Starting a business has never been easier than as it is today; with digital technologies like social media making it easy for anyone to launch a business from their bedroom. While there's no definite rule on how to launch a business, there few steps every would be business owner must do before launching any product or service. And ignoring these important steps are the major causes of business failures today.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.
While starting a business is easy, building a successful company is very challenging. It takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to build a successful company. And building a successful business is a long term investment; it can take up to ten years.
On this post, we are going to look at 4 things one need to do before starting a business. These are things every potential entrepreneur should do before launching any product or service.
At the end of this post, you will be able to discover the first things you need to do before launching your dream business. You will also see the reason why few businesses succeed and other fail. So let’s explore the four most important things one should do before starting a business.
A business idea that’s based on solving a problem is the best business to have. If you want to build a successful business, look for a problem and solve it. Identify problems people are facing in their day-to-day life and provide solutions to it. This is very important because, no matter how innovative your business idea might be, if it doesn’t solve human problems; is worthless.
Think about all the great inventions in the world - ships, cars, airplanes, mobile phones, etc; they were all invented to solve a particular problem. Before starting a business, ask yourself what problem is going to solve.
Another option is to provide a better solution to a problem. If you provide a better solution or service than Google or Facebook; why not? Before E-Mail, it takes many days to send and receive letters from friends, families and colleagues. But today, it takes only few seconds send and receive emails.
Before launching any product or service, there’s need to do thorough research about the market you want to enter. You need to research your customers, their purchase habit, their demography as well as your competitors. Researching your market and competitors will give you insight on how to approach and win. It will help you discover opportunities where you can tap into and make a difference.
Success in business begins with understanding your customers. Once you identify and understand who your customers are, you will then map out strategies on how to meet them. Without proper understanding of your customers, all marketing strategies will be worthless.
You don’t have to launch a product or service just because you want to; rather launch a product that solves real human problem. You might have a great product or service, great team – but if there's no need for your product, you are only wasting your time and resources.
Also remember, customers are not interested in your product’s features; they are only interested on their goals. If a product will help them achieve a goal or overcome a challenge, then it is welcome.
After researching your market, industry and customer, the next thing is to validate your idea. The purpose starting a business is to solve problem in exchange of money. Any product or service idea that doesn’t guarantee revenue isn’t worth pursuing. Without revenue, business dies.
Before launching any product, it is very important you validate if your business idea is viable and scalable. This will saves you from wasting time and resources building what nobody cares about.
There is nothing more frustrating than after spending time and resources building a product, only to realize that there’s no market for your product. Validating your idea will help you understand if the problem you want to solve is worth solving or not.
The surest way to validate a product/ business idea is to speak with potential customers. Talk to people about the problem you want to solve, if they are interested; then you have a business. But they are not; it's good as a hobby. Also validate people’s willingness to pay for the service or solution.
The world has exploded with businesses which makes it almost impossible for anyone to succeed. No matter the industry you choose, there are countless competitors going after your clients. So the only way to have competitive advantage is to be niche specific.
Do try to offer many services, focus on few things you can do better than anyone else. Specializing on a particular niche improves your chances of serving the right customers. As Warren Buffett says “You will be successful until you stop trying to be good at everything”.
Many startup founders want to be like the big brands over night. This is a wrong mindset and illusive. It took Jeff Bezos many years of hard work and persistence to build Amazon to what it is today. Don’t be fooled by the shinning objects. Don’t try to everything at once; take one step at a time.
Business is not about following trends, there will always be new a new trend. But specialization gives super power and competitive edge.
The above list are the most important thing one need to do before starting a business. This might not an exhaustive list, but the 4 things listed above among the most important needed to start a business.
Building a successful company isn’t easy at all. It can be lifetime project, but if you follow these steps guide; you are halfway to building a successful business or brand.
Thank you for reading through.