I want to be the boss! – Part 4

This is fourth in a series of blogs for those who want to start their own business.  By now you’re committed, you know what your financial situation is and you’ve started your savings cushion.  Congratulations!

Step 5:  Will the business work?

You’ve got to get real about the business.  Some people have a passion about a service that they might offer, however they haven’t proven that it’s feasible.

Tip 1:  Choose your target market.  Who do you enjoy working with?  Who might buy your product/service?  (if you’re saying everyone, see blog post choosing your niche).  Drill down to define how old they are, what their likes and dislikes are, in as much detail as possible.

Tip 2:  Survey your target market.  Ask those who fit your target what their needs are in relation to what you are selling.  For example:  You are a residential landscaper and your target market is new families moving into a specific region of the country.  Your survey will not only help you with your services, it can write your marketing messages.

Here’s where you ask your “single biggest” questions, such as “What’s your single biggest challenge when hiring a landscaper?” or “What’s your single biggest fear when working with a landscaper?”

The results of the survey will help you gauge the demand, overcome objections (solving the biggest fear) and understand the market – before you’ve put out your shingle!

Tip 3:  Pricing.  Look at your competition as a starting point.  What can you offer better or with more value than your competition?  How much can you expect to make with each product, client or service?

Sub-tip:  Being the low price leader may diminish your value in the marketplace.  Some markets equate lower price with lower quality.  Be careful not to price yourself too low.

Tip 4:  Is it enough?  How many clients, sales or services do you need to have going to meet your living expenses?  Is that feasible?  What products and services could you add over time?

I once had a client who wanted to sell cards.  The volume she would have had to sell didn’t come anywhere close to covering her living expenses.  She has a great hobby, not a feasible business.

Next week we’ll talk about how these things fit together.  We take the mystery out of the whole number planning process so it becomes a tool to use.

Post any questions you might have below.

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