August 4, 2022 – Ready to bring your startup to the next level? It takes more than a good idea to be successful—you need to build an enterprise.
Even the best idea can remain stagnant without a solid plan to guide the next steps. You’re in a new, exciting territory, and feeling intimidated is okay. But now it’s time to act! If you’re unsure what to do, how to source help, or where to get started, here are seven tips to help:
1. Live By Your Business Statement
Your business statement is your north star. When you’re stuck, you should revisit these three to four sentences to guide your next move. Don’t be afraid to reevaluate what you’ve written as you grow, either. Throughout the process, you might unlock new elements or priorities within your business plan that can help expand your vision.
What should that statement look like? In the early stages, you might say:
“I’m going to write and sell an app to help small construction companies.”
But with further refinement, that simple statement could grow into:
“Our company will use a verified database of retired tradespeople, laborers, and other skilled individuals interested in short-term construction assignments. The app will be monetized through a monthly subscription service paid by construction company owners. It will be available for free to workers.”
2. Perform a Competitive Analysis
You need to know your competition. Even the most unique organization can have indirect competitors that take away from their market share. Choose to take a strategic approach early on: identify your competitors, understand their offerings, evaluate their approach, get to know their customers, and pivot your plan accordingly.
3. Create a Value Proposition
How will you stand out? Why would potential customers choose you? Your value proposition could be based on price, long-term value, short-term satisfaction, or any number of consumer needs. How you position your company is largely based on who you’re selling to. If you’re stuck, put yourself in the “shoes” of your ideal customer. What do they need? What problem do they need to solve? What do they think about on a daily basis? The answers to these questions can unlock how you sell to them.
4. Find a Home Base
People romanticize the idea of a startup launched in a garage. However, you will probably need a dedicated workplace sooner than later. What can you do if you aren’t ready to sign a lease?
Consider using a coworking space. This type of space is a flexible option for businesses that may need workspace and other operational resources. A startup coworking space can offer:
- An as-needed workspace
- Dedicated office space and storage
- Space to be creative
- Meeting spaces
- Mailing address
- Printer/copier/scanner use, coffee and cleaning services
Best of all, this is an option that can be scaled as your business grows.
5. Build Customer Personas
Remember how we talked about the importance of knowing your consumer? Instead of making an educated guess on what they need, take the time to research and build your customer personas. Consider questions like, who will buy your product, and how well do you know them? What kind of background do they come from? What are they willing to spend their money on?
A customer persona is a type of character study of your target customer. A comprehensive profile should include demographic information, values, interests, and concerns. Of course, your personas should also address how and why your potential customers will use your products.
6. Connect with Resources
Resources are the tools, people, organizations, and proven methods available for you. You don’t have to do this alone! Consider tapping into the following for extra support:
- The Small Business Administration
- Your professional network
- The local chamber of commerce
- A business owner who is willing to mentor you
- The community at your coworking space
Don’t be afraid to seek help in turning your idea into a business.
7. Refine Your Product or Service
You will probably have to go through a few different iterations of your product or service before you are ready to present it to consumers. Not feeling confident in your idea just yet? Consider doing a test run through focus groups or early-bird offers. It’s pretty common to provide products or services to a limited audience for free or at a significant discount in return for their feedback. You can use this information to make your offering even better!
Set Your Business Up for Success
It’s finally time to turn your great idea into a business! Now is not the time to hesitate. Do your research. Look for opportunities to make your business better. And for extra help, talk to the Endeavor team to discover the ideal coworking space for your company. Good luck out there!