Monday, August 22, 2016
Street Smart Business Ideas 101
One of the many topics that are dear to me is a business and as young people who wants to venture into business or already in business our biggest worries for many years has always been funds / capital to start that dream business idea or for expanding the existing set up.
I have come to learn that not only capital is important, there are many other aspects of our business that needs equal attention, I believe capital isn't the major obstacle to starting our business, but that the plans we lay down around the business ideas is the most sustainable way of approaching our business. The following are points have gathered through practicing and through observing keenly a simple business idea that I would like to develop further.
I hope by sharing my experience and thoughts you might get an idea to develop your next action plan.
Because you are idle doesn't mean you can start a business, this is a sector that requires patience, resilience, handwork, passion, strategy etc.
#Business101 There are many factors that influences one to be in business namely;
Quality of Service or Goods; For a constant flow of customers we need to have constant quality that lives the test of time, especially handling mass production and franchising of the same idea in other outlets.
After Sales Service / Customer Care; Don't wait for feedback, ask for it from the customer and embrace the unexpected feedback and constantly review your services or goods.
Pricing Model; What is your pricing model, there should be different models for example price for introducing a new product, what the market offers for similar products, wholesale price, retailing price, promotional pricing (buy one get one free), closing old stock, market segmentation pricing etc.
Packaging; The packaging is a very important aspect of your business and this can be seen through how you serve your product, but also don't forget the person on the counter providing the service, are they customer friendly? Do they look like they love what they do? Etc.
Uniqueness of Product / Production; We are living the times of anything you try to bring in the market, there is someone next door ready to make a duplicate of the same. The only survival tactics is to have your business/trade SECRET, which can be in the production process, your source of material, recipe etc. Just know it and do it well repeatedly. Learn from Coca-Cola company apart from the wide market visibility their formula for Coca-Cola is a secret that isn't open to the public for for than over 125 years whereby it said only two people know it.
Referrals and Kickbacks! This might sound unusual, but it is common practice in many spaces especially on Kickbacks. People with business leads, key or approval in many occasion will give you business in return of some percentage or cut paid to them, if this is a right or wrong way of business transaction you decide, but the fact of the matter it is a common practice and has contributed to the corruption and price inflation. Referrals on the other hands might also come with a Kickback proposal, but sometimes people will refer their contact to you because of either quality service / good or pricing, the trust and relationship that you have with them.
Relationships; The relationship that you have with your customer can assure a constant business transaction, especially on pricing, quality, packaging, delivery time, etc. Another form of business relationship is from people you work with, family members, relatives etc. might also give you business on the basis of supporting your venture.
Market Share and Brand Value For market share; we are looking at do you want to serve locally, regionally or internationally. Another question to find out is your client demographic and if they would need the product. For brand value, for any business in place I believe that there must be similar or even better option that commands the market depending with your targeted market, you need to do an in-depth research and develop a brand that will not only compete for the sake but that will adds value to the already flooded market place or uncharted market.
CSR Model Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR); is a great strategy to be in touch with your targeted audience to understand them better for the next production. People will always stick with your company or product for the extra that you do for their betterment which can be in any sector that doesn't relate directly with the product for example, investing in education, technology, infrastructure, sports, etc. I admire the Safaricom's business model in our country has much I don't have the blueprint of the plan, I can relate to what they command in the market.
Sustainability and Innovation; Many businesses die on the verge of unplanned growth to seek for bigger interest. For any business to be sustainable is a collection of many things from cost of production, dealing with competition, dealing with piracy issues, the team culture, etc., Actually all the point I have mentioned comes in this basket plus innovation. Any business inspired through innovation and creativity will always find better ways of serving and producing their product. This can only be possible through a department of Research and Development (R&D) or if you are a small start up having the third eye of R&D will save you a lot in your future break through.
Addressing a Need in the Society; The worst the foundation of starting any business is in the thinking of not having anything to do, you like it or love that business or you have been told that the business will work. The best way to approach any business is to start with the end in the mind looking at the needs and the pains of the to be customers. Look at what people aren't offering your target market or go for similar businesses, but make it more better way that will make the customer feel at home. Sometimes it's the language you use for example, say thank you, welcome, sending the birthday card etc will make your customer build the loyalty and they will turn to be your brand ambassadors without asking them to do so.
Marketing Strategies; Defined your strategies based on the 4p's which are; Product, Price, Place and Promotion. You don't necessarily need to write many pages of a business plan, would say start simply by defining the basics and have a plan in place and develop different components has you continues and once the business grows plan time to reflect and redefined while you expand on the business plan documentation. Lastly, I believe you can run a successful business without going to a business school this only possible by having a clear strategy and always learning while researching further for better development
Your Team Culture; What do you want to be known for as a team? Any business or company that has made a tremendous break through spare time to develop their team culture that you will see in almost everyone as much as we have different personalities. Once the culture is well defined the HR will have the best foundation for hiring, firing, promoting or retaining the best in the team. Think of the greatest football team in the English Premier League (EPL) they don't just sign players for the sake of filling the numbers, but they have a clear defined strategy on what type of players they would like to join their team and that will fit well with their team's culture in this case off and on the pitch following their playing style, etc. A good example Manchester signed Pogba for a record breaking deal of £93.2m this month, and for a player to cost that much it means the club as seen something in him that they need to complete in their teams DNA for 2016 – 2017 league and beyond. Just remember, any business that is run through electronics there's a place where somebody is involved! #HumanTechnology I would say for a successful business running with the best technology still needs a great team behind it.
What else? #YourTake