Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in USA reported that 14% of working age Americans are running their own businesses, which is a record high.
This trend cannot only be found in America, it is generating traction all over the world. And why shouldn’t it? It is the dream, the promise of Capitalism; not being answerable to a boss, having the space to be creative, earning money at your own terms, seeing returns for the work you’re putting in. Isn’t that why most of the countries in this world subscribed to Capitalism in the first place?
While we’re here in the middle of this world order, the best thing an individual can do for themselves is to make the most of it. This series of blogs is meant to aid in achieving exactly that.
We will dissect the process of developing a successful business and go through each step in detail in the hope that more people can spend their lives doing what they love, and in turn add value to not only their own living experience, but everybody else’s too. Let’s begin.
It all starts with an idea. And to be honest, this is the most exciting part of the process as well.
The idea brings with it hope and the drive that is needed to take a big step like starting a business. To new comers this thought alone can be daunting, but that’s how you know it’s worth it.
One thing to note here is that there is a difference in the treatment and future of old and new ideas and their place in the market is going to vary as well. Therefore, the approach of the business owner needs to be different.
If a business idea is based on the improvement of an existing product or service, then the business owner will need to prepare for market penetration. This is because the market for that product already exists. One just needs to prove that value offered by the new product is better than what its competitors are offering.
On the other hand, a completely unique idea will need to develop an audience and a clientele. It will have to start from scratch. And so the approach of this business owner is going to be different.
Setting the Stage
The approach we’re going to focus on is for the times when business owners find themselves in the situation where their business idea is completely new. This requires showing the gap to the masses so they will understand that the value you’re offering is value they need.
For unique or new ideas, the timing and market have to be just right. The same thing that is being done in other places by other people can be taken to a new market. If one can find a proven business model like that, it is indeed jackpot that will find many takers.
For example, ‘make your own pizza’, or a service like that, which allows customers to design or customize their order might be present and working well in a big city. This is a solid idea and most likely, the fact that other cities aren’t making use of it is because they aren’t being offered it. If you can be the person to bring it to a small town, it can be a major success.
A lot of business success is about timing.
Idea Lab is a very successful incubator in the United States and its founder Bill Gross conducted a research using data from the 100 companies he had helped launch, and 100 others. The conclusion that study reached was that timing is the most important factor in the success or failure of a new business.
It is possible that your idea is a great one, but the world is not ready for it, or the technological advances its functioning is counting on hasn’t become common yet. In a couple of years, it might be great but not at the present time.
It can be hard to let go of something or put it on pause if you’re really passionate about it, and that passion can lead to a willful delusion or denial about the scope of the project. Maintaining a level of objectivity then is imperative when making such important decisions.
There are two things that should be considered when deciding on your business idea:
⦁ It should fulfill requirements
⦁ It should eliminate hurdles
The first and potentially most lucrative category is of products or service that add comfort to necessities. For example:
⦁ Talking Computer.
⦁ White board instead of black
Second category includes products or services that fulfill more than one requirement. For example:
⦁ Calendar or games in a mobile phone set etc.
The third category is for products or services that augment existing requirement. For example:
⦁ Message recording device in telephone set.
⦁ Microwave Oven.
⦁ Theft alarm in vehicles.
⦁ Hot and cold water tap.
Fourth category includes products or services that make existing services better. For example:
⦁ Coca Cola or water bottles, made with plastic instead of glass.
⦁ Folding chairs that occupy less space
The second method of value addition is to make a difficult task easy for the customer, removing hurdles from their path.
These are the questions you should be asking yourself:
• How can I change the current product, repair it or make it usable?
• Can raw material or labor cost be minimized?
• How could it be produced with less electricity, less time and minimum labor input?
• Can the unpleasant / ugly features of the product be removed / modified?
• Can new and better features be added to the product?
• How easily can I package, store and transfer / transport the product from one place to another?
In terms of ways to add value, a list of key ideas is given below:
• Clean / Clear
• Low cost
• Bright colors / Good looking
• Light weight
• High speed
• Small or big
• Easily cleanable
• Easily storable
• Less dangerous
Focus on these key concepts and remember that adding value is your one true shot at developing a business that is lucrative and which will resonate with people!
Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in USA reported that 14% of working age Americans are running their own businesses, which is …