Starting a Business – 5 Points To Ponder
24 January 2018
“And suddenly you know: It's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” - Meister Eckhart
You’ve an ingenious concept for a new service or product or both?
We’re curious to hear all about your ideas and to join you on the journey – from ‘great idea’ towards a business with rhythm and purpose. You’ll need a little magic, for sure, but you’ll also need some method.
Where to start? Here’s five things to consider before you do:
Back to Big Ideas
- What are your reasons for starting the business? Can you define your inspiring aspirations or your purpose? Give it a go, this is motivating and emotional stuff! The bonus is that outlining what success means for you will help to shape your plan and guide the decisions you’ll make to execute it.
- Clearly define the product or service.
Is there a need for it? Who needs it? Scalable?
Can you easily describe the concept to people from outside your industry or area of expertise? What was their reaction, or point of view?
Remember, your product will evolve over time and you’ll adapt to feedback from its users and the market. The key here is to test whether the product can be sold, is it viable?
- Do preliminary market research so that you can understand where your product or service fits in, how big the market is, the geographical differences and the attributes of your likely target market.
Understanding the size of the market and its peculiarities will help you define the opportunity and will inform the choice of ‘where’ you focus. For example, geography, product mix, demographic, channel. More detailed research will be required for your business plan, so to keep things moving you should avoid getting bogged down in detail at this early stage.
Good sources of information can be found on government websites such as Statistics New Zealand (Data for Business) or New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and some general tips on market research can be found at www.business.govt.nz (along with a lot of other really useful info & tools).
- Looking good? How about your competition? What are they doing and what are their unique selling propositions (USPs)? How will you compete and what is special about your idea, your point of difference?
Too often the focus is on the product or the service itself. Make sure you consider mixing in other methods of differentiation (e.g. through customer engagement, revenue model, use of brand, service, or your internal set up).
- Consider the stakeholders (both inside and outside your business). How are they affected? What environmental resources will you use? Are there regulations you need to understand? How can you design your business to be more sustainable, to have a positive impact?
Often these considerations lead to better business. Because you’ve looked through another lens and thought through the bigger picture. Likely, long-term success depends on it.
Your preliminary thinking will help you to decide whether there is potential and, hopefully, motivate you to get started. It will also help you to create that business plan. Tune in for our next post – writing a business plan. Or even better, call us now and we’ll get you started.