4 Questions Smart Entrepreneurs Make Before Starting a Business
BY: VESELINA DZHINGAROVA ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2017
If you’re launching a new business, you’re not alone. Entrepreneurs launch over 200,000 new establishments every month. Not all companies survive in the harsh and competitive landscape beyond their creator’s fantasies, while many not only survive, but thrive. What will make your startup a success? Make sure you’re equipped with the important answers before you even begin to increase your chances of success in the small business landscape.
Who Am I Catering To?
Before you can launch a successful business, you need to know who your business exists for. Don’t be vague. “Women” isn’t a good enough answer. A product that speaks to a career-focused mid-20s businesswoman living in a small downtown apartment won’t have the same appeal to a 30-something single mom in the suburbs. The better you know your audience, the better your business will perform. Dive into relevant studies on your demographic, and reach out and develop your own surveys. Follow the influencers your target shoppers are following and get to know these people.
Who Are My Competitors and How Am I Better?
Identify key competitors, both within your industry and in those that are similar. If you’re opening a jewelry boutique, your competitors include anyone whose products may fill the same needs as yours. If your shoppers are looking for jewelry, this includes other jewelry stores. However, if your potential buyers are simply looking for a special gift, the candle shop next door may become a competitor, as well.
Carefully define how your business is better. Are your products more affordable, more distinctive, or of higher quality? Focus on the features that distinguish your brand, so you can emphasize these in your marketing materials and customer interactions.
How Will I Reach My Audience?
How is your audience going to find you? Are you opening a brick and mortar store? If so, you’ll need to consider aspects such as location, square footage, and aesthetic design. If your store space needs some updates, make sure you use this opportunity to choose distinctive features that will set the right ambiance. If you’re updating balconies or other exterior elements, use this opportunity to choose custom installations that will draw new people in.
If you’re building a primarily online presence, your construction will take place in the digital world. You won’t have the advantage of “Grand Opening” signs to draw the eye. Here, you need to focus on SEO and social media to get found.
What Are the Key Features of My Brand?
Branding is a critical element that will set you apart from your competitors. Define your brand’s colors, typography, and logo early on. Once a customer becomes familiar with a brand, those associations will stick. Build a strong, clear brand image in your early stages so you have key elements in place that will make your company easily recognizable for years to come.
Asking the right questions early can help you build a solid foundation for your business. With this stable core in place, you can expand and craft a one-of-a-kind business opportunity that’s perfectly poised for success.
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