Running a business is not for everyone but I still believe that through experience, thorough evaluation, tips from the pros, and doing your homework can help you become an entrepreneur. I personally did not see myself being a small business owner but luckily, I got majority of the motivation from friends who have been successful with their venture. Today, there are situations when I find myself giving tips for business starters and I must say, I am proud to be a help to them.
When I was still starting, I do my homework and rely on information and articles in the web to help me further during the business startup stage. Articles like the one written by Nathan Furr, a contributor of Forbes, were great of help to me aside from those that are advised from my friends who are already running their own small businesses. Nathan Furr wrote the article Entrepreneur Trap: Going After Too Many Customers where he provided a basic list for new entrepreneurs and what traps them during the operation. His approach is friendlier and more understandable so I opt to share them to you.
What New Entrepreneurs should Know:
I. The Basics of Testing Your Ideas
As an entrepreneur, you have to start by recognizing that whatever you believe is just a guess. Not the actual facts. If you had the facts, you could move forward with more confidence and radically increase your chances of success.
I believe that more than three of your friends already told you to do what you love doing. That means if you love making crochets then you can start running a small business that makes crocheted accessories. However, Nathan advised that you need to test your idea first. A better way of testing is that you try to sell some crocheted accessories to your close friends and if you can see that they are interested by your product then you have a chance of making the idea work.
II. How to Save Yourself $100,000 or More
Unless you have been in the industry you are targeting for 15-20 years, I guarantee you will find out two things. First, that your guess was wrong. Second, after you find out that you are wrong you will discover how you could change and turn your guess into something customers will want. In other words, you will find out that despite your utter confidence in your idea, it was just a guess, but now you have some facts you can act on! Finding this out early can save you $100,000 or more. Finding it out late can cost you success.
If you haven’t tested your business idea you might end up selling a product that no customer is interested on buying. This will save you a lot of money from the capital that you might have put up only to realize that the business is not profitable.
III. The Two Things that Scare Entrepreneurs
While this process sounds simple and works astounding well. There are two fundamental fears that stop entrepreneurs from actually following the basics. First, finding out you are wrong. Second, entrepreneurs are scared their crappy products and ideas will ruin their chances to win customers. In fact this fear has some grounding in reality. It would ruin your chance if you are going after the entire customer base at once. Herein lays the trap.
I understand that we are just humans, and we have that tendency to repel from negative ideas. However, these ideas should not be something to be scared of. Finding out what is wrong with the idea will allow you to address and make the necessary changes. On the other hand, you’ll never know if your crappy idea will work not unless you will give it a chance to have somebody evaluate it.
IV. The Hidden Trap: Going After too Many Customers
Entrepreneurs are driven, almost by nature, to go after as many customers as possible, as soon as possible. But when you are testing your ideas, you have to remember it is a TEST. You don’t test your ideas on the whole world, you choose a small sample, learn from the test, make changes, and test again.
Majority of the business starters become excited for the new venture that they are planning to put up. This enthusiasm is healthy for as long as you know your limit. Moreover, when it comes to testing you need to run the trial to a chosen few samples.
Being an entrepreneur is not an overnight process but with the help of tips and techniques from the experts the journey won’t be too hard for you. Remember that you can’t be complacent when you are still starting so my advice is do not stop asking until you are confident that you are on the right path.