4 Ways to Ensure Your Business Success
So you’ve had that “Eureka!” moment and decided what product or service your business will focus on. Now it’s time to start work, and the first step is to ensure your business will be viable.
On trying to recall the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sarah SB Yule & Mary S Keen wrote.
“If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”
Another way to look at this is as Richard Branson said, “There’s absolutely no point in going into business with a product or service that doesn’t disrupt or improve the market,” so with that in mind here are the 4 steps that will help you identify if your business will be a hit or miss.
In what category does your business exist?
Simply put what few words describe your business. Are you aiming to be the next coffee giant like Starbucks, sell quality home DIY tools or specialize in high end digital electronic components?
Don’t over complicate things have a narrowly defined business such as high-end carpentry tools. Having a clearly defined category for your company will help you focus on understanding your customers and targeting your products and marketing to them and their needs.
Then you can work on becoming a leader in your field.
Who is your target customer?
Define the customer who you think will be buying your product or service.
Who will your company serve? What’s their age group? How much do they earn? Where do they live?
This will help you understand the customer, and give you an idea about their disposable income, needs and ambitions. Be careful not to cast the net to wide, while there may be other potential customers out there you need to identify and find your target audience if you want to attract their attention with marketing.
If you’re selling carpentry tools you need to focus on targeting your biggest market – carpenters, while you may sell the odd chisel to a DIY enthusiast your repeat, core customers are going to be trades people, who are working with wood every day.
What benefits will your product or service offer?
What benefits can your company offer that isn’t available else where. Whether this is a personalized service, express shipping, higher quality or lower price think about the benefits you can offer your customers.
A fine example is at Chinavasion, our in-house QC and excellent logistics solutions means that our customers have confidence in our company’s ability to rapidly dispatch and deliver high-end electronics to them, no matter where they are based. This is a crucial component for many resellers who partner with us, and it is a key factor that brings them back time and time again.
Remember that this will be a list of the two or three outstanding benefits that will set your company apart from the crowd and deliver true value to customers. You can’t do all these, if you try to be the fasted, best quality, lowest price and best service you are trying to be all things to all people and this is a golden rule for disaster as you won’t be focused on what truly makes your company different and better.
Who are the competition and how can you differentiate from them?
Narrow down your competitors to the biggest two or three and be clear about how you can differentiate your service and products from them.
When someone’s in the market for a service or product they will want to be able to quickly find a solution by easily comparing the alternatives against each other. If you can identify your benefits it will be easy to show these to your customers when it comes to marketing and branding your company.
If, for example, you’re selling high-end carpentry tools, is your main competitor the local DIY store, the nationwide mega-store or an e-commerce site.
Each of these may offer different comparisons; the mega-store could offer a cheaper product but may not carry the same high-quality products or be able to offer the same kind of customer service and specialist advice as you. While the e-commerce competitor could have the same high-quality products, but may have long delivery times. Understanding these differences will let you differentiate yourself and allow potential customers to easily see the benefits of picking your company over the competition.
If after going through these main steps you can clearly define your business category, target customer, main competitors as well as be able to differentiate yourself from the competition, then you have the potential for a successful business and have just gathered all the information for a focused marketing strategy that will help you build a successful company.
Remember, careful planning is not just something that big companies do; it’s what small companies do to grow big in the first place.