At some point everybody gets ideas. In 2021 it might seem like everyone and their mother is launching a new business in their basement, but turning an idea into a business actually takes a lot of work. In fact, when you have an idea, there is no guarantee that a business can be made out of it. And if your idea has potential for success, the process of building this business can be challenging. This is especially the case for people who’ve never launched a business before. As a rising entrepreneur, how do you turn an idea into a booming business? These tips below should help you build a strategy that works for you.
1. Research the market
Knowing a lot about the market you’re entering is very important. You need to conduct thorough research about the market so that you have an idea what customers want, what is already available and what isn’t You also need to know how to build a product that takes advantage of the weaknesses of competitors. Simply put, building a new product without undertaking market research is a disaster waiting to happen. Furthermore, doing research into the gaps in the market will help you to understand the strengths of your new product which you need to focus on.
2. Find potential customers
Share your idea openly with people who might want to use the product. After all, these are probably going to be your first customers. Connecting with potential customers just before you embark on building the product is a very strategic way of setting up yourself to get valuable customer feedback. Talking about your idea with these potential customers is also a nice way of finding out if it really has a market.
3. Execute fiercely
A new product could have great potential for success because it fills a gap in the market. Even so, a new product is not a guarantee for success by any means. If your business idea isn’t new, and there are companies already making a killing out of it, this is a good sign that there is a market for your idea. However, if you want to stand out from competitors offering the same thing, your execution is very important. In fact, how you execute your business idea will can make or break you. For example, Facebook was not the first social media network, but the idea was executed creatively, killing competitors like Hi5 and Myspace. Likewise, online learning platform Udemy wasn’t the first with that idea – Coursera and several other similar companies offering the same already existed. Dropbox didn’t invent the idea of cloud computing, Google was doing it and so was Microsoft and more than a dozen other companies. Nevertheless, Dropbox executed their idea better than most of those companies and is now a powerhouse in the business.
4. Develop an Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for initial feedback
Growing your business and scaling it with customers who can give you some initial feedback is one of the ways lean startups make it. If you’re developing a software product, then you should develop an MVP, then have your first potential customers use it. Their feedback will help you build something that your final customers actually want, as well as help you solve the customer’s problems. As you get feedback, you analyze it, build and grow. This is much easier and wiser than pouring all your resources into a product without any input from the people you’re building it for. If you do this, you could end up with a product which no one wants to use and a massive hole in your wallet
5. Be Patient
Patience pays, especially when you’re building a business. You don’t want to rush things. Don’t just focus on getting to 1 million customers as fast as possible. If you are marketing well, and building something that customers want, you will get there. It will simply take a bit of time. If you lose your patience while you’re growing your new business, then you could end up losing everything. Be patient and wait for your big break.
6. Listen wisely to customers
Listening to customers is one thing. Listening wisely to customers is another. The latter and involves taking feedback and suggestions with caution. Calculate the risks and then decide if the feedback is valuable for your product. Given that the pandemic is forcing customers to evaluate all their buying decisions it’s even more crucial than ever before to take their opinions into account while building your business. If you ignore what a customer sees as an important concern, they will have no problem moving to a different brand. However, as important as customer feedback is, you should also trust yourself at the end of the day. Whether it is a hardware or software product, it’s you who knows what direction you intend to take. Sometimes when a customer isn’t okay with your product it is okay to let them go and stick to your intuition. There is no problem with losing one or two customers when you believe in the direction your company is going in. However, when you start losing one too many customers, you should definitely pay attention to why they’re leaving. For example, Whatsapp’s initial users wanted more features, but the founders just wanted a mobile messaging app. They stuck to their gut, and that earned them a $19 billion cash-out when Facebook bought the company.
7. Go to conventions
If you are a coding person, then you should go to hackathons and attend other events where developers go to hack things and build apps. If you are developing a hardware product for a hospital, go to conferences where you can interact with people in the medical field including medical doctors and other practitioners. After all, if you can pitch your product to your audience in person, you might connect with these people more effectively.
8. Stay Employed
While you may have saved up a decent amount of cash, it’s not advisable to quit your full-time employment just to pursue your business idea if you are already employed. At least not until you start making a profit. Your idea will take time to grow into the ideal business, so for the time being you might as well just run it as a part-time gig. Once business has picked up, you can quit your job and run it full-time. Being employed teaches you a lot about how employers make decisions, conduct hiring interviews, manage the sales group and the budgets as well. It’s always good when you can learn from people who are already reaping profits from their companies so that you know how to build yours when you go into it full-time.
9. Invest in PR
A good PR strategy might be just what you need to create a buzz for your business while you’re still perfecting your product or service. If you can invest in doing PR for your company, then you will be able to build positive relationships with both the media and your target audience. These relationships could help you to understand what it takes to succeed in the market, and how to stand out from your competitors. Even so, it is important to understand that PR isn’t just about pitching the media. In order for a PR strategy to be comprehensive and successful, it must include a social media outreach strategy, an influencer marketing strategy, and a media relations strategy. Furthermore, it is important to spend energy not only building a quality blog but also guest posting on the sites of other thought leaders in your industry. Ultimately, good PR will help you reach a wider audience and build brand loyalty.
Despite how helpful PR is for growing a new company, some entrepreneurs simply don’t have time to develop a product while also doing PR for this budding company. If this is the case for you, then you might need to get help from a PR agency. Pressfarm offers several affordable PR packages which can help you gain media coverage for your new business. With a professional press release, some compelling guest posts and a creative media kit from Pressfarm, you will have exactly what you need to build a memorable brand image. In addition to creating quality content, the experts at Pressfarm are skilled at helping brands to develop a media outreach strategy to put this content in front of the right eyes. The PR team has helped several brands across different industries to connect with the right journalists to help them tell their story. With personalized media lists and access to a comprehensive database of over 75,000, you can connect with the best journalists in your niche. Reach out to a customer care representative and start building the publicity your brand deserves today.
10. Let go if it doesn’t work out
As Albert Einstein says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” It’s important to be ready to let go if your idea doesn’t turn into the great business you anticipated. Instead of clinging onto a sinking ship, you can take what you learnt from the experience of building a business and pour it into a new venture. After all, learning from mistakes is how the greatest entrepreneurs became great. If you have worked your fingers to the bone for years trying to get this business to stabilize and yet it hasn’t, maybe it’s time to stop trying and pursue other business ideas you might have.