As the new year is approaching, this is a great time to explore new opportunities that align with your business goals. Maybe you already have an idea for a business that you want to pursue, or maybe you are still in the process of brainstorming and need a bit of guidance. Well, you don’t need to look any further because in this blog post we tackle exactly how to JUMP-START YOUR DREAM BUSINESS VENTURE.
This new journey starts with TWO very important steps:
- Developing the idea
- Planning your venture
Developing the Idea
You do not actually need to have a new “discovery” in order to start a business. But you will need the mental and emotional elements of passion, motivation, and willpower to handle the challenges of entrepreneurship. However, if you are here it means that you probably already have all these, so how do you proceed further?
First and foremost, you need to ask yourself: Do I want to sell products or services? Whatever choice you make, you need to understand that they both come with their own benefits and challenges. In order to distinguishing between the two, you should remember that products offer a uniform solution to your customers’ problem. But you will need store inventory for this. On the other hand, when you sell intangible services, you can completely adapt your pitch, since this is not connected to pre-existing tangible features (as products are).
After you decide on what you want to sell, the next step is to find IT. Find exactly what you want to sell. The most important tip for finding a new business idea is to OBSERVE!
To generate ideas, simply look around you! Any object you see or even a service you just experienced is another person’s business and started as an idea! To generate ideas and find new opportunities you need to focus on three things:
- Observe current (popular) trends:
- Economic: the business cycle (is there opportunity to grow?), taxes, consumer spending and inflation rates;
- Technological: what technology is becoming popular? (AI, blockchain, etc.);
- Social: evolution of communication (online communication), consumption patterns;
- Environmental: climate change, renewable energy, recycling.
- Solve a problem: what problems do customers in a specific market (your target market) face? These can range from inefficiencies to non-optimal solutions.
- Find gaps in the marketplace: A gap in the market is a place or area that current businesses aren’t serving. So maybe your business venture can address this gap!
Once you observe these three things, try to think what you would like to focus on: filling in a gap or solving a problem and try to see how the current trends could influence your business venture (e.g. social media or selling online)
Planning Your Venture
To plan your venture, we suggest using the Value Proposition Canvas. It is easy to use, and it is very straightforward. Here is an overview of it:
Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these. The Value Proposition Canvas is made of two blocks:
- Company’s Value Proposition
- Customer Profile
Customer Profile & Value Proposition
Envision your customer segment and break it down according to:
- Gains: The benefits that your customer expects and/or needs. So, try to think, what can I offer my customers that best satisfy their needs? For example, Evernote saw the need for notes, but went a step further and offered an online platform that allowed people to write down and store their documents online. – Connect this to the Gain Creators under the Value Proposition Block.
- Pains: The negative experiences, emotions and/or risks that your customer might experience in the process of finishing their tasks. You should use these and further analyze how you can minimize their negative experiences and thus, offer the best solution! – This will be your Pain Reliever under the Value Proposition Block.
- Customer Jobs: Refers to the functional, social and emotional tasks customers are trying to perform, problems they are trying to solve and what wants they wish to satisfy – This is your Product/Service under the Value Proposition Block.
If you understand these, it will truly help you understand your customers, which will enable you to sell them the right valuable products/services!
When you start your own business, it all comes down to your passion and how you observe your environment to identify new opportunities. Remember to follow the value proposition canvas to plan your venture correctly and successfully. Be sure to think of as many details as possible so that you can tailor and offer the best product/service to your customers that will help them solve a problem or pain point!