Starting a Business and making it successful and profitable isn’t a simple task. It’s reliant on many outside factors, including competition, timing and demand, which you’ve got little or no to no control over at the start . Assuming all of those outside factors are in your favor, having a sound business plan can equal having a successful business. Here are four things to think about when you’re building your business from the bottom up:
Determine your business. What are you selling?
This question isn’t as easy to answer as you would possibly think. For instance, Nike is in the business of selling sportswear, but the reality is that once you buy a pair of Nike shoes and a t-shirt at the mall you’re buying more than just sportswear — you’re buying a culture, a feeling. You’re buying the Nike brand. Richard Thalheimer, the previous CEO of The Sharper Image and therefore the founding father of RichardSolo.com, has worked in specialty retail for 30 years. When asked “what’s his business”, he would say “convenience” or “innovation” before he picks any particular industry, and he created one of the most powerful brands in the US. There’s more to a product than, well, the merchandise . Your brand is what sets your product aside from your competitor’s.
Select your market. Who are you selling to?
This step may be a bit less interpretive like the first, though equally important. Who are you selling to? or more importantly, What’s your customer persona? Understanding your consumer may be a key to success. What do they do? Where do they hang out? What do they watch on TV? These are just a couple of the questions that you simply should be ready to answer about your consumer. Knowing the answers to those questions can answer tons of questions of your own when it involves devising a marketing strategy. Richard Thalheimer understood his marketplace for The Sharper Image, probably also as they understood themselves. From a piece of writing within the LA Times, Tracy Wan, who was president and chief operating officer under Thalheimer says “Richard has the amazing ability to create items that folks want to possess.” This ability to perceive your consumer’s desire can only be a result of knowing them like your neighbor.
Create a marketing strategy. How does one speak to those people?
This is key to understanding your brand and consumer. As mentioned in number two, understanding your consumer can answer tons of questions concerning your marketing strategy:
- Where do you have to advertise?
- what is the voice of your brand?
- What quite prices are reasonable for this demographic?
So as to interact with your consumer, a.k.a. sell your products to them, you want to know where your advertisements are going to be noticed, the way to speak to them, and their purchasing power, among many things. This step should be combined with the previous step because depending on your market, your marketing strategy could change tremendously.
Learn by example. Seek advice from those that have done it.
There are many books written by professionals who have already started a business and are successful in doing so. One that we’ve already mentioned a few times, is Richard Thalheimer. “Creating Your Own Sharper Image” shares how he grew his small supply company, “The Sharper Image” into the profitable company it has become today.
Remember, building a successful business is not all about the dollars and cents. Equally as valuable is you brand equity and your ability to interact with your consumer, which is merely attainable by understanding them. Assuming there’s a place in the market for your product, you’ll compete with the brands in your niche, following these four steps shall guide you within the right direction.
Use these steps as a reference and not as a blueprint, this article was intended to spark the mind and get the creative juices flowing. If you need more assistance please contact us today and set up your FREE 15 minute consultations