Starting your own business is an exciting choice, and for some it’s the key to experiencing real satisfaction at work for the first time. For the independent minded, only running their own business provides a sense of reward. Working to someone else’s orders, and building their profits simply doesn’t work for some people.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of risks for new businesses, and a large proportion fail in the first two years. If you want your entrepreneurial career to flourish, you need to make sure you’ve laid plans that give you the best chance of success.
One of the first things you need to do is make sure your brilliant business idea really has legs. Too many people skip theconcept testing stage of their plans, and launch a business to discover their idea doesn’t translate into reality as well as they hoped it would.
Working with a market research firm can help you refine the core idea of your business to ensure it offers a service people understand and are really excited to pay for.
Testing the concept at the heart of your business doesn’t just help to ensure it’s what customers want. It also allows you to plan your business to ensure your processes are optimised, providing the best service for the most efficient resource spend.
Doing this early can give your business a huge advantage. If you understand the concept that’s driving your business you can hire the perfect team to deliver the optimised product that your market is waiting for.
Concept testing can also help you with your marketing and advertising pushes. One of the most important factors in the success of your marketing (beyond good targeting) is clarity of communication.
Understanding the animating idea of your business allows you to ensure your messaging can clearly and succinctly communicate its strengths, ensuring your customers know it’s the right choice for them. It also allows you to identify and outline the ways in which your brand is distinct from the competition and helps it stand out.
Concept testing also plays into how you seek investment for your start up. It allows you to present a higher quality and more convincing business plan, and even find better, more suitable investors. Bank loans are a traditional source of funding, but not necessarily the best one for your particular business. If you understand the concept you’re going to profit from, you’ll have a better idea of the right kind of funding model, and be better equipped to woo the investors who can make your dream a reality.