For aspiring business owners, sometimes the most stressful part is just knowing where to start.
It can feel overwhelming, and even discourage some people from pursuing their dreams.
Luckily for you, I’m here to make the entire process as easy as possible and tell you EXACTLY what you need to do first.
Now I talk a lot about the importance of ensuring you’re developing a product and/or service that people actually want.
While that may seem obvious, people sometimes get so excited about an idea that they’re blind to existing, or very similar, offerings already on the market.
So, let’s assume that you’ve done your due diligence and your great idea genuinely is something new and innovative.
What do you do next?
You can have the greatest idea in the world and it won’t mean anything if you can’t sufficiently communicate the concept to your potential customers.
So how do you ensure you deliver what your customers want, in addition to standing apart from your competition?
You need to go undercover.
As exciting as that may sound, I’m not encouraging you to go full-James Bond to make your business a success.
When I say you need to go undercover, I’m telling you to step into the shoes of your potential customers.
Imagine that you are an individual seeking whatever product and/or service you’re preparing to offer.
For instance, if you’re a wedding planner or photographer, imagine you’re someone getting ready for their wedding and checking all the necessary boxes.
If you’re aspiring to open your own medical practice, put yourself in the shoes of potential patients.
If you dream of opening a restaurant, imagine you’re someone looking for that specific cuisine for that special occasion.
Now, I don’t just mean think about these things inside your head and imagine how you might feel.
Really put yourself in the customers’ shoes!
Go on to your competitors’ websites, from the viewpoint of a client instead of a competitor.
What information is hard to find?
Is their website clear and direct, or do you struggle to navigate it and answer the questions you have?
What about their contact information? Is it easy to find, or do you have to skip around on several different pages for a phone number or email address?
If your business isn’t dependent on an online presence and digital communications, visit the competitors in person.
Go to their storefronts or restaurants and once again, have the viewpoint of a client.
How is their customer service? Is someone available to help you and answer any questions you might have?
Also pay attention to the atmosphere and aesthetic of the businesses.
Do all of the competitors run together in your mind? If so, think about what they had in common and make sure you avoid those clichés.
Did one company stick out from the others? What about them was unique?
Think about what you can incorporate into your business to set you apart so that customers remember you for all the right reasons.
When you’re first starting a business, it can be tempting to see your competitors as a guide for what you should be doing.
Checking their websites to see what you should include on yours, visiting their store fronts to see what design elements you should pick…this is a dangerous trap.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to be a carbon copy of the other businesses out there.
While that can seem like an easy way to guide you into your new business, being unique and authentic is what will set you apart and keep clients coming back to you.
I understand how hard it can be to take that first step to opening your own business.
The good news is that I’m here to help and break it down for you so it’s as manageable a task as possible.
So, if you’re ready to take the next step towards your financial freedom and being your own boss, consider what you as a client would want.