How to get your business idea off the ground
make money doing what you love
As digital marketers, most of us get to work from wherever in the world we want. We get asked a lot of questions about how we got started and what advice we have for those who want to launch a business. We've put together this short intro into how you can make your business a reality.
Haven't gotten your business idea off the ground yet?
From our early 20’s most likely we’ve already spot about 15,000 awesome ideas and picture ourselves as the next Mark Zuckerberg. Until finally, one day after all the struggle, we identify the perfect opportunity in one of them, and now it's time to balance it with a little reality.
We need to remember that an idea is just an idea without an action plan.
Let’s make a pre-plan of what you’ll need to do to get that idea off the ground ASAP!
Validate the Idea > Experimentation + Validation
Create a Business Plan > Understand the Marketplace
Build a Marketing Strategy > Discover + Identify and Execute
Getting Your business idea off the ground using the lean startup method
First of all, you’ll need to run your business idea through a validation process before you go any further.
“In the early stages of a startup, focusing on “execution” will put you out of business. Instead, you need a “learning and discovery” process so you can get the company to the point where you know what to execute.”
― Steven Gary Blank
Finding your niche as an entrepreneur can be challenging, and great ideas aren’t necessarily unique. A “great” idea has the potential to make money in a given environment, and the truth is that it all ideas start with a great problem, yet this doesn’t guarantee that someone else isn't already out there who’s developed his or her version of this idea - so don’t sweat over it and focus on getting some traction!
The fastest, cheapest, and smarter way to test your assumption is through this magical word, over and over again… practice, practice, and more practice.
How to validate your idea
If you want to validate a theory, there are many ways to do so. You can start with conducting interviews and/or surveys. This will help you validate your assumptions about whether or not your target audience either a) is the correct audience and b) would be willing to pay for the problem you’re solving.
Interviews/surveys to who you think your audience should be, validate the assumptions you’re making around whether you actually have a valid idea and someone would be willing to pay for it
After you’ve validated that in fact, there are people who would be willing to pay for your product, build an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) to test your product or service without investing too much upfront.
Market that MVP as though you were marketing the real product. Continue to get feedback on your MVP and tweak it as needed until you’ve created a product or service that is actually worth investing in furthermore.
You can validate your MVP by trying beta testing or early bird offers. This way, you can find out if people will actually want to buy your product or service.
How to figure out your target audience
We reiterate that a business plan only works if you have conducted a proper target market analysis. You need to define the target market, so you can position your product/services accordingly.
One of the most important keys to success is knowing WHO you’re trying to reach. And no, it is NOT everyone! Identifying your "persona" or "ideal client" is a step forward in having a predictive sales cycle. The best way to do it is to get out there and talk to who you think your audience should be. You can test your assumptions in many ways; one which could be Facebook targeting. Once you have your results, understanding your audience will help you get closer to understanding how to turn them from potential clients to paying customers. When you're aware of who your target audience is, it gives you an edge to predict all their stages in your sales funnel and understand the overall customer journey.) Once you know WHO you’re after, you can create a marketing strategy to reach them.
How many steps are there to building a marketing strategy?
Steps/phases that you should take into consideration while building your marketing strategy:
Understand existing identity and objectively observe the factors that influence how you present yourself, including your industry, your target audience, and your brand. Upfront research is necessary.
Study the industry and landscape
Define the market opportunity and what slice of the market you want
Identify opportunities to offer something a) different or b) better or c) less expensive
Identify and articulate who you are, what you do and how to communicate it.
Define who we are (what makes us different?)
Define what we do (what problem are we solving for our clients? Why should they care? And most importantly, why should they pay?)
How to deliver our message (where do we reach our audience?)
Once we know what differentiates our brand, the challenge is to communicate it effectively, particularly through marketing.
Identify the tools that help you communicate the differentiators of your brand.
Test your messaging using A/B tests on social media (one example) to determine what messages are most effective in attracting your audience
You can't make educated business decisions without data and analyzing the results of your efforts.
Test, tweak, repeat!
Execution is key and perfection is just a distraction.
Remember that everything that you are doing in your business will require processes and planning. Don't get too caught up on making sure everything is perfect; just make sure you are documenting your efforts so you can start creating some benchmarks. Documenting will allow you to easily start measuring your efforts, the results, and thinking about possible improvements and innovations.
Need help with getting a strategic marketing plan in place? Let us help >