Have you ever looked at big companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple, and thought how did they start and how they ended up in the top?
The starting point for every business in the idea. Usually the best ideas are the ones that solve a problem in the world. The bigger the problem, the better the idea.
But the idea alone is worthless. Many people have great ideas, but as soon as they realize how hard it is to develop an idea without instant gratification, they stop and the idea dies.
Can you imagine if everyone did their best to make their ideas and dreams come true? How far ahead would the human kind be?
The growth of the internet in the 1990s and early 2000s started a new era for business to grow and scale. Not being limited by region was a big breakthrough. And the ideas and technologies haven’t stopped ever since.
According to Entrepreneur magazine, nearly half of the new startups fail within the first three years. So how do you start a valuable business when there so many people trying to compete for audience and customer?
1 – The Idea and The Validation
First of all you need to have a good viable idea, and although it might seem like a good idea to you, others might have a different opinion. If your idea is one that needs initial capital to start and you don’t have the money, the next step is to find an investor and convince him that your idea is valid and that everyone is going to make a profit, because at the end of the day that’s what matters.
2 – Long term Survival
Usually everyone who starts a company want’s it to have long-lasting success and companies that survive long are the ones who keep inventing themselves and try to stay ahead of the competition.
The markets are always changing and great ideas become irrelevant or surpassed by other ideas over time.
So make sure you always keep an eye on what’s happening in the world.
3 – Find a gap in the market
Finding a gap in the market is like finding the Holy Grail of business. However… Not all gaps are profitable (wow really?). In 1994 Thirsty Cat! and Thirsty Dog! was launched in the USA. It provided bottles of water for pets, but the idea failed to attract the pet owners and it failed.
Finding a market and having the will and the determination to go through with it is often all there is needed to start a successfull business.
Twitter was founded in 2006 by Jack Dorsey. It combines social media with short-form communication, providing a service that no one had started before.
Want another example?
Back in the days in America, there were two major GYM clubs, Gold’s GYM and Power House GYM. These had the basic weights and cardio equipment. There was no more market there, these GYMs had everything a person needs to lose fat and get some muscle. Then LA Fitness came and attracted more to the public, it also had wights and cardio equipment plus a pool. Then Lifetime GYM came. It is a premium Gym where you can also lift all the weights do your cardio, and you can also go to the SPA, get a massage, and they even got a daycare. Then PlanetFitness came in. In PlanetFitness you are not allowed to drop your weights and do noise. They also had free pizza on mondays. In 2014 PlanetFitness was the fastest growing franchise in America.
And this leads to the next tip…
4 – Study the competition
Whatever the phase of your business, studying the market should be done regularly. There always bright minds thinking of new ways to do something better, like creating a new long lasting battery. So even Tesla, the big leader in electric vehicles, should be always looking if someone has a new and better way to generate and store power.
Have you ever heard of SWOT analysis? SWOT stands for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. Take a look at your business and find what are your strengths and weaknesses. You should also be on the look for new opportunities and identify what threats your business faces.
5 – Stand out in the market
Having a unique selling proposition requires differentiation in your product or service… either by offering your customers something that your competitors don’t or just can’t. Very few firms have the monopoly of a market, so to achieve success, a company must stand out. This can be hard because your competitors can just start copying your business.
So in conclusion…
To beat the odds and triumph, you must have:
1 – A good idea with a great business plan
2 – An entrepreneurial spirit and be willing to take risks
3 – The ability to make good judgments and take quick decisions.
4 – Determination to never give up upon the face of challenges.
5 – A creative mind to always keep up with what’s new.