If there’s one thing you get told in startup seminars, blogs, or from other entrepreneurs, it’s that you need to find a niche. Even in an industry that might be flooded with other similar small businesses, what is going to set you aside from the rest and give you that Unique Selling Point that will help you stand out from others?
If you’re not sure whether your business idea is going to fly, then you need to take a look at this blog and run through our checklist before you turn your idea into a money spinner or take it back to the drawing board.
Is your business providing a solution and if so what is it that you’ve identified as the problem? It’s a hard question but if you have a clear and definite answer and have seen a problem in your industry that no one, or at least very few, are addressing then you’ve struck gold.
You should take that idea forward and see where it leads. If, however, you’re struggling to see where you might fit in, that doesn’t mean you should give up right away but instead be prepared to keep an open mind, which might mean you changing your offer slightly, taking a fresh look at what you want to achieve.
Working for yourself is the dream but there has to be a reality check when it comes to setting up a small business, especially when it comes to the small matter of financial backing.
How will you approach the issue of backing? Particularly if you’re planning a business that sells physical goods. Your business plan needs to be strong, it needs to demonstrate how you will accommodate growth, and look ahead to the future every bit as it needs to demonstrate who your customer base is and so forth.
The reality may be that you’re going to need a team behind you and the only way you’ll be able to pay for a team is through a windfall investment into your business. Before you even think about setting up your website, explore those investment opportunities.
The Bottom Line
People might tell that when you’re setting up a business you shouldn’t expect to turn over a profit for at least the first year. Whether this is true or not is subjective, but it’s worth considering how much you’re going to need coming in each month to break even.
This is particularly true if you’re employing staff and need the stability of income to cover your staff costs. Work through your projections with a start up specialist, particularly someone who is familiar with your industry, whether that’s manufacturing luxury goods or an expert on property in malaysia - find someone who knows your niche and can give you the heads up. They will also be able to tell you how the market is currently looking and if it’s a good time to be in startups in the first place. Whether you choose to listen to that advice or not is entirely down to you.
Check Out the Competition
Not just a cursory glance through a handful of websites. Drill down into what’s out there that may be presenting you with a threat. Sign up for their newsletters, read blogs, and go through each page. When you find content or a page that doesn’t work, think about why, make some notes so you can avoid making similar errors of judgement.
Similarly, when you find ideas that really work take note. We’re not talking about plagiarizing the competition but we are talking about making good ideas even better as you add your personal touch to anything they have to offer.
Keep up to date with their day-to-day workload and aim to be up there giving them a run for their money
Setting up a business feels like it should be as simple as hitting go on your shiny new website and in some ways it is but there is more to it than that and even the best looking website in the world isn’t going to generate an income unless there’s a sound business plan behind it.
Look around your industry niche today and see what’s missing. Generate ideas that are going to get to the heart of answering those questions and get the ball rolling with a look at how you might set-up and finance your idea.
Finding that idea is just the start, but having confidence that your business is going to take off with backing and a great plan is going to set you firmly on the path to success, so what are you waiting for?
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