What does Inclusivity mean in 2020? January 10, 2020
Scaling your Online Clothing Business on a Small Budget January 03, 2020
Economic Empowerment through Entrepreneurship December 27, 2019
Starting Your Own Business in 2019
Starting a business consists of two essential steps: first, deciding that it's the right time to start a business, and secondly taking the necessary steps to actually plan our your business. Most business ventures are complex to start, especially if you're new to the industry, but thankfully we live in an era of human history where we have access to software and internet tools that help us build at a fracture of what it use to cost to launch a business.
There is a wide variety of different factors that must be considered before you dive into entrepreneurship. You must understand the financial risk, evaluate your character and be aware of all the numbers that can hurt or help your business thrive.
Firstly, taking on a business is a financial risk at its core. When a business is started employees have to be recruited, customers have to be targeted, and leads have to be generated, all practices which burn money. This is apart of the process that's almost unavoidable. In the early stages of your business you will need to invest money into developing your product, establishing a baseline marketing strategy, and you even might have to invest in software to keep your business in order. While this stage use to drive aspiring entrepreneurs away, today's market provides alot of cost effective solutions to these problems.
To best prepare for this stage of your business it is important to come up with an accurate estimate of startup costs, as well as a very conservative estimate of what your income and revenue will be. These insights will help you determine if your business model is something that can be sustainable long term. If not, you should be able to identify the holes in your strategy and make the necessary changes to launch with as little financial risk as possible.
Beginning a startup requires strong personal qualities like resilience, passion, determination, confidence, intelligence, high health, and ambition. These qualities are important because starting your own business is in most cases the most difficult and uncertain journey you will ever embark on throughout your life. In order to succeed you will need to not only compete with the largest and most competitive companies out there, but you will have to manage your team, deal with the uncertainty of clients / finances and carve out a niche within your industry that builds customer loyalty.
This is not to say that if you don't have these qualities you shouldn't become an entrepreneur - instead its to point out that if you don't already have these qualities you will eventually have to adopt them. The process of entrepreneurship is a journey of trial and error, and along the way you learn what works and what doesn't. On that same journey you start to naturally become more disciplined as an entrepreneur and grow as a person to the point where you're given a fair shot. The question then remains - are you willing to go through the journey's ups and downs to mold your passions?
Sometimes even understanding the scope of what you want to accomplish and having the drive to do it is all you need, which is why that piece is so essential to Street2Ivy’s mission.
Starting a business requires making an intelligent and informed decision about whether your ideas are both solving a problem and important to the customers in your market space. Answering these points requires rigorous market testing, talking to customers and other stakeholders in your space, understanding their concerns, and knowing if anything you do will be able to contribute significant value. Listen to what the market is telling you and develop your strategy from there.
This step is foundational to the decision to start a business itself because without a good idea and targeted timing, a new business will fail, just as most of them do. You can use any sort of framework available online, like this evaluation layout. High level investors will require some data describing the financial viability of a new business and if such a demand and market validation can be shown, then the money tends to flow in. Indigo Studios Creative Director, Michael Tiedemann said it best in the video below:
So if you’ve made it this far, and decided to take the plunge into your first online business, the next steps involve further planning out how your business will look, what types of markets it will sell, and what your major costs will be. It’s important to recognize the time period we live in gives more people than ever before easier access to startups.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER
1. You Can Sell Anywhere
With the introduction of modern day advertising technologies like Facebook and Google, your audience can be as pinpointed as rich middle aged men in Minnesota who like to read fiction to rebellious teenagers in Hong Kong who admire Steph Curry. Not only is targeting your demographic easier than ever, but new technologies make it possible to ship a physical product nearly anywhere in the world. These markets open up a wealth of untapped opportunity and potential for growth. We are being introduced to new customer segments that have not been heavily marketed to in the past, which opens up opportunity to create new products and easier to provide value propositions that attract brand loyalty.
Not only is it easier than ever to find people to sell to, but now you can outsource even more work to other companies and find outside suppliers to cost effectively build your business. Resellers like Alibaba, provide selling products at low cost for ideal rebranding in drop-shipping models. Online marketplaces are becoming more desirable in today's market as brands are allowed to sell on sites, while having a 3rd party market their products online. There are already a to of resources widely available to sell products to people all around the world who will be passionate about them.
2. Big Niche Markets
Because the giants across industries have gotten so big, from Disney and Marvel to Microsoft and Amazon, their business is focused on the biggest billion dollar market segments. This does mean however that a lot of the smaller niche markets are opening themselves up to greater opportunity and capitalization from modern-day entrepreneurs. Large corporations are willing to take a loss on the smaller niche markets because they can afford to. As advertising continues to advance, picking a select niche and targeting it will become easier for young entrepreneurs to corner a segment of the market.
Using the process of design thinking in communities will help you empathize with their experiences, define the problem they face to a higher degree, and ideate on solutions your community would use. Your business will be significantly more useful to this audience than other alternatives, because you have catered your product to directly accommodate their needs. Regardless of how confident you are about an idea, going through the design thinking process is an essential part of an early stage startup.
3. Easier Access to Startup Capital
There now exists a wealth of different types of funds and investment groups for early stage businesses targeting a new market. Other entrepreneurs understand the climate of the market and are willing to invest into new ideas. Startup costs are at an all-time low right now, with reports stating that about $15,000 is enough money to get your business off of the ground in 2019.
From starting a new clothing brand to creating a new online course there are many parts of being an entrepreneur. Making the decision to be one is the hardest step, and once that is done it is just a matter of being smart in picking a good idea and then chasing after if with everything you’ve got. If you follow the steps in this guide however, success is definitely possible.