The Journey to Success | 180fusion

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah once wrote, “All that the spider needs to complete its web is step-taking.” So it is with everything that is both complicated and beautiful. The road to success is a journey, and, like all journeys, it is made up of step-taking. Building a business is no different. Know your process, and then take steps to make your dream a reality. Here is a simple but carefully delineated plan to building a business you can be proud of.

Find a gap in the market and find a way to fill it. In any given market or industry, you will find there are unsatisfied or unmet needs. You will also find that some needs are only met partially or may have multiple ways of being met or solved. All of these provide business opportunities for you if you can find a way to fix, transform, improve, modify, or reinvent something that has a viable market attached to it.

Keep in mind that just because you are unfamiliar with a particular market does not mean it does not exist. Make sure you do some research to determine if there are others who have found the same unsatisfied need and are working toward a similar goal. Niche markets are especially popular right now, as people continue looking for products that are wanted or needed but not currently available. Niche market businesses fill this need, as well as the price range, production quality, and demographics that are targeted for impact.

Conduct initial market research. Initial research will help you decide what types of products or services you will offer, as well as describe the consumers that will use them. It will outline the basic benefits of your product or service, and, if it applies, will address other products on the market that are similar, showing the ways your products will be different. The initial market research will also consider the type of marketing tools you will use to reach your potential consumers, and how much money can be earmarked for that purpose.

Effective market research is pivotal for understanding both existing and new markets. Failing to complete this step lowers the chances that your business will be a successful expansion of a market. Often, it is not enough to have a great product or an efficient supply process. For long-term success in market expansion, one must do their homework.

Develop a business plan. A written business plan will articulate the concrete steps you will take to capitalize on the opportunity you have identified. Business plans help you gauge your steps to success and determine whether or not you are meeting criteria you have set for yourself. There are several different kinds of business plans you can write, including a traditional one and a lean startup plan.

While the traditional plan will take longer and require more detail, it will also provide you with more information that will guide you in the months and years to come. Your business plan helps you determine the amount of capital you will need, what the workflow will look like, who you will need to hire, what responsibilities belong to whom, and what your break-even point is. It includes specific categories such as an executive summary, company description, market analysis, organization and management, marketing and sales, funding needs, and financial projections.

Create your startup. Planning is important, but the ultimate truth in business is getting things done. Opening a real business means you are preparing to start selling, either in a brick and mortar retail shop or through an ecommerce setup. Make your dream a reality and take that big step forward to success.

Entrepreneurship means you start spinning that web and doing the actual work required to build. Developing your website or renting your building, beginning production of your product, developing your logo, and spreading the word about your brand is all part of the job. Before long, you will be ready for the final step.

Sell! After you start your business, your job is to sell. It is the most important function in the early startup stage. Sales are really about connecting with others, getting them on board with an idea, negotiating the parameters, and then closing the deal. Most importantly, know whatever it is you are trying to sell. Know it like the back of your hand.

Whether we are looking at an idea, a product, a service, or a plan, know it inside and out. Know it better than anyone else, so that you can speak to it articulately, generate enthusiasm, and answer questions.Know your consumer demographic, too, and ask questions. Listen to those answers. Understanding what your market is looking for will help you choose the best selling technique.

Building your business is a process that includes steps. If you’re willing to take those steps, before long, you will find you’ve created something beautiful and lucrative. What steps have you taken to build a business? Do you have any advice for beginning entrepreneurs?