Businesses that succeed do so because they provide the correctly-priced, perfect solution to a serious pain point (or undeniable aspiration) wanted by a large enough audience to give them the income they require. Read our 5 best startup tips to make sure your business startup has the best possible chance of succeeding.
Tip One: Work out your Why
A business has to work for you, first, before you can make it work for any of your customers.
There are two different types of motivation: ‘Away from’ and ‘Towards’.
‘Away from’ motivation would be something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to eat Ramen noodles for the rest of my life, so I want to make enough money not to do that’. As soon as you’ve made enough money not to be eating Ramen noodles every night, you’ve achieved your goal.
Now it’s not a bad goal, because lets face it, Ramen noodles are not the greatest food choice.
However, the problem with this kind of motivation is that as you get further away from the thing that is motivating you to take action (eating Ramen noodles every day), the less strong your motivation is, so your enthusiasm (and most likely effort) will peter out to nothing. Until you find yourself eating Ramen noodles every night again, because you’ve taken your eye off the ball and you’re not making enough money to buy anything else to eat. At which point, the ‘away from’ motivation will kick in again.
It’s like a magnet, pushing something away. The further away the stimulus is, the less powerful the push.
Instead of being drawn towards something, you’ll end up wavering away from and then back towards the stimulus that is motivating you. You’ll make a bit of progress, but not enough, consistently enough.
Compare that to ‘towards’ motivation, where, having identified what it is you want to do, you make a plan to get there. And only once you get there, have you achieved your goal. So rather than thinking ‘I don’t want to eat Ramen noodles every night’, you might think ‘I want to be able to support my kid through college. That’ll cost this much, which means I need to make this much… by then’.
Now – that’s a goal. And the more emotionally you are invested in that goal, the more likely you are to make it happen. If we look at the magnet metaphor again, the closer you get to your goal, the stronger the pull. The more emotion you have invested in it, the stronger the magnet in the first place.
So make your life easier, work with, rather than against yourself, and identify your ‘why‘ first.
Tip Two: Next, work out who your customer is, before you do anything else.
Successful businesses know exactly which pain point they are addressing, or they know exactly which aspiration they are fulfilling, and they build the product to satisfy that. Not the other way around. They find the CUSTOMER, and identify a problem and then make a suitable product to solve that particular problem.
Given that you have complete reign over what you are going to do with this new business of yours, which audience are you going to choose? Who are your people? The first thing to do is to work out who your Ideal Customer is. And what motivates them. You need to draw a verbal picture of who they are. Write it all down. Everything.
Tip Three: Work out what the people want. EXACTLY what they want.
Successful businesses don’t create the products and then try to find an appropriate audience. They find the customer first, then make something irresistible for that exact target audience. What’s more, they provide the product at the right time, in the right place, at the right price and in the right format.
Tip Four: Before you start creating your masterpiece, do the numbers. Can you feasibly make enough sales (with enough profit) to make the kind of money you want?
Your solution needs to work for a significant number of people, because as good as you are, and as good as your solution is, not everyone will know about it. And even of the people who know about it and like it, not everyone will be inclined (or in the position to buy from you).
Tip Five: Work out how you’re going to deliver your product or service, in which format, and when.
Is if a physical product? Is it a digital product? Is it a service? Can it be more than one? How are you going to get them to your customer?
It’s all very well having a genius idea, but you need to be able to tell people about it. And then you need to get it to them in a timely fashion. Can you solve the logistics you need to solve in order for this business to work?
If so, and if you can answer the other questions above, then odds on you might be onto a winner… Good Luck!