Secrets to Success
Whenever I decide upon a new business venture there are several questions I ask myself
- Is there a market for my product or service?
- Who else is doing it?
- How much should I charge?
- If someone else is doing it, how can I do it differently or better?
- How much money will I need to start it off?
- How much would I have to sell in order to break even and how long should that take?
- Is there anything in the current media that can help or damage my product or service in the foreseeable future?
- Who are my customers and what sort of lifestyle would they have?
- Where would my customers be?
- How can my business stand out from the crowd?
Once I have considered all of the above questions I have a fair indication upon whether the business would succeed.
Next, I work out my strategy and really try to get creative as far as launch; marketing and running procedures are concerned. This is where the phrase ‘thinking outside the box’ kicks in.
For any product or service you are about to launch, visibility is one of the key factors of success. People will only trade with you if they know you are there!!
The best ways to increase visibility is through a good web site, word of mouth (encourage happy customers to tell their friends), carefully selected advertising, press releases and my favourite, a good PR stunt.
One of my favourite PR stunts we did two years ago made headlines in 13 countries, knocked Tom Cruise off of the front page of the New York Times, made the six o’clock and 10’oclock BBC news and was in the top ten most memorable news items in the BBC New Year’s Eve program. It was even the most watch Youtube clip within 24 hours of the stunt.
Best of all, it didn’t cost us anything and we ended up getting a great holiday out of it too. Publicity like that would have cost us in excess of £100,000 if we had to pay for it.
If you are setting up a new business or re-charging your existing one, make sure you:
- Know your trade inside out;
- Are confident in who you are and what you do in order for other people to have faith in you;
- Are not afraid to be cheeky and spread the word about your business whenever you can;
- Think outside the box, get creative, push the boundaries;
- Talk to friends, colleagues about your strategies and have brainstorming sessions;
- Regularly re-evaluate your business model and tweak it where necessary;
- Watch closely any changes in trends, especially in your industry;
- Can adapt to changes in trends quickly
Keep an eye on cash flow, taxes, VAT, insurances and most of all customer service (if any of these slip it can be the downfall of your business)
Enjoy every minute of it; this is your creation, your chance to make a mark in the world!!
Good luck, you have a lot of hard work ahead of you but also a lot of fun and satisfaction to come to.