There is a lot to consider when starting your own business. At SongBird, we work with a lot of start-ups and small businesses to not only help them get on the right track, but also to build great strategies that set them up to grow successfully.
Here are a few frequently asked questions that come up that might help you as you look to launch.
Q: There is so much to do I’m not sure where to start…
A: We always say that writing things down is the way to go – you’re not going to be able to remember everything! It also helps you to be able to prioritize your tasks so you can keep crossing things off your list.
That being said, you don’t know what you don’t know so it’s good to connect with a mentor or a community that can point you in the right direction. SongBird often works with start-ups who are figuring things out at the beginning, getting you to a strategy that will lay the foundation for success. You could also connect with a community like TorontoStarts for more general information.
Q: Do I need to have partners to start a business?
A: You don’t need partners to start your business, but it certainly makes life as an entrepreneur easier. The best way to decide whether you should bring on partners is to look at your strengths and weaknesses and figure out if you can build a successful business without someone filling the weaknesses with a complementary skill set.
Q: How do I figure out who my target audience is?
A: You need to develop buyer personas. Remember, you can’t be all things to all people so you need to figure out who would be interested in buying what you are selling. To do that, figure out what problem you are solving and who has that problem. That’s the best way to start. Then you can target further using demographic and psychographic factors.
Q: How do I find the best way to market my product or service?
A: That would be determined by your buyer personas. To promote your product or service, you need to be visible in places where you have the best chance to be seen by your target audience. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know you exist.
Q: Is my business idea silly?
A: A better question to ask is do you think it’s silly? If you believe that you have a product or service that satisfies a need for someone and they are willing to pay you money for it, then you have the foundation of a viable business. A silly business idea would be one that doesn’t meet any of those conditions.
Q: Do I need a full business plan?
A: If you plan on connecting with investors for funding, you will likely need a full business plan. However, to get you started, you can focus on building a framework of your business model. This will give you a high-level view and detail how your business creates, delivers and captures value for your customers.
Q: What’s the best way to sell my product?
A: The best way to sell your product is to find out how your customers want it to be delivered. Then decide how you can provide that to them in the most efficient way possible so that you can build your customer base. Then you just need to develop a sales process as part of your strategy that you can manage.
Q: Do I need to get people to sign an NDA?
A: If you are developing proprietary technology or something that really just doesn’t exist (AKA you have no competitors or you are creating a game changer) then an NDA is a good idea to protect your business. However, an NDA isn’t necessarily needed if it is an afterthought for you.
Q: Do I need a formal marketing plan?
A: Just like a formal business plan, if you are seeking funding from investors, they will want to see a formal marketing plan. You can build a marketing strategy for your business, set goals, and create tactics to help you achieve those goals without a formal marketing plan.
Did we miss anything? If you’re looking to start your own business but you still have questions and you’re not sure where to start, be sure to give us a call!