After graduation, students are supposed to decide what their next step is. When it comes to their careers, there are a lot of options. Some will go to work for companies, others will take a risk and start their own business. It takes persistence and a lot of tenacity to start your own business.
Charles Qabazard, Sales and Marketing instructor shares some tips on how to be successful in those crucial first few years of starting a business.
Try to get as much background as possible
Have previous experience. Knowing beforehand how a company works will help you identify what’s important and what isn’t. Working in different markets and industries will give you an excellent background and help you innovate and think outside of the box. And you can learn a lot from previous colleagues and bosses.
Identify what you want to do and for what reasons
Before launching your start up, make sure there is a demand for it and identify your purpose. We’re living in the Relevance Era, so society is looking for why your company exists. Do the market research; find out if there is a potential demand in what you want to do, and use your business to fill that gap. Offer something that hasn’t been done before at all, or wasn’t done often enough.
“You have to make sure that what you are doing is visible. A lot of times people start something that they think is going to work, but that doesn’t mean the market is going to like it or react to it the way you anticipate,” says Charles.
Study your market
Once you have an idea of what you want your business to be, it’s time to take a good, hard look at your target market. This is a hugely important step that will help you transform your business from idea to reality. “You have to really know your market” says Charles. “Otherwise you can end up with a lot of mistakes. Every 20 to 30 miles, the market changes a little bit. Every city and town has its own identity and different spending power.”
Plan, plan and plan
Knowing your purpose, you can establish a vision and a mission statement for your company. It will help you plan all other activities for your company, including setting objectives, priorities and budget control. “For example, one of the most important things to plan is your capital. You have to anticipate the first six months of the business until you slowly move to the profit area. Before this, you’re not really bringing in capital because you’re focusing on getting enough popularity and spending on promotion to attract potential clients.”
Ask for help
As a business owner, you’ll have a lot of things to think about. Ask the right people the right questions, and listen to other people’s ideas. The more minds you have helping you, the better. Sometimes they might bring something to your attention that you may not have even thought of.
Think not just as an owner, but also as a customer: You need to think like the customer you want to attract what they’re looking for and what matters to them. Make sure that you cover as much ground as possible by playing the role of the customer. You can also play the role of your competitors.
“Most successful business that continue to succeed are constantly aware of what the customer wants, and they continuously measure what their new customers are looking for. Think smart!”
“When you are starting a new business, there is always a chance of failure. In order to succeed, it is important to never give up. Remember that failures can show you what you need to change, and failures drive you to success. So persist and be patient” – Charles Qabazard