Starting a business can be overwhelming. Many entrepreneurs that have decided to take the plunge wind up struggling to answer a dozen different questions each day, and almost none of them have easy answers. Here are some common problems that you should consider before they arise.
Deciding where to set up shop can be tricky. You want to find the best location for reaching your customers, but you don’t want to break your budget either. Unfortunately, in most cases, the best locations tend to be the most expensive. Consider renting a smaller office or a shared office space, and then taking advantage of a separate storage area as well.
2) Spending Habits
You’ve got to spend money to make money, right? But you also don’t want to spend too much. Finding the delicate balance between the two is one of the biggest problems that entrepreneurs face. You definitely don’t want to overwhelm yourself with more debt than you can handle, but you also need to consider that if you limit your budget too much, you won’t be able to invest in growth or marketing.
3) Where to Find Customers
So, you have a fantastic idea, and you are certain that people will be willing to pay, but which people? Where do you find them? Who are they? What drives them, and why is it that they will want to pay you for your product or service? Understanding your target audience and knowing where to find potential customers is one of the primary issues that new entrepreneurs overlook.
Once you’ve found them, you need to figure out how to reach them. Your marketing strategy will depend entirely on who your customers are, and their daily habits. Find out which social media platforms they’re more likely to frequent. Are they big on Groupon, or will they find your business by looking up local Yelp! reviews? You want to bring your advertising to them, instead of hoping that they stumble across you accidentally.
5) Going Solo or having Partners
Do you work better as a lone wolf, or as part of a team? There are benefits to each, and you should carefully consider those. Being on your own means that you don’t have to deal with disagreements, or with someone else dropping the ball on a key project. At the same time, having partners means that all the responsibility doesn’t fall on you, and that you have other opinions and some valuable discussion when making big decisions. Think about what will work best for you.
6) Business Model
It’s not enough to have the idea and the motivation; you have to have a plan. You need to be able to measure your success by comparing your progress to a set of measurable goals. Are you planning a slow build, where you reinvest any profits you make into growth, or are you planning to take out a loan and hit the market strong? Deciding on a business model and drafting a plan will help you stay focused as you go.
7) Product Development
This may be one of the biggest dilemmas of all; do you focus on refining one product to perfection, or do you try to offer as many different options as your customers want? There can be benefits to both, but you really need to decide one way or another. If you’re looking to corner the market for a very particular product, you can keep your focus tight. If you aren’t so worried about perfection, you can expand your market by offering a larger selection of less-refined products.
Thinking about some of these issues before you embark on your business adventure will save you time, money, and headaches down the road. Take the time to tackle these dilemmas now, so you can focus on growth and profitability later.
This is a guest post. Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.