February 9th, 2010 Archive

Before You Start

February 9th, 2010 by Adaire in Financial Freedom

Start. Struggle. Restart. Struggle. Proceed. Struggle. Succeed. These are common experiences that start-up business owners go through. No matter the business or the economy, these are universal trends that happen at the beginning of businesses, or maybe even anything important that’s worth doing for that matter. :) In some cases, the idea is there, the research has been done, the will is strong and the capital is ready, but would-be business owners still don’t know where or how to begin.

That’s where Ric Thompson’s New Order Business School TALK with Rich Schefren about Opportunity Seekers versus Entrepreneurs come in. Their discussion, available here, offers a lot of insight into the startup business owner’s psyche and valuable lessons we could apply not only in starting our own business but in the other aspects of our lives as well.

No wonder Rich Schefren is referred to as the Guru to the Internet Gurus, because he’s brilliant! :) He has done business coaching for hundreds of other gurus out there who continually turn to him for answers, including my friends Ric and Liz Thompson who applied his tips when they were just starting their now successful online marketing business. In this short session, he was able to make me understand the dos and don’ts of starting a business. He also introduced me to the concept of opportunity seekers vs. entrepreneurs. Two categories that I wasn’t aware existed in the business industry. :)

Below are a few things I learned from the interview.

Define Who You Are

In starting a business, before anything else, you must first find out who you are – where your passions lie, what you can do, what you can offer, your strengths and weaknesses and other aspects of yourself. It doesn’t matter what product you’re selling or aiming to sell. Knowing your talents and abilities is the starting point where you can build your business on.

It’s definitely great for some who know who they are and what they want to do from the very beginning, but it’s quite a struggle for others. But no matter how long it takes or how hard it is, you must search within for what you can offer before going out there and doing business among people. When you’re offering the right product that you can back up and actually produce, then you have a better chance of building a lasting business.

Satisfy A Market Need: Opportunity Seeker vs. Entrepreneur

The reason you should start a business, more than anything, is that you want to satisfy an existing market need. There is a need, you find that your abilities are an exact match for answering it, and you take the opportunity and do something about it.

Don’t just ride whatever opportunity or trends come along and force it to fit into your capabilities or vice versa. You’ll just end up jumping from one business to another. Frankly, that’s just asking for trouble and a total waste of energy and resources – not only yours but those who are going to purchase your somewhat half-cooked product and process. :) This is where Rich Schefren’s opportunity seeker vs. entrepreneur concept comes in.

If you think that there is an opportunity under every bush or stone, chase whatever new booming business trend is out there, feel you’ve discovered the most coveted success secrets out there but can’t seem to stay in business long because of new ones that come along, then you are an opportunity seeker. It’s time to stop, take a breather and listen to your inner strengths and abilities for a change. :)

If, however, you’ve managed to focus on your passion, visualized where you want to go and mapped out how you want to get there, becoming rich is not your utmost concern, going out there to fulfil a market need is your goal, discovered an opportunity that calls for such passion and decided to make a business out of answering this call, then you are a true entrepreneur.  Congratulations, you’re on the road to success! :)

Go To Market: Know Your Audience

In order to successfully market your product, first and foremost, you should know who your target market is. From there you could distinguish the right offer for them and how and where you’ll present the offer.

Similar to a battle, you can’t just go out there and fight the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons – or in this case, offer a random product in the market and expect people to just flock to you and buy them. There are so many things that can’t be guaranteed by this approach. You don’t know if the product you’re offering is right for the market, and there are no assurances that it will appeal and sell to the right people. Again, it would be a complete waste of precious energy and resources, especially if you’re a struggling startup business owner with limited budget.

The best way to go about it is to narrow down the market you wish to offer your product or services to, then think of the most appealing way to present your product. It helps if the market you choose is the one you currently belong to. Then, you won’t have a hard time figuring out what they want and how they want it, since you basically know all these things already. You can now focus on the proper way to offer your product and do great at serving it. In a way, this approach would help you improve yourself and achieve personal growth.

Apply What You Learn and Prove Your Worth

On top of all these, nothing beats learning from the experts. Since they’ve gone through the same hoops and struggles in the business or industry, they have plenty to share. Read books, search through the Internet, ask around and gather and filter as many useful information and tips from them.

Of course, all these tips and tricks would be useless if you don’t apply them. Don’t be over confident and think you could just go out there and wing it. Trust the gurus. They’ve been where you are, so their advice is solid and sound. :)

You’ll also definitely learn and derive your own lessons along the way. Learn to adapt and roll with the punches. Don’t let the hurdles bring you down. Use them as leverage instead, and apply whatever you learned from them.

Once you’ve honed and improved your product or service and can back up each and everything you offer and claim, then people would trust you. They will come back to you for more and repeatedly, since you’ve already proven your worth to them. Now, this would certainly bring in the money! :)

If you’re looking to start your own business and are willing to devote all your time and effort towards doing it, then it’s definitely worth doing right. Have a clear vision of where you want to go, plan how to get there, offer a solid product that answers a market need, know who your target market is, come up with an ingenious and proper way to offer your product and make sure that your product has real value to your audience. With these considerations, you can’t do wrong. :)

Are you ready to learn from the experts and start your own business? Get access to Ric Thompson’s talk with the guru of the gurus, Rich Schefren, here.

Do you have other startup business tips to share? Let me know through the comments section below.

Good luck with starting your own business!