Researching and fine-tuning your business idea to match the needs of the market.
To date, there are about 28 million small-scale businesses registered in the United States. According to Small Business Administration, this makes up about 99.7 percent of all U.S. business and when you consider all the reasons why people start a business, including financial independence or designing a career where they are flexible, it explains why there are so many businesses.
To start a business, you need to put in a lot of work. There are so many requirements and the amount of legal documentation, not forgetting coming up with a strategic development plan can be so overwhelming. That is why so many people start a business and it never materializes to what they had envisioned. Without putting in the effort, you will struggle to turn your business into a successful venture.
Even before you begin pouring your hard-earned money into your business idea, it is good to first understand that not every business will be successful. This blog series will help you in your journey to becoming a successful business owner by giving you actionable information that you can put to use to start your own business.
Statistics show that only about two-thirds of businesses that have employees are likely to survive the first two years of business in operation and about half of that will make it to the fifth year. As such, you might be in deep trouble if you want to ditch your 9-5 job to start a business without thinking things through. However, you could be in the percentage of the small business that survives and becomes big companies, only if you set the stage right from the very beginning. This means that you have to take the necessary and right steps and procedures when starting out and this will form the foundation for your success in business. To help you with this, we focus on the first most important step; Research.
Proper Prior Research Is Important
As with anything in life, prior research is extremely crucial to make sure that your business will be successful right from the very beginning. If you are already thinking about starting a business, most likely you have a clue about what business line you would like to venture into. Typically, entrepreneurs at this stage usually have the idea or the concept already at hand. Naturally, for such an entrepreneur the next step is usually to balance their idea with reality. This is where you will figure out your chances of success with the idea, this is done through the validation process.
It is also at this stage where you should figure out whether you want to start a business at home or if you want physical premises for your business. In order for your business to be successful, you need to solve a problem that is existing, or fulfill a need or offer something that is lacking in the marketplace.
Ideally, you do not want to start a business just for the sake of it, and before going into the market full force, refine your idea by identifying the gaps in your market. There are several ways that you can do this and figure out the disconnect in the market that will inform your business startup. To identify the gaps;
Monitor trends in your target area
Market trends are extremely important and if you can put your finger on the current trends, study these trends and figure out what is missing in the market. This is where you start making your ‘start a business checklist’ by asking yourself whether there are products that you would use but are not on the market. Additionally, what are people saying? Have you heard of any product that your colleagues desire but cannot find in the market? If you are serious about wanting to start a business, you have to keep in touch with other people in your industry and monitor them deliberately just to spot an opportunity whenever it arises.
What are other businesses offering? Can you differentiate your idea?
Look at what you would consider the competition. What are they offering and how different would your offering be compared to them? These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you start a business. Ensuring that you not only know about your competition but also knowing how different your products and services would be will help you gain better control of the market helping you identify potential market gaps.
Think Outside the Box
I encourage you to be as wild as possible and do not let your imagination limit you. Think outside the box and go global if you must. In most cases, you will find that an idea or a product has already been developed in other countries. There are successful companies that solely survive by identifying other successful international companies and legally imitating their models.
Now you have a good starting point of where to begin your research. Ask yourself questions to guide you in the decision-making process while also figuring out whether you want to start a business at home or somewhere else. This will ultimately form your comprehensive start a business checklist that will be extremely fundamental in this journey.