Business Ideas and How To Start A Business
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS….. The fact that you’ve come to this page suggests that something or someone has prompted you to consider going into business for yourself and furthering your personal, and of course your financial growth.
This is also the BEST time for me to tell you that starting your own business isn’t easy and anyone who says or thinks otherwise is at the very least misinformed or inexperienced. Statistically the vast majority of new businesses will fail in their first six month of operation. This unfortunate statistic is mainly due to THREE REASONS… inexperience, lack of market research and unrealistic expectations.
Believe it or not many business ideas are based on the premise of “build it and they will come” which simply isn’t true. In other words just because you think there is a demand for your product or service doesn’t mean that everybody else does. It is vital that you research your target market for the demand and price point for the product or service you are going to sell. At this point you may well ask how to conduct such research without engaging expensive business consultants who may or may not deliver an accurate assessment of your market. The simple answer is do it yourself but in saying that I can assure you it’s not that simple and if you don’t do it properly it could cost you a lot further down the track. I’ll explain further later in this article.
Okay, so if I haven’t discouraged you from starting a new business yet read on because I have some encouraging news and some very helpful tips which will guide you through the maze that is business startups with a degree of confidence and knowledge.
Perhaps this is the ideal place to start your business journey. You’re looking for ideas, products or services you can sell be it online or via an office or retail premises. What’s the secret to finding a product or service that will translate into a business idea?
There’s an old saying which goes “if you enjoy your work then you’ll never have to work a day in your life”. In other words if you love what you do then work is more of a pleasurable pass time than a chore. On the other hand if you don’t like what you’re doing for a living but do it anyway because you have to pay the bills then work becomes a burden which you have to force yourself to do out of necessity.
So when you’re searching for business ideas start with asking yourself “what do I really enjoy doing?”. Get a pen and paper out and create a list of ALL the things you enjoy doing. Take your time, think hard and try not to leave anything off that list. Include also products and services which you like and have purchased in the past year or two.
The purpose of this exercise is to help you identify what it is you enjoy most in life and then work out which of these likes or passions you can monetise. This method sounds a bit simple but I assure you if you do it properly it will create a unique profile of yourself and what you enjoy doing. Quite apart from being a useful tool in creating a list of business ideas many people have also commented on what an enlightening and therapeutic exercise it is.
NEXT, and this is VERY IMPORTANT……
Put that list away and don’t look at it for at least 2 days. Then read through it again and if you think you need to add to / edit the list in any way put it away again. When you can finally look at this list and not have to edit it then you are ready to go to the next step in establishing your list of business ideas.
From the list you have compiled select those items which you believe are marketable. For instance my list included “sleeping in on Sunday” which on the surface seems like nothing more than a personal indulgence and not something which could be monetised. But let’s look at that for a moment. What if there are hundreds of thousands if not millions of people who also enjoy sleeping in but for one reason or another can’t seem to do so. What if I was able to market a product(s) (comfy pillow, eye mask, blockout blinds, sound-deadening film for windows, aroma therapy, mattress cover to name a few) which actually helped people sleep better?
What if I could set up a business be it online or retail premises which sold these items?
If “sleeping in” means so much to me would it not be something I could or would be passionate about? Could it be something which I could market to people who shared my passion for a good night’s sleep?
I’m not suggesting that we all go out and start this type of business but I am pointing out how easy it can be to come up with a business idea if you approach it methodically.
How To Start A Business
So you’ve come up with one or more business ideas, great… now what? Well now you have to tackle the How To Start A Business stage of your business plan.
Traditionally you’re advised to create a business plan which includes cost and sales projections, profit margins, insurances, legal advice, accounting system, business premises, online assets, advertising, staff, the list goes on and somewhere on that list you’ll find this nugget…. Market Research which believe it or not is the most important item and sometimes the most expensive.
If you believe as I do that knowing if your product or service is going to be in demand BEFORE you spend many thousands of your hard earned dollars on setting up a business infrastructure is a good idea then read on.
For the purposes of this article let’s assume that you’ve decided to start a business selling Better Sleep products. Let’s also assume that BEFORE investing in inventory, legal and accounting expenses, business premises, staff, insurances and so on you decided to carry out your own market research, how would you do it and how much will it cost?
Believe it or not there is a very simple and low cost solution which could end up either making you or saving you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. READY?
Okay so first you would source a dropshipping supplier who can supply pillows to your customers. For those not familiar with the term Dropshipping it is a system whereby you sell a manufacturer’s or distributor’s product or products without having to have a physical inventory of those products. Every time you make a sale you pass on the order to the manufacturer/distributor and they fulfill the order directly to the customer. You advertise and market the product at your chosen retail price and forward part of the payment (wholesale price) along with freight costs to the manufacturer/distributor. Obviously the difference between the wholesale and retail price (freight is separate) is your profit margin.
In this instance you would select an Australian manufacturer of pillows (eg: https://www.easyrest.com.au/) and negotiate a wholesale price for their products WITHOUT you having to buy bulk stock from them (dropshipping). Again for the purposes of market research you would create a high quality online store (E-Commerce) on either a Woo-Commerce or Shopify platform and promote your store online with a digital marketing program.
To execute the above properly you would have to allow a minimum of 3 months trial with a total budget of between $8,000 and $10,000. Bear in mind though that it will be highly unlikely that you’ll recoup your initial investment in that 3 months but as they say in the classics, that’s the price of doing business. If your business idea is successful you will reap many times your initial investment but chances are that will take longer than 3 months.
The up-side is that done properly your 3 month trial will deliver a solid set of figures which will be the best indicator possible as to whether or not your business idea is viable. Don’t make the mistake of going cheap and nasty with your online assets. If you’re going to do this, do it properly or not at all. Why? Because in the event that you’ve actually come up with a successful business idea and not given it the best chance to succeed then you may well walk away from what might have been a fantastic business. The easiest analogy I can think of is owning a high performance car and putting cheap and nasty tyres on it. Chances are it won’t perform to its potential and at some point may crash and take you with it.
The idea of investing 8 to 10 thousand dollars on a “maybe” could put a lot of people off and if you’re one of those people then perhaps being an entrepreneur is not for you. In business you have to spend money to make money and that’s never been more true than when you start a new business.
If you think that starting a new business is what you’d like to do feel free to contact us for an obligation free consultation. You’ll find that our experience and skills will be an invaluable asset moving forward. Better still, with us in your corner you’ll have the ongoing support of an established full service IT partner who can provide everything you need in the online space.
Click the buttons below to Call us or Contact Us for an obligation free consultation.