Catherine Livingstone: Starting a business - 7 September
Are you thinking about starting a new business and becoming an entrepreneur? Here are some tips to make sure the first steps have you heading down the right path.
Step 1: Finding Your Product
Understanding why you want to open the doors to running your own business is critical. Do you not want to work for someone else anymore or is it finding something to fit into your lifestyle or have you seen a gap in the market place? Has someone said you should do this? Sit down, think hard about why you are doing this and write the answer to that question in a couple of sentences. Stick it on a wall and read it every day as it will ensure you stay true to why you started this adventure in the first place.
Can You Operate A Hammer?
Indentifying your strengths are key as this should alter the product you want to sell, the service you want to offer or how you pick the business you are going to be represented by in the market place. No one is a Jack-of-all trades and realising this at the outset will enhance your ability to excel. Look at your past and dissect what tasks/projects you have actually been successful at and most importantly enjoyed. In running a business it is not a bad thing to put up your hand and call in the experts so you can get on with doing what you are good at. Did the piece of paper on your wall from above state that you wanted to be bogged down doing things you don't enjoy and that don't make you money?
Wanting and Needing It
Market Research, Market Research, Market Research! This is one of the biggest mistakes business owners make when getting started. They get an amazing idea, sprint into getting the business started and forget to find out the want and needs of the market place are. Let your fingers do the walking by getting online and analysing what is already out there. Look at current products and ask yourself - what are the good and bad points of the opposition, what colours have they used, what is the language they are using and how is mine different or how am I going to make it different. Next step is get friends together, go out on the street, gather a focus group with the offer of wine and find out what the public thinks of your business product/name/idea and offering. This can save you hours of time and months of testing services on unsuspecting clients and also provide feedback/quotes to utilise in promotional material. For your clients is this a want to have or a need to have?
Ideas spark you to take the first step but you will be astounded by the useful information already available from your past and at your finger tips that can give your business the edge it needs.
Look at becoming an entrepreneur like your first day of school - lots to learn, lots to take in and many who have been there before!
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