It’s not how many hours you work nor is it how many hurdles you must overcome, rather business is about getting from point a to point b in the quickest manner possible while maintaining product quality and healthy margins.
Often, when starting a business, entrepreneurs think too much about small, unimportant details. Since time is our most valuable asset, this carries a high opportunity cost.
As a matter of fact, a business can be up and running in a much more timely manner than most think. Here are 7 steps to get you there:
1. Determine your offering and market demand – Entrepreneurship is not about hitting a home run; trying to create the next “big thing” has a very poor risk / return rate.
Instead of long shot, pick a job. Think, what do you want to do for a career? Determine what you want to sell based on what you’re passionate about rather than what you think will make money.
If you love what you do, you’ll find ways to monetize it. Conversely, if you chase money, you’ll end up unhappy and worn-out.
The most profitable businesses that exist today (Walmart, Costco, Amazon) all compete on price while maintaining quality. When I started recruiting, I would severely uncut other staffing companies.
At first, worry about living expenses and getting through the first few months and obtaining those initial clients. Once you get some work under your belt, become more concerned with how much you can charge.
When it comes to budgeting, always play it cautious as shortage of money and chasing after unrealistic goals will lead to significant stress which hurts performance.
4. Determine your differentiators –Besides price, how does your product or service differ from competitors? The nice thing is in a service based business, if you learn how to sell and become an expert at what you do, you can be the differentiator.
I’ve come to realize that in any service based business, self-assurance and trusting one’s intuition is a differentiator in of itself.
In time, you’ll learn what aspects of the product or service are important and secondary to the client. Until then, think price and quality.
5. Determine marketing – (figure out how to get leads) Make it simple and put up a website. Read about PPC and SEO.
If you’re selling business to business services, social media will help your search engine efforts, however you’re not going to be directly making money off of it.
There are some great blogs to get you started on the topic.
6. Learn how to sell – The best salesmen / saleswomen don’t sell. Instead, selling can be broken down into two different parts:
a. Listening – Too often, sales professionals think about what they are going to say next rather than focus on what the other individual is saying. I’ve come to learn that keeping your mouth shut and ears open is about 70% of sales.
b. Knowing what you’re talking about – Running a recruiting firm, I’ve learned the difference between the average and wealthy sales professional or entrepreneur is that they can create realistic expectations for the client through gaining the client’s trust via your expertise
The entrepreneurs who “Yes” to death end up letting their clients’ expectations get out of whack and, in turn create a relationship where only arguments, not money exchanges hands.
7. Learn how to execute the steps needed to take project to completion – Finally, put a set, organized process in place to take the service or product from start to finish in a predictable manner that yields the desired results. Think: Step A, Step B, etc