Business startups fail and they fail a lot. According to the Wall Street Journal, three out of four startups end up in failure. And if failure is defined by not being able to meet the expected return of investment, then 95 percent of all startups have failed.Here’s what you need to do to be part of the 5 percent that succeeds.
Starting a business is hard. It’s going to be challenging and you’re bound to make lot of mistakes along the way. There are also things that won’t go according to what you expect.There will also be times when it becomes lonely. Bear in mind that half of small businesses are operated out of homes and as startup, you’re likely to do the same. You’ll have to figure out how to and where to meet with other business professionals and possible clients. All of these can be quite tiring. So ask yourself if you really have the passion and perseverance to endeavor through it all.The great thing is that there’s a great sense of confidence and fulfillment if you can get through them all. However, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start a business. Do proper research and create a business plan filled with sensible goals and timetables.
It sounds fancy, but it’s quite simple. Why should people buy your product or service?What are you offering that’s different from the other options that are readily available to people?Note that while consumers are indeed price-conscious, price isn’t the only metric that will determine a sale. Other than price, consumers also consider value. For instance, fabric conditioner brand A may be priced less per pack than fabric conditioner brand B but consumers may still lean towards brand B because their clothes get less wrinkled and thereby, would require less time for pressing. An article by the ACR (Association for Consumer Research) regarding price-quality relationships states that when the qualities of the product are important, price can only be used as a measure of the quality desired by the market.
Remember that until you find a paying customer, what you have isn’t a business but an idea. And when you hook that first paying customer, do what you can to delight them and make them feel satisfied with your product or service. A happy and satisfied customer and the best sales force. There’s no better selling point than a customer’s positive testimonial.Moreover, satisfied customers are more likely to tell their friends and family. They’ll refer their network of people to buy from you or use your services. Before you know it, you can have 20 people sourcing from you.You can leverage your own network of people and not only convert them to paying customers, but have them tell their own networks as well.
Again, leverage what free tools you can. Facebook is free. Twitter is free. Why not build a product/service portfolio and make your business more visible online?It’s also a good way to secure a steady line of communication with customers. Both Facebook and Twitter have their own private messaging system these days. Moreover, Twitter gives business owners the option to designate a customer service to which inquiries and complaints can be directed to. This is free and you should take advantage of it.Facebook now has a rating system for business pages. Granted that your product or service meets customer expectations, this should be a favorable feature.Again, leverage your network of people and have them refer their own network of people to your business. This can easily be done through social media.
As your business grows, you’ll begin to see the limitations of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. When you get to that point, invest in a website, which will allow you to curate your own pages and have your own product portfolio.With your own portal, you can set up an e-commerce system that does not require you to manually be involved for each sale. It also proves favorable for the customers since they don’t need to wait for payment confirmations and they can get their receipts with just a few clicks rather than have a lengthy chat.