Anyone who has taken a venture into the world of entrepreneurship should first be applauded for their courage and their sense of bravado. The possibilities are nearly endless and success could very well be waiting just around the corner. However, it is important to look at some sobering statistics. Research has shown that more than four out of every ten small businesses will fail within the first five years (1). Such figures should not discourage the start-up enthusiasts. The main point here is that a dream alone might not be enough. Without a firm foundation and the correct approach, even the loftiest of ideas may fall upon deaf ears. So, how can you determine if you are headed in the right direction before committing a great deal of time, money and personal effort? Let's look at some questions to address.
We are not necessarily referring to your capacity to reinvent the light bulb or to improve existing OLED television technology. In this sense, novelty involves how your product or service will appeal to the target audience. You might be surprised to learn that thinking too far outside of the proverbial box may actually serve to alienate or confuse what would have otherwise represented a lucrative demographic. This is why you need to balance innovation with outward appeal. The most successful businesses have carefully straddled this line. Know the difference between a good idea and one that fails to resonate with your followers.
Now, you may be wondering how this can be achieved. The first step to to perform a test marketing campaign that involves a small percentage of your demographic. How have they reacted to what it is that you are offering? What type of feedback have you received? Were they immediately intrigued or did they seem to have more questions than answers? Never forget that novelty is only as effective as how well the audience will recognise the benefits of the product in question.
Even the best business ventures will fall upon deaf ears if you do not take the correct marketing approach from the very beginning. One of the most common (and often fatal) mistakes of a would-be small business owner is that he or she fails to appreciate the importance of a sound marketing strategy. How easy will it be to promote what you are offering to a specific audience? Not only must you need to address how a certain campaign is performing, but it is critical to appreciate your buyer persona. In other words, what type of client are you intending to target? Some metrics to analyse include:
- Location and age.
- Previous spending habits.
- What devices are most commonly used to access your website?
These are all classified as "analytics" from a broader perspective. Still, answering such questions will help to determine if your current business dreams are realistic or if they require a bit of "fine tuning".
Birds of a Feather
Historians believe that Thomas Edison failed more than 1,000 times before he was able to invent am affordable and reliable light bulb. The key to his success did not involve massive changes to his original dream, but rather small adjustments over time. This is often the case with start-up business ventures. If you find that an initial concept has failed to appeal to your audience, never be afraid to enact a handful of modifications in order to gauge the impact of such changes.
Listen to Your Intuition
While this suggestion may sound slightly counter-intuitive to the advice mentioned above, the fact of the matter is that losing your original sense of direction is a sure-fire way to torpedo a potential business idea. Inspiration is difficult to encounter and once it has occurred, it should be grasped with both hands. There are countless entrepreneurs who have failed due to the unfortunate fact that they never followed through with their initial vision. Success requires time and patience just as much as it is associated with a firm understanding of reality. Intuition can often represent your best (and only) ally, so fully embrace it from the very beginning.
We have thus far examined some personal habits to embrace if you hope to fully realise your vision of online business success. Still, there are other sources for inspiration if you happen to feel in a rut or otherwise unmotivated. Countless online resources can provide with with a wealth of insight and this information is ideal if you are at an impasse. Thousands of websites are birthed every day and yet, only a handful will succeed. Please feel free to use this article as a checklist in the future if you are hoping to come across a bit of much-needed motivation.