Thinking of leaving the corporate life to spend that sizeable saving you’ve accumulated over the years to kickstart a business? By all means go ahead! We are currently living in a time where many are exchanging their nine-to-five jobs to be entrepreneurs.
However, the perils one can face along that said journey could be harsh. One should always be prepared for an immediate downturn in their operations and revenue if things aren’t simply working out. Could these foibles be avoided? Yes, and this is one key point that many of these so-called entrepreneurs are missing out: setting up your business or brand the right way.
So if you’re planning on doing something on your own to make a living, here are some tips you can check out before making serious blunders that could simply put an end to all of your time and effort.
1. Define the nature of your business.
The ultimate rule of thumb in the arena of embarking towards establishing your brand and products. Ask yourself: what do I want to sell, and how can I brand it in such a way to tap into a hotly-contested consumer market? Or can I actually create a niche to set myself away from others who are doing almost the same business model with me?
The simpler solution to this is to market anything you’re familiar with to your future consumers, but if you’re planning to sell something that is rather alien to your knowledge, do more research and learn about that product before taking the plunge. Sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Why pursue this business model?
Thinking of flipping a quick profit in the short run? Or it’s something so out of the ordinary that you could perceive it’ll be a gateway to success with minimum effort? If these thoughts are on your mind, it’s almost certain your business will never take off.
In the world of running your own brand, business or service, there’s no shortcut to that pot of gold. Always put passion and value first before money, and a vision that could possibly determine your soon-to-come business’ future and how it will be shaped by society. Remember, that splendid plan of yours might look impressive behind that rose-tinted glasses for now, but in the long run, it’s both the market and consumer that calls the cards.
3. What are your business goals?
Goals could relate to your visions set in place now and for the future of your business. Would it benefit the community or your consumers? Could your business one day enable you to achieve your dreams? Key components such as these must be set in place alongside a timeline to eventually broaden your brand’s presence someday (e.g. branching out by offering franchise opportunities, liaising with international suppliers or expanding your brand’s presence to another market).
Upon reaching this chapter, the challenges you’re bound to face is going to be much greater than before. You shouldn’t be struggling much by this stage; the experience gained throughout while building your brand should’ve prepared you to face various difficulties. This is only achievable if you have the right goals set in place during the initial planning stages!
4. Research and marketing.
An integral part of your entrepreneurial journey. Observe the market and its commercial activities on how certain products are well-received by consumers, and always take note of changing consumer demands. Market trends is another topic you should always keep a lookout. A hot-selling product doesn’t always guarantee longevity in demand, so don’t be influenced easily.
Create an effective branding strategy over your closest competitors to succeed if the product you are intending to sell is mainstream; also be different to give your business the upper hand by infusing innovative ideas such coming up with attractive packaging designs, appealing prices, persuasive marketing campaigns, or even provide exemplary customer service to disrupt the market and your competitors.
5. Identify your customers.
Know where your customers are based and which particular market segment you are targeting before putting a price on your products or services. Always include your target market’s age group, gender, income, and their lifestyle into your marketing plans.
Now let’s say if you’re running an online boutique selling premium clothes, it’s guaranteed you are tapping into a market segment that consist of middle to high-income consumers. Selling stationery? Now that appeal towards a broader market; therefore setting the right price should enable you to tap into a larger pool of customers.
6. Brand it differently.
This is where your creativity juice comes to play. Come up with a brand identity that’s capable of capturing your audience’s attention, and sell products enclosed in attractive-looking packages. This applies to both mainstream or products that you don’t often see on the market. After all, it’s all about garnering demand and attention.
Catchy product names will also give you the upper hand here, and if you pair your products or services with an attractive brand presence, such as a well-thought out logo and tagline, be rest assured you’re going to go places!
7. Be open to new ideas and criticism.
It’s common to face criticisms from anyone; let alone from consumers you will be selling your products to. Keep in mind that it’s better to be criticised rather than not getting any important feedback to improve your brand.
It shows that improvements can be made to enhance your products or services. Always strike a conversation with close friends, business partners or relevant parties with experience to learn insightful ideas, as this could well assist you in streamlining your operations as a whole.
8. Run it with passion once it’s live.
Now in its infancy, you will need to commit all of your effort and ideas to build a solid foundation for it to grow in the years to come. Mistakes will be made along the way, nonetheless, but be prepared to face any consequences (be it mild or major), and work out a way to resolve them before it hits the fan.
It’s no harm to think of a way to recoup that investment you’ve poured into, so set a realistic timeline alongside your business plan to ensure it happens simultaneously. All in all, run your business with passion and you will soon reap the fruits of your labour.