3 Simple Steps to a Successful Start-Up
Launching a successful and profitable business is simple: it’s just not easy! There are many variables, some predictable many unpredictable, which you have very little or no control over at the beginning. With that being said let me share three steps to consider when you’re launching your start up:
1. Don’t reinvent the wheel, gain the knowledge, and remix.
A mentor is said to be a person that will allow you to see yourself through their eyes. Finding a mentor that had success in your type of business is the smart way to cut the learning down and hit your success goal much faster. There are tons of books written by people who already started their own business and have been successful in doing so. One that comes to mind immediately is my mentor John Sortino’s book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a Successful Entrepreneur”. John shares the story of how he went from a pushcart in the street of Vermont, and grew The Vermont Teddy Bear Company, into the thriving enterprise that it has become today.
2. Lock in on your business culture. What exactly am I selling?
Seems like a silly and simple question right? But the Zappos, Apples and Nikes of the world ask themselves this question with every product or service launch. For example, the sports apparel giant Nike product is mainly sneakers and sports apparel. However they sell a culture of winning. They sell an image, an emotion. You buy into the Nike brand. You’re buying into the belief that you can accomplish anything if you… Just do it!
Remember consumers have tons of choices when it comes to products and services. Your brand is what sets your product and services apart from your competitors. Your brand is not what you think or feel about your company, but what your customers think and feel about your company. The good news is, like Nike, you play a strong role in determining your customer’s perception of your brand.
3. Select your market and fall in love with it!
This step is often skipped by many who normally decide to sell to everyone. What you learned in the movies unfortunately is a lie. If you build it they will not come. Who exactly are you selling to? Or more importantly, what do you know about this person? Understanding your target market is a critical key to success. You must know everything about them. Where do they hang out? Who do they hang out with? What do they do for a living? What do they do for fun? What books are they reading? What television shows are they watching? These are just a small sampling of the questions that you should be able to answer about your target consumer. Knowing the answers to these type questions will save you time and money when it comes to creating an intimate marketing strategy that will connect and resonate with your customers. Successful entrepreneurs understand their target audience, probably as well, if not better, than the consumer understand themselves. You need to know your customers so well that you will know what they want and need before they even know themselves. This “Steve Jobs-esque ability to predict and create your consumer’s desires can only be a result of knowing them like your best friend.
Bonus Tip! Create an intimate marketing strategy.
Understanding your brand and your consumer and playing to their wants and needs opens the doors to marketing creativity. I like to call this the “Lady GAGA serves Little Monsters” model. As mentioned above, understanding your target audience can save you time and money concerning your marketing strategy: What’s the style and feel of your brand? Where and how to place your advertisements? What your demographic is willing to pay for your product and services? How far you can push this audience when it comes to marketing creativity? In order to engage your consumer, or more importantly get them to buy, you must know where your advertisements will be noticed, how to code your message, and how to get them to spread the message to their circles, among many other things.
Remember, launching a successful business is simple, it’s just not easy. Your brand’s public perception, your ability to cater to your consumer and your ability to deal with predictable and unpredictable issues will determine how easy of a process your success will be. If you are willing to travel the road less traveled and launch your own business, following these four simple steps will allow you to start-up and stand out.
Related: Launch and Stand Out Video Series
Video 1 – PERSONAL BRANDING
Video 2 – IMPROVING OR FINDING A BUSINESS IDEA
Video 3 – FINDING MONEY TO FUND YOUR BUSINESS
Video 4 – MARKETING YOUR BUSINESS
Video 5 – GROWING YOUR BUSINESS
Video 6 – SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Video 7 – INSPIRING KIDS TO BE ENTREPRENEURS