Do You Have a Great Idea for a Product or Service? Awesome! Now Focus and Prepare Yourself
Small and micro businesses are represented by mom and pop operations, entrepreneurs, stay at home moms and dads, etc. No matter how small your business, there are some fundamental questions you need to address. For an improved chance of success, take time to reflect and document your plans for strategy, execution, and growth. The following are samplings of questions to be answered.
- Who might be interested in what you have to offer? Who is you ideal customer, your target market?
- What is the best way to reach your targeted customers? Is it social media, trade organizations, face to face, websites, blogs, retail store, etc.
- How will you deliver your product or service? Are your ready to deliver to that first customer, the second, the third… Can you scale up as demand increases?
- Can you offer something different than your competitors? Are you competing on service and value, or are you trying to be the low price leader? You can’t provide the best product and service and be cheaper than everyone else. Determine your value proposition.
- Define your goals. Where are you now and where do you want to be in 1 year, 3-5 years.
- Look inward and outward at your opportunities and risks. Where do your strengths lie? What are the threats and obstacles you need to watch out for and overcome?
- Do you know what it takes to deliver your product or service?
- How will you allocate your time to marketing, delivery and administration needs? Make sure you are working on the right things.
- What are the current priorities that you must focus on to align your activities with in order to accomplish your goals? Revisit these priorities monthly, quarterly, annually to keep you focused and moving in the right direction.
- Are you properly capturing your transactions in an accounting system? Develop financial and non financial key performance indicators, leading indicators and other metrics critical to your success. Measure what matters, keep it simple.
- Do you need help launching, selling, and delivering your products and services? Should you hire employees? Are you meeting regularly with a business advisor or business coach?
- Are you reaching, exceeding or falling short or your goals? These goals may be revenue, profits, quantity, net worth, etc. Growth can be defined in many ways. It’s not always about being the largest company, with the most products sold, and the most employees. Growth is about defining your purpose, providing the best products and services in alignment with your value proposition, and serving the customers that value what you have to offer.
- Celebrate failures. Learn what worked and what didn’t. Keep building, improving. innovating and challenging yourself and the market? Can you provide a better product, or can you deliver a service in a better way?
- Develop loyal customers and followers and listen to what they are saying. Interact and respond with them on social media.
- When is the right time to scale up - adding more employees, expanding products and services offerings. Remember, bigger is not always better. What is the right size and growth for you?
Here’s to celebrating your wildly successful business!
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