Starting up a business is no easy feat. Expect financial loss, energy exertion, and heavy competition. With that said, it is important to start your business with the best possible chances. These simple steps will guide you towards developing a successful start-up.
1. Consider the market you are going into
Think about any market niche your business applies to. Gaps in the market will generate higher consumer demand, which you can capitalize on. Familiarize yourself with competitors and find out what they are doing, and more importantly, what they are not doing. Carrying out competitive analysis is crucial if you want your business to succeed.
2. Devise a business model
Businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may aspire to one day expand your start-up into a franchise. You may want to offer a subscription-based service to maintain loyal customers. Or, perhaps you are going for a direct sales business model. Whatever the case, modeling your business will fortify your vision and assist with potential problems. The nine building blocks of a business model are customer segments, key resources, value propositions, client channels, key partners, customer relationships, revenue streams, activities that create value, and cost structure.
3. Consider your employees
Once you have established your business model, think about what kind of working environment it will create for employees and how you can implement systems to benefit them and improve efficiency. For example, if you have lone workers or employees that perform paging and alarm management, Motorola radio rental offers specialized two-way systems and communication solutions.
4. Work on your final product
Many start-ups' common downfall is assuming they can offer a wide range of products from the outset. Doing this will deplete the limited resources you have. Instead, pick one or two products you can perfect. New customers will appreciate your service quality and be inclined to positively review, repeat purchase, and recommend to a friend.
5. Gather customer feedback
After launching your business and getting those initial sales, it is important to review your customer feedback. Positive or negative, it will demonstrate where to alter your business. If the reviews are mostly positive, look specifically at what worked well. Recurring themes in feedback signify consumer habits. Analyzing this data may reveal opportunities for expansion within that area.
6. Carry out market surveys
If you are trying out a new product or service, it is a good idea to collect data from your targeted audience before launching anything. You can do this through online questionnaires like Survey Monkey. You could put the question to online forums. Or, you could organize a focus group. Each method has its benefits. Online surveys and forums can target a wider demographic, while focus groups may offer more in-depth feedback on a product or its branding.
It's a given that start-ups need a fair amount of initial planning. But with savvy preparation and research, there is the opportunity to succeed. Remember: start small, think big.
In an age where we have unlimited access to pretty much everything you can imagine, it’s easy to become tempted to learn as much as possible.
Maybe you feel as though becoming an expert in many fields will benefit your career or business prospects? And in some ways, you’re not wrong to think that- having knowledge in several areas will set you aside from the crowd as well as giving you the personal gratification of learning something new.
However, there are several reasons why it’s often good, and not self-limiting to become a hyper specialist.
Here are some of them..
You get to become an expert in your field
One of the best reasons to focus on one or two areas of expertise is that the more you invest in your knowledge the better.
Imagine if an athlete decided that they wanted to spread themselves across more areas of the athletics industry. They decided they want to train, coach, advertise sporting events, and run the ticket desk, too. While all of these things are jobs that are related to the athletics field, the more this athlete does that will take them away from their training and participation in events, the less time and energy they have to focus on the things that set them apart from the others.
It’s the same if you’re in marketing. You decide you also want to try your hand at the web design, content writing, accounts, and sales as well. You’ll be spreading yourself too thinly and potentially missing out on some key aspects of the ever-evolving world of marketing. Staying focused on this one area will mean you get to invest all of your energy in becoming the best.
You can offer something unique
Imagine you’re at a restaurant and the server gives you a 10 page menu to choose your meal from. Not only are you more likely to end up plagued by indecision, but the choice you make may not result in the best quality meal for your time and money. It’s the same in business. If you offer too much, you’re not going to offer the best quality out there.
However, if you head to the sandwich bar three doors down the road who offer one meat, one vegetarian, and one fish option with only three kinds of bread, you know that you’re going to get something a bit more special. This expert specialism is what keeps people coming back. Sure, not everybody wants a sandwich all the time, but when they do, they’ll know exactly where to go.
It can get even more specific than that, even. Medifit Design and Construct are a great example of a business that takes something that people look for (design agency) with a specialism (for healthcare practices). People looking for those particular services may be able to find a company that will do a good job designing their medical practice, but perhaps none as good as one that will be able to deliver the same attention to detail as a specialist company.
This is why becoming hyper specialist isn’t limiting.
Wouldn’t it be great if you knew exactly what questions a hiring manager would be asking you in your next job interview? We can’t read minds, unfortunately, but The Muse has the next best thing: a list of more than 40 of the most commonly asked interview questions, along with advice for answering them all.
Can you make a hobby into a career? Well, it depends on how passionate you are about your hobby, and how hard you’re willing to work at it. There are other variables as well; if your hobby is web development, you’re going to be able to turn it into a career a lot easier than someone whose hobby is painting frogs. Sure, there’s likely a market for it, but you’ll have to find the niche industry in which you can use that talent and hobby to make a whole career from it.
In a recent blog, product development cycle was discussed. One of the key tips was, “Find Out How Much The Opportunity Is Worth.” Is the opportunity that you’re creating really worth enough to invest time and money in? If you’re willing to do the leg work, and continue even when the going gets tough, then potentially yes. Again, life is more than about the income you’re receiving. Having said that, you still need to pay the bills.
Let’s take a look at how to decide if your hobby would be a good career path.
1. Do you know the goal?
If you simply say, “I like to garden,” then that’s not enough of a goal. Millions of people enjoy gardening; what is the goal though? Is it to sell your own hybrid plant? Could you potentially create a new fertilizer? You may need to think a little bigger than just your own home or backyard when trying to think of the end goal of your hobby-turned-business.
2. Will I enjoy it when it is no longer just a hobby?
This a key question to ask. If you’re suddenly forced to do your hobby for hours no end, will you still derive joy from it? If you love spending time wrenching on car engines at the end of the day because you sit behind a computer for work, is it really something you want to switch up? Be honest with yourself: if you suddenly had clients relying on you to perform your hobby, would you still enjoy it? If so, maybe it’s work looking into as a career. Just remember, the only person that can answer this question is you, so be honest with yourself.
3. Would it be better as a “side hustle?”
If you’re finding that you’re not sure how to turn your hobby into a full-blown career, what about the option of turning it into a side hustle, or a side gig? If, for instance, you enjoy collecting rare coins, you could consider going a step further to trade metal CFDs. Instead of spending all your time with your hobby, you can allow it to ebb and flow as you see fit.
Additionally, if you know you can’t pay the bills with your hobby, you may be better off keeping it as a side hustle and trying to find a different career to find joy from.
Be honest with yourself
If you are stuck in a career that isn’t fulfilling, you don’t necessarily need to just go find a similar job. Think creative, but be honest with yourself when you’re thinking about trying to change a hobby into a career.
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There is so much job search advice out there, literally everywhere! But sometimes you can miss the very basics! The Muse has some very basic tips to try out whilst on the hunt for that new gig!
You can also get 'The Ultimate List of Job Search Strategies To Land you Next Job' from Fancy Resumes' to give you that cutting edge plan to the next big gig of yours!
Fast Company have a list of 7 books that could help you become a leader in 2020. Click here to start building your library!
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Hiring managers are now saying that emotional intelligence is valued more than IQ. Fast Company have a quick read to why emotional intelligence is one of the fastest growing job skills.
If you've retired and looking for something on the side, your own little side hustle then it might be worth checking out the book, '100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau. Forbes has more on the great read!
"When leaders forget about the human element, they're holding back their companies and limiting the success of others." Sheldon Yellen, CEO of property-restoration company Belfor Holdings, hand-writes 9,200 birthday cards a year! You can read more in Business Insider!
Leaders can inspire, they can motivate and some make it look really easy, but just how do they do this? You can read more at TonyRobbins.com!
Life is learning, everyday is learning and sometime when you look back, you wish you had known some of those things you've learnt, but when you were younger. Inc.com tells of 5 lessons most people learn too late in life!
In the world of more and more companies trying to adopt a four-day workweek, Microsoft Japan tried it and saw a 40% increase in productivity! CNN Business has more on what could become more common!
If you're unhappy at work, there will be a reason! Maybe there's no chance of promotion or you've outgrown your position, but the question is should you tell your boss? The Muse has more!
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of this website.