All of us, at some point in our lives, have dreamt of starting a small business which will one day grows into a huge conglomerate — an enterprise which is comparable to the likes of Google, Facebook and Microsoft. All of us have dreamt of being in that elite group to which legends like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Sergey Brin belong. While it is true that starting a successful business requires you to be in the right place at the right time, there are factors which, if taken into account, can get you off to a good start.
Be clear about why you want to start the business. What products/services will you offer and to whom at what price? Clearly defined goals can significantly maximize output and minimize effort.
Writing a one page business plan is highly recommended. The plan will discuss what you offer, who you’re targeting, how much you’ll charge and what you’ll do to make it happen. It’s a fluid process that will change once you dive in, so keep it simple at the start.
The more you can pinpoint your targeted client, the more focused your marketing efforts will be to reach them. You’ll be able to ask for the right referrals and you’ll know who and what to search for on the Internet.
Take TicketVistas for example – a popular ticketing website which had humble beginnings. After encountering several roadblocks, the website revamped its strategy to focus on a specific customer base in the US, and directed its efforts towards a niche market to sell tickets for a variety of theaters, concerts and sporting events among several others. With a clearly defined strategy, the website quickly became a popular choice among fans for purchasing tickets to their favorite events for a discount.
Your pricing shouldn’t just cover your costs; it must also generate a profit for your business. Don’t undervalue your time and talent. The numbers you crunch need to be solid. Pricing is how your business will expect to make a profit.
Until you start bringing in sales, you must keep costs down. With a start-up forget hiring a full staff; instead require key personnel. Minimize costs where possible. Every cent saved is a cent earned and savings can help you go along way.
Don’t expect to turn a profit if you don’t have customers. Having a smart marketing plan to attract interested people and then converting them to customers should be your number one priority. Don’t get overwhelmed about how to dive in: just start where you are. Create a list of potential customers that you’ll go after and begin making calls. Build a serious social media presence for your business where you can engage directly with your target market. (Check out how small business entrepreneur Erin Pelicano grew her business significantly using social media!)
If you hustle, research and keep an open mind you might hit it big. Focus and determination are crucial. So hold your ground and be sure of whatever you’re about to undertake.
Author Bio: Ashley is a graduate of the Wayne State University and majored in Business Administration. She co-founded TicketVistas in 2010 and is currently overseeing operations. She likes reading and road trips.