Over the years, I’ve perfected a formula for going to market successfully. It requires a disciplined approach to building your business but provides you with the foundation upon which to grow sustainably.
As a Reap Advisor, I recommend these five key steps to entrepreneurs when starting a new business. The following frameworks can be used as a guide when starting your new business.
Listen to my full webinar presentation here.
Step 1: Identify The Problem & Opportunity
The first step is to make sure you've identified the problem correctly. Keep it simple. The message should be so clear that you can explain it to your grandmother, or a stranger (even better an investor!) in an elevator, in less than a minute.
What's the problem you are trying to solve, and how can you quantify and qualify the opportunity attached to it?
Step 2: Assess Your Target Market & Competitive Environment
The second step, often overlooked, is to assess the target market and competitive environment, to see all the forces that have an impact on what you're trying to build.
Make sure to consider all stakeholders outlined below, and do an overview of your competitors at least every six months as markets can change extremely rapidly.
Step 3: Design Your Solution to Create Significant Value for your Target Market
Product-market fit is one of the most difficult steps in the process of building a successful business. How do you design a product or service so that it really meets the unmet needs of a particular customer?
It is best practice to design a product by focusing on one specific audience and making it relevant and meaningful to them. That’s when the MVP - Minimum Viable Product - comes into play.
Yet, I recommend choosing the feature set that could appeal to the most people in your target market. This can be counterintuitive, but it will help increase the initial market visibility and help you understand what set of your audience experiences the most value - and grow from there.
Step 4: Develop A Unique - yet Simple and Memorable - Value Proposition
As you start to bring everything together, the next step is to create a unique value proposition. As the framework below shows, this includes your product or service features but it goes deeper. Each step builds on the previous one.
Start with the What, which we’ve covered in the previous steps. Design the How, including a superior user experience and a clear and compelling message. And infuse your Why into every customer interaction with your product, e.g. your company’s values, brand mission & vision, and personal story.
Step5: Craft Your Go-to-Market Strategy - and Launch!
Finally, define your go-to-market strategy by going through these three steps:
What will your solution cost and how will you promote it?
Where and how will you communicate about your brand and your products?
How will you convert interested prospects into paying customers?
If you put all those pieces together at launch, you can ensure success. As you learn more about your customers, you can continuously fine-tune your go-to-market strategy to keep up with their needs.
I hope these frameworks will bring clarity to your process.
Listen to my full webinar presentation here and discover other essential frameworks to start and grow your business successfully.
What is the biggest trap that entrepreneurs fall into?
There are many, but one that comes to mind is the following: A good idea is not the same thing as a good business plan.
You can have a brilliant idea, but that's only one part of creating a successful business. I think it's important to remember that just because you're excited about your idea and can sell people on it doesn't mean that it will be successful.
To build a successful business, you need to do more than just have a good product and be a good salesman; you need to do your research, talk to customers and partners, and really craft your product around the insights that you gather from those conversations.
In other words, do your research.
Click here to listen to the full webinar.
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