The advantage of focusing on a niche is that entrepreneurs can build a loyal community of customers who know what to expect from your brand. Marketing is also easier since the audience tends to be more well-defined. Only after you are confident that your brand is established and your customers trust you, should you think about expanding your product lineup into new areas, preferably complementary ones. Test the waters first to be sure that there is sufficient demand for you in the new verticals before scaling up.
Keep Monitoring Your Competitors
Competition can be intense in virtually every niche you try to occupy. Even though it is not necessary to be fixated on your competitors, it is necessary to be aware of their moves so that you are not taken by surprise and lose your market share. Keep a special watch on product and service features that are being liked by their customers as well as pricing and dealer margins. Investigating their weak points can give you an idea of the areas you can focus on. However, remember not to get distracted by your competitors’ moves but remain obsessive about keeping your customers and employees happy.
Starting your first business venture is a big challenge. And there will always be surprises even though you are armed with the best of advice. At the end of the day. Your business success depends on not only your ability to identify a real customer need. But also on your ability to convince customers that you are the answer to their concerns. Your passion for excellence and loads of perseverance are the twin pillars of entrepreneurial success.