Entrepreneurs are always looking for the next best thing. We often find ourselves searching for new ways to disrupt a market. These changes can be large or small, but any innovation can lead to a wildly successful business.
Starting your first business isn’t an easy task. It doesn’t necessarily get much easier when you launch your second business. But this shouldn’t discourage aspiring entrepreneurs who want to quit their day job and become their own boss.
What should discourage you is that your business idea isn’t great – yet.
No, not yet—do more
Even the most ingenious business ideas have a chance that they might fail. But there are plenty of ways you can prepare your business for success. You can set out in the right direction before you even open your doors.
You don’t need to throw out your current business idea. Instead, spend time thinking about it from different angles. Look for potential flaws and make it even better.
Explore niche markets
You might have already checked this out, but niche markets are one of the places that entrepreneurs find the most success. The idea is pretty simple – find a market that doesn’t have much representation and give people what they want.
Sure, there are downsides to niche markets. You can easily give yourself a ceiling if you enter the wrong market; making it impossible to surpass a certain size. However, this isn’t a problem you should be concerned about.
Niche markets are ideal. If your business gets too big for the market, then you can worry about what to do next. In that situation, some businesses have decided to enter a similar niche market, one that their employees can easily adapt to. By doing this, your business is suddenly in two niche markets, succeeding in one and growing in the other.
Success in a niche market can also lead to connections. The more time you spend in a market, the more people you’ll meet. Eventually, you’ll meet the right people to develop partnerships. Combine your entrepreneurial talents with those of others, and you suddenly have a strong core that can create an even bigger business.
Niche markets might not be exciting or sexy, but they’re the perfect place for you to start your first business.
What sets you apart?
Before you start a business, you need to ask yourself: “What sets my business apart from competitors? ”
If you want to gain clients, then you need to be able to communicate why your business is worth more than others. There’s no way a single business can nail every approach, so look at your competitors.
Do they have poor customer service? If so, perhaps you should focus on excellent customer service. This goes a long way. Plenty of people are willing to pay more for higher quality service.
Location could also be huge. If your business idea hinges on foot traffic, you need to be in a location that is ideal for your target.
It’s also important to think about how you fit into everything. Yes, you have the entrepreneurial spirit and the drive to make this business work, but what are you bringing to the table? You have to have some type of skill or talent, and you need to exploit that for your business. Do what you do best, and apply it to your model.
Listen, learn and communicate
If you’ve read articles on entrepreneurship or talked to successful entrepreneurs, then you know that fields are constantly changing and evolving. Are you keeping up?
When you start a business, try to be a step ahead of your competitors. This means lots of research. Listen to what experts are talking about. They’re usually interested in new developments. The more you research leaders, the better idea you’ll get of what the market will look like a few years down the road. You might even find that a field is declining and decide to change course.
Moreover, find out what industry leaders have to say about their experiences in a market. Nobody is perfect. You can easily learn from the mistakes of others. It’s best to solve problems before they become your problems.
Also, communication can’t be understated. If you have partners or investors, find out what they are thinking. This can give you a new angle from which to approach your business. Also, pay attention to what potential clients are saying about competitors.
If clients like something, be sure to implement it. If they all complain about something, that could become your selling point.
Starting a business can be stressful, but you can make it easy on yourself. You just need to make sure that you’re prepared – success should follow.
This article has been edited.
Jordan French is the founding CMO of BeeHex, Inc., a 3D food printing company with NASA origins. An engineer and intellectual-property attorney, he grew his first marketing firm to a $5.2 million per year run rate and has successfully launched five businesses.
Jordan French has successfully raised several million for tech companies including a $1 million seed round for BeeHex in 2017. A Fast 50 and Inc. 500 ranked entrepreneur, CIO magazine named French a top “growth hacker.” Connect with @jordan__french on Twitter.