No matter the kind of business you want to start, preparation is key before starting, whether you’re selling a single product or a line of products or just making a living on the Internet. However, there is one major challenge; it’s always hard to sell in the initial stages as people always shy away from new products, they don’t buy what they don’t know. This means, you have to do some really great work letting people know what you sell and why they should buy! Basically marketing!
You will need a number of tools and channels to help you and your business reach a wider base of potential customers. Strategic planning and creative marketing are some of the ways can bring in a significant number of customers.
But, from my experience, I want to share with you how you can succeed or increase your chances of being successful in your first year in your business in a developing country like Uganda where market leaders are still few and there is potential to grow as a trusted local service provider. Let’s go! Sorry in case of typos ?
How you look at things
The success of every business starts within yourself, how you vision the things you want to achieve and how you plan to achieve them. Every entrepreneur needs a vision to be able to succeed. And it’s really better if you can write it down in your notebook as this can always remind you of what you want to achieve and set targets. You also have to be realist as you set targets, small wins are so important, always celebrate them. Setting unrealistic targets will frustrate you when things go wrong. So, think big and start small, you can easily get back up when things go wrong.
Trust and Honesty
Today, it’s very hard for a business without a community. Your community are the people that really trust you, follow and know you. These are your loyal customers. They are loyal because they trust you and they trust what you sell because they know you! Totally run away from fraud and try to offer quality services. Referrals are key to growing your community with loyalty. The more clients trust you and your products, the more they will recommend others to come to you. Your marketing made very easy and simple!
Try out new things
The copycat culture will make you look like everyone, and thus it will be hard for you to stand out. Try to be different and offer your services in a unique way or offer something that is not already on market, of course things can fail, but you will learn. You won’t also know what works and what doesn’t if you don’t try new things.
For fresh graduates, do not forget that your theory may not be as practical as you might be thinking, so don’t be frustrated when thing do not work in the first trial. Spend time reading how things work but go out there and work things out. Put your skills out on the open market where it will be actually tested. There is no complete formula for success as an entrepreneur, we all get there through different routes.
Be willing to learn
To be honest, thing will go wrong many times, and therefore you must get used to adjusting or changing plans, not closing! This is the process to learn client behaviors, understand what they want and what they do not want. Always see challenges and horrible feedback as an opportunity for you to improve and grow your business. Know what went wrong and work towards fixing it.
Get things done and in time
Think about this: when we go out to look for things to buy, we always look out for the best or quality products. This means it’s very important to understand how people look at your product or services. Are you offering value? Or you are just an alternative? Do you get things done in time or you leave things hanging?
Also, be careful as you promise what you can offer, your customers will always expect it all. Be smart enough to say “I’m sorry I won’t be able to deliver in time” rather than playing around!
Understand the market trends
It is so important to know what is working, to know what your competitors are doing right and how they are doing it. This will give you a clear picture of how develop your strategy and how to position yourself.
Know your customers, know the challenges that current market leaders are not solving and ask yourself if you can actually solve it, talk to people and ask how they would like to consume and build your services around that.
You can also ask yourself questions like why do “newbies” in your field fail? What are they not doing right? How can you be different from other newbies? What do market leaders in your industry think is “the right way” of doing things? What would it look like if you do these things differently?
Such question can help you innovate your industry and develop unique services and products that can help you stand out! If you are still struggling on how to build your business, I highly recommend you get this Stand Out self-assessment tool in the link below.