The entrepreneurial journey can be a bit of a rollercoaster: you can go from inspired and excited to overwhelmed and tired within a matter of seconds. Hopefully, part one was able to help you narrow down your ideas and give you a feel for the next steps. If you get overwhelmed and confused, it may be a sign to step back and take a deep breath- maybe you just need to work out a slight kink in the plan!
What is your worst fear with bringing your great entrepreneurial idea forward? For many, that fear is failure. The best way to avoid failure is to take your time and doing your research. 30% of startup failures involve selecting the wrong entrepreneurial idea! But thankfully, this doesn’t just mean your idea is terrible- it just means you need to think things completely through and avoid skipping steps. If one angle doesn’t seem ideal after some market research, pivot and try a different angle!
So, we have decided on an entrepreneurial idea and researched it thoroughly. Now we need to work on making the vision a reality!
Start to build the business model
Business location- Time to consider where you will be operating your startup!
✓Do you need a physical space to run your business? Or can it be conducted virtually? If you require a physical space, is it a storefront or office? How big of a space would be optimal?
✓ Where are you planning to locate your business? If you do everything online, there’s no need to worry about this aspect. But if you have a physical store or office, do you want it in a downtown area? An area with less traffic? Do you need a location with room to expand eventually?
Basic needs- Let’s consider some of the things your business won’t be able to start without having.
✓ Are you a product or service? How will customers buy from you? Will you need an eCommerce site? Shopify is an easy eCommerce solution- they guide you through everything and make it incredibly simple for customers to buy from your shop. It’s okay if you don’t know where to begin because they have themes and built-in tools to help create the site of your business dreams! Otherwise, you may need a custom-built website or build your own on services like Wix or Squarespace.
✓ Can you do everything by yourself? Will you need to hire employees? If you need more people, how many would be reasonable at first? Where will you look to find and hire these employees? What would be their role/title?
Consider your marketing approach
You need to think about how to communicate with customers and how to spread the word about your business:
✓ Establish your target audience. We hit on this in our previous blog post, but it’s a key element to successfully implementing your entrepreneurial idea. Who are you trying to reach? Consider age, sex, interests, location, and income. Who is looking to buy your product or service? Where do they go online, or do they even frequently use a computer? Narrowing down a target audience is essential for deciding what tools you use and spend money and time on.
✓Will your product/service translate on Instagram? Is a Facebook page necessary? Is your primary audience more likely to be on LinkedIn? Consider where social media fits into your marketing strategy. This is one aspect where identifying a target audience comes into play- LinkedIn and Facebook generally attract an older demographic. At the same time, Pinterest users tend to be predominantly women in their 30’s or older. Will all the platforms be beneficial to include in your strategy? Will you start with one platform and eventually build to 3 or 4?
✓Do you need to allocate money for advertising? Maybe you will consider a mainly free marketing route, like social media. At what point might you start paying for ads, and what will you use to run ads?
✓ Email is a great way to communicate with customers- whether it be a newsletter or an order follow-up. Interesting fact: Shopify will email shoppers reminders about returning to abandoned carts and completing their order (one less thing you have to worry about)! No matter the approach, an email marketing campaign is a popular and super effective way to stay in touch with customers!
Let’s talk money
Costs- Ok, we’re starting this business to make some cash, right? Unfortunately, you do have to spend some money to make money. What do you think it will cost to implement your idea and get your startup, well, started? List out all the possible costs you can think of- both upfront costs and costs to maintain the business. Will you have to put money into manufacturing or research and development? Use this post (and part 1) to consider other potential costs you may not have considered!
Financing- How will you pay for your new business? There are a few options, like crowdfunding or small business loans. Fun fact- small banks approve roughly 48.7% of small business loans, compared to only 23.7% being approved by big banks! For a loan, you’ll have to have good personal credit and a solid business plan. Shopify has a helpful article about creating an ideal business plan https://www.shopify.com/blog/business-plan.
You have learned well, baby entrepreneur.
We hope this series gets your creative juices flowing and helps you start making your idea a reality. And just remember that Woggle will always be available to lend you some business advice, some needed guidance, or a hug…(Ok, maybe forget that last part)