Based on my understanding and practical experience here are the steps:
Find purpose of your life
Finding purpose in your life is not about convincing yourself that you were born to save the planet.
- This is about identifying – What makes you happy?
- What kind of work you can do 24/7 with love, without getting bored of it, without any work stress?
- This is so important, that to find purpose in their life many entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg etc. came to Indian Himalayas for their spiritual quest, to know what they really want to do in life.
- This self inquiry is a really important step to get absolute clarity in life. Because many people make this mistake of starting up based on trending ideas, without considering whether they are passionate for that work or not. And when their project starts giving them losses or difficulties (which are bound to happen), they lose the patience and leave the project.
Planning & research
If you think you should start searching for the most profitable business ideas and choose one from that, then this might not work. Your business idea must connect with your heart and you should be so passionate about it, that you would stick to it even in difficult times.
- Make a list of your hobbies, interests, expertise etc.
- While making this list, initially there is no need to consider commercial viability, that will be done later. Just make the list.
- Once your list is complete, after that one by one analyze the commercial viability of each idea and prepare a final list.
- Now, select which ‘one’ is your passion as well as commercially viable.
- In case you have multiple ideas, you need to choose one. Never run two startups at the same time. I did a few and failed to establish. So, even if multiple business possibilities are high, you must select only one and stick with it until you succeed with it.
- Do some online research, to identify if there is any demand for your idea.
- Once you find any idea which has a fair enough demand in the market, you can focus on finding a unique solution for this demand.
- Do a SWOT analysis (find Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)
Nowadays most businesses have online presence and before buying any product people prefer to check the reviews online.
- You can easily identify online, who are your competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- How can you provide a better solution? ( In terms of price, quality, service etc.)
Prepare MVP – Minimum Viable product / service
Many entrepreneurs make this mistake of waiting too much for a perfect product to be developed, but perfect product is a myth.
- Do not wait too long to prepare a perfect product or service.
- Most important step is to start as soon as possible.
- Prepare a product or service idea which is simple yet viable to be launched.
- You can improve the product based on the feedback you will get from your customers and this way you will have a better understanding of what customers really want.
- Initially it is better to cater a niche segment, rather than a broad audience.
Once your product is ready, it is extremely important to reach the right audience at the right time.
- Make an AdWords PPC account and join their free tutorial to learn how to do keywords research, how to do bidding to rank on Google search results etc.
- If you can hire an SEO / Digital marketing expert well and good, otherwise try to learn about search engine optimization which is about ranking good on search results without paying for AdWords. There are many free or paid courses available online.
- Learn about social media / YouTube marketing
- I personally prefer AdWords/ SEO over social media marketing, because usually people spend their time on social media for entertainment or pass their time. However people searching about any specific product on search engines are more likely to buy it.
- It is important to identify your customers, where do they hangout online / offline, what are their interests, where to find them etc.
- Based on your business idea, you can explore offline marketing options, like banners, leaflets, tv / radio ads, door to door marketing , tele-calling, etc.
Sales & Service
As soon as you start getting queries you have to make sure that your leads are converting into sales.
- Let your customers feel valued
- Focus on your strengths in your sales pitch for example – quality, lower price, better service, any offer etc.
- Give them a fast checkout process regardless it is an online or offline transaction.
- For customers who want some time to decide, proper follow ups should be done.
- Word of mouth is the best marketing strategy, hence give the best service you can.
- Good service is not about making customers happy, it is about delighting them so that they can promote your product to more people.
If you are already working somewhere, it is not a good idea to leave your job immediately to start your business. It is always better to test your business idea first and wait till the time you are not absolutely sure that it is profitable enough to maintain your expenses.
For specific questions you can ask me anything and I will try to guide you in the best way I can.
What are the ideas you are having popup in your head? Let me know in the comment below. 😉