What is the best way to start a business?
I have a business idea in the realm of bookkeeping. I'm wondering how to start marketing my business.
I’d say you have to find out if there’s a need and a market for what you want to offer. So, find your market, define your service and find ways to reach your customers before you start building your business.
You can’t apply this approach for 100% of business types but when you can it’s the best way to reduce risk and improve chances to succeed.
Start by finding out if there’s a real need for what you offer. In order to do that you’ll have to also find out who your target audience is.
Define your value proposition, assume who your ideal customers are. Then find ways to reach them and convey your proposition. This in itself is a huge step that contains some of the most important skills a good entrepreneur has to master. Most chances are you won’t be able to make it work the first or second time around. It’s perfectly normal, don’t despair. Remember, it’s very similar to searching for gold – You see all the signs that there may be gold in the ground and you start digging but you know there’s a good chance you will come up empty handed.
This is why I always recommend to look at this step as an experiment. At this point your goal is not to succeed. Your goal is to learn what works and what doesn’t. So, if you succeed that’s great but if you fail that’s perfectly fine, as long as you learn and as long as you don’t spend too much time and money on your experiments. You’ve probably heard this one already: ‘Fail fast’. Make your experiments as quick and as in-expensive as possible and look for creative ways to test your ideas and assumptions so you can leave the theory behind.
Starting a new business can be risky mostly because it’s very easy to burn through your savings before you actually become profitable. So I think you shouldn’t spend too much time and money on the product or service that you want to create until you’ve proven to yourself that your business can really take off.
Keep running cheap and quick experiments until you find the need, the offer and the distribution channel that fit together. That will save you a whole load of money and time in getting your business off the ground.
Eventually you need to find a problem in the industry and be a problem solver and you will attract clients. Then, if you become a specialist in your area you’ll even be able to charge a premium for your services.
All the best.