Friday, December 16, 2016

Getting Ready to Start a Business

Everyone at one time or another had the thought – I can do that, so why don’t I start a business? Or that idea is so new that everyone will want to buy it.  Unfortunately, those ideas, a heart, and a prayer is not all it takes to start a business. Many entrepreneurs leave out the pre homework to starting one. 

Initial Thought

The pre homework is the initial thinking that gets an entrepreneur started in the right direction.  First a budding entrepreneur should be able to define his or her product or service. The definition should include the reason for going into business, what problem is being solved, along with unique features and characteristics. The entrepreneur does not want to get too “hip” by using too many words like best or advanced, but rather in the description the product or business should be clearly stated why the product is the best or more advanced amongst others, so the potential users know why to buy it. So the initial thought should answer the following questions:
·         What do you want to be known for?
·         What sets you apart from your competition?
·         How did you determine the need for the product/service?

After developing those answers, spend some time on thinking about how does the product/service solve a problem or fill a current need in the marketplace. This line of thinking is not about the physical make-up of the product but rather the psychological side of the product. Here the questions to be answered are:
·         How do the features of the product solve the need?
·         What is the purpose or the item?
·         Does it really do what it is supposed to do?

 Conversation on Competitions

Next the conversation on competition must happen. An entrepreneur just can’t copy the competition and expect to make a success. The entrepreneur must improve upon the competitor’s product in significant ways to garner sales.  Just changing the color will not cut it in the marketplace. This area is where the entrepreneur can create the niche to get started and not compete with well-established larger competitors. Money can be made in niche markets and allow the startup business to gain financial health.

 Where You Fit

Finally proving the product works must happen. This proof shows the new idea will fit into the current marketplace and be accepted by consumers. If the product has a strong solution, it will probably have low resistance to entry into the marketplace.  If it requires consumers to have to change their buying patterns, there may be increased resistance.

So if an entrepreneur is thinking of starting up a new business review these questions and suggestions and then call Richard Proffer at the University of Missouri Extension SBTDC of Cape Girardeau County at 573-243-3581 or email me at  We are here to help. 

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