Starting a Successful Business

It is often said that entrepreneurs are the backbone of the nation. Anyone with the passion and drive can become a successful entrepreneur as long as the planning and execution are done well. The first step to becoming an entrepreneur is choosing the ideal business. The business you choose will be determined by its feasibility as well as your own interests and expertise.

Be sure it’s Feasible

You may be passionate about an idea, but if it is not feasible, you will never be able to make it successful. Feasibility describes how simple it is to accomplish something. Before moving forward with any idea, you must determine its feasibility. This requires an understanding of the market and your customers, which we will cover in-depth in later sections. Ask yourself the following questions:

• Do you have the necessary funding?
• Is there a market for your product?
• What is the outlook for the market?
• Can you price competitively?
• How would you operate?
• Would you have a sufficient customer base for long-term success?

Understand Your Interests

Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy. If you do not enjoy what you do, you are unlikely to be successful. Before you choose your business, you must consider what you enjoy doing and think of a way to make this task profitable. Begin by making a list of your interests and see which ones overlap with feasible business models.

Build Experience

Experience and expertise are definite benefits to any business. They are often used interchangeably, but this is a mistake. This point and the next one will help define the difference between the two while helping you identify your own experience and expertise. Experience is something that you gain from observation, encounters, and actions. Many jobs provide experience.

Be an Expert

Expertise has knowledge and skills that come with education and training. This can come from the work experience in specialized positions and from degrees in certain fields. For example, an expert would be an accountant or a chef would be considered experts in their field. Being an expert at a business makes you more capable of running it. If you are not an expert, there is no reason to give up on your idea. If you are passionate about something, take the time to become an expert.

Set Yourself Apart from the Competition

By understanding your competition, you will be able to make yourself stand out. You have already established which objectives your competition is lacking, and you can fill the niche. For example, some customers may be willing to pay more for customer service that a business focused on low prices will lack. Stand out by:

• Expertise – Take advantage of your expertise to draw in customers.
• Value – Explain how you offer a better value than competitors. This requires understanding the customer.
• Communication – Use creative and innovative ways to connect with customers.

Identify the Customer

Creating a successful venture cannot be done without understanding the customer completely. Success depends on identifying what customers want and providing it. Begin by understanding the demographics of your area. This will give insight into the spending habits and values of prospective customers. You should also hold panels and surveys to better understand what your customers expect from you.

Note : This article was originally published in the Houston Business Journal

by Christine R. Spray
Founder & President of Strategic Catalyst, Inc. and the National Business Development Association