4 Steps to Become a Successful Entrepreneur in 2017 [8 mins read]
If you are thinking about 2017 as the year to release your product, run away from your 9-5 job, and get your startup up and running, then I congratulate you for your goals and future achievements!
However, if you want it to work, there are a few things to keep in mind. Opening your own business or taking your idea out to the world can be harder than what you initially think. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips to help you succeed.
Problem 1: Market
You may have what you think is a perfect idea or product in your mind. You believe it will be a success worldwide and you can’t wait for everybody to see it. You personally believe that no matter the age, everybody will use it.
Your product might sound awesome in your head, but may not be that good once created. Also, usually products are specific to a target audience, a reduced one. For example, Starbucks caters everybody, but the main target audience is 18-35 students and young workers. Still, you will see people outside that classification enjoying a Frapuccino, but they are not the first audience they will target. When creating a product, you need to make sure you know who will be used by.
- Create a sample of your product in a small trial.
- Call your friends and family, and divide them into test groups by age or interests for example.
- Let them try the product and accept their feedback, either good or bad.
- Make the necessary changes, and repeat the step as many times as needed until you have a minimum viable product that could hit the market.
Problem 2: Cash
You have been saving all your life, and you choose to quit your job to get your product on the market. You have some thousands of dollars on the side and they should cover your daily expenses as well as the production of your brand new product.
Things are more expensive than what you think. You need to hire a couple of developers or engineers to help you design and create your product. And accountants and lawyers to take on your legal aspects. Your car may break down or your landlord may raise the rent. A hundred different things could happen, and being unforeseen, it might give you quite a headache. After 4 months you have spent all your money and you still don’t have a product to show.
- Before quitting your job, make sure to write down a business plan.
- Think who you need to create your product and research how much you would have to pay them. Make sure to have an idea of how long it would take as well.
- Ask local accountants and lawyers for their fees.
- Set a savings account to get some extra income from the interest.
- Present your business plan to your bank, you may be able to get a small investment loan.
- Ask friends and family for their opinion on whether they could eventually help you should anything go wrong in your personal life while you work on the project.
Problem 3: Timing
It’s almost Christmas and you know your product will be a hit. But you keep on working on it and it won’t be ready until probably next year this time. You keep on finding bugs and issues, and you are too afraid to show it to the world.
Reality is, you need a minimum viable product and of course it will have errors, but that is a fact. If you keep on postponing its release until it is perfect, you will never release it. Make sure to use your test groups as stated above to have a nice first version of your product.
- Release a first version of your product.
- Release your product in a small scale (don’t go global all at once!!) and then make fixes on the go.
- Before releasing, study the market and make sure it is really a good time to launch.
- Use your family and friends to spread the word locally first, get more feedback.
Problem 4: Sales
You know your product will be a hit in the market, everybody will pay for it. You expect at least 100 sales the first week, and a couple hundreds more the next one, and so on. You already calculated what you will buy with that money. How you will expand your business and have another product in mind. It will be great!
Unless you have the next best thing, sales won’t come in easily at first. Setting your expectations too high will only bring disappointment and maybe end with your love for this product. Don’t lose your passion! Sales will take time, and there will be ups and downs.
- Prepare for the worst, celebrate the best.
- Make sure that you have enough money (as stated above) to survive until the first sales start coming in.
- Ask friends and relatives if they know anybody with Marketing experience that you could consult.
- Get some funds into Marketing and create leads online.
Now go get your product out there and enjoy of 2017 as you deserve it!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
If you own a company or would like to express your opinion on the subject, I would love to hear your feedback, questions or subjects you wish for me to cover.
Please post your feedback to me via the discussion boards below.