When you have a business idea, the first thing you have to ask yourself is ‘ will my business work?’
When you start a business, you need two things – something to sell, and someone to sell it to.
Usually the thing you are going to sell is a product or a service. Your business may have come out of a passion of yours, or maybe you have seen a gap in the market that is so obvious to you, you can’t pass it by.
Examples of this – organic, toxin free products for babies – there are lots of successful small businesses that started out because a mum decided she didn’t want to use the supermarket shelves full of baby products when she looked at the list of ingredients on the bottle. There are different niches within that small area of business. You could start with producing baby shampoo, baby food, even baby wipes that all fit this description.
So if that is the product, who is the buyer?
In this circumstance, the buyer is other concerned mums who have an interest in organic non toxic products – if we delve a little deeper, we can probably identify other characteristics about this person. Maybe they like to read certain magazines – or visit certain shops. What else are they interested in?
Once you start to identify your buyer, you can start to make a list of their characteristics. These are vital for using when you start to pitch or market your product. If you are able, it is a great tool to be able to survey your potential audience. When I started to think about creating online courses in social media for business, I used Survey Monkey. I emailed out to my list of business owners, posted my survey across my social media accounts and asked entrepreneurs in online forums if they would mind taking 2 minutes to fill it in. you can also gather together focus groups or go to where they are arlready hanging out. For business owners this could be networking events, for mums this could be mothers and toddlers groups. Have a think about where your ideal buyer can be found in groups, and see if you can get a chance to speak to them – either online or face to face .
What is your customer’s pain point?
When you have surveyed your audience, you will have an idea of what their ‘pain point’ is. What is the issue that you are solving? For me, my customer knows they should be using Facebook or Twitter to promote their business, but they don’t know where to start. For the mum selling baby products, her customer wants to be able to buy baby shampoo that doesn’t contain 37 different chemicals. once you know what the pain points are, you can begin to offer a solution. This is your pitch! Ideally you want to be able to sum up your business in ONE sentence.
For example:I teach entrepreneurs how to market their business online (in a non-techy-way) Click To Tweet
What’s your solution?
So now that you know what the customer’s problem or pain point is, how can you help them? For our example business idea, you can create or source the baby products. If you use your research results, you will know more detail of what your customer is looking for. When i ran my survey I realised that my audience wanted to know the basics of starting online marketing – so they would not be interested initially in a more advanced training. So I created my first course on Facebook for Business for this market. When I am booked for workshops, I always ask the organiser what the level of the audience is – for example, I am often asked to come and speak at events for people who are just starting out in business. For this audience, usually an introduction to social media is the perfect fit.
Once you have decided on your product or service, and have started to sell it, make sure you ask for feedback. Getting feedback from existing customers is golden – you want to give people the best possible product or service, and sometimes you can be so ‘right in the middle’ of whatever your business is, that you don’t see simple tasks that you can do to make improvements for your customer.
If you want help developing out these ideas, why not sign up for my free 5 day challenge – plan out what your business is, who you are helping and what you are offering. I would love to hear your one-liners below or come join us in our free group Social Beehive and post yours there.