Have you developed a product or service that meets a market need? That’s the starting point of launching a success business. The people you select to work alongside you in your venture and the process you institute for bringing that product to market are the three components of a successful business. These each need to be flushed out by developing a detailed business plan. Whether you’re seeking venture capital, a bank loan or are self-financing, if you don’t have a blueprint for your business you won’t have a chance for success. Identify a mentor or assistance from your local entrepreneurial initiative, Chamber of Commerce business start-up assistance program or your personal network. While there are a myriad of websites that identify best practices for developing a solid business plan, nothing can replace the value of battle tested advice.
The first step is to identify the costs for bringing our product or service to market. These include raw material costs, production costs, marketing and sales expenses. Test your product within the demographic and target market you have identified for maximum pricing levels. The sales prices must be such that your production and delivery costs are covered and a large enough spread remains to establish profitability once an identified scale has been reached.
Most small business use their website as their core of their brand, messaging and marketing for their product or service. Choose wisely when engaging a web development company. Options and costs vary widely. Protect your website domain name. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and invest in one of the many hosting options offered by the professionals at GoDaddy.com.
Recognize that you cannot be a master at every task. While you may be an exceptional engineer, that does not mean you’ll make a great salesperson. Do know that the people you engage to represent your company also represent you. Insist on the absolute highest ethical standards and implore your staff and sales people to never make promises they cannot deliver. Have them first own mistakes, and then correct them. This is all part of the growth process for emerging companies. Keep your eye of the bottom line, watch costs and treat your customers like gold. Best of luck to you as you launch your successful start-up venture!