At Purity of Earth, we believe in business development. We believe that everyone has the potential to harness their talents and create a truly great business. Here are a few common sense steps that you could take to harness your true potential and hopefully build an online business.
Become a jack of all trades
Successful business require more than just great products. They also require people to fill a lot of roles, including:
- Marketing: Finding and getting in front of qualified prospects
- Selling: Interacting with those prospects to turn them into customers
- Production: Creating what you are selling
- Support: Maintaining your customer relationships and the things you're producing
- Operations: Administrative things such as billing and filing paperwork
When you're running your own business, all of that is on you. It's important to review your weaknesses in these areas before you start your business, and find ways to overcome them. You could have the best products or services in the world, but without marketing them to people who'd be interested in them, the business will fail.
If you're not disciplined with invoicing and following up with customers, you won't get paid.
You could outsource or hire people for any of these roles you aren't great at or interested in doing, but when you're just starting out, you might not have the funds to do that.
Think about what you are good at
You could start your own business doing the same thing as your current line of work. If you're a marketer, for example, you could form your own marketing agency or consultancy. If you're a graphic designer, you could start offering your design services as a freelancer.
Or you could start a business doing something completely different, like producing and selling products based on a hobby or skill you've previously picked up.
Some important things to consider when you make this decision:
- What is your area of expertise?
- Will you be driven enough to invest time and money doing it?
- Will people pay you for it?
- What is your area of expertise?
You might not consider yourself an expert at anything, but you don't need to be one; you just need products or services good enough that people will pay you for it. Chances are, you're probably good at something that you can monetise.
Will people pay you for it?
That's the big question!
When businesses fail, many times it's simply because there's isn't enough demand for the product or service at a price that would make the business profitable.
Although all sorts of crazy ideas have gone on to be successful, try to gauge as best as possible if there's really a demand for what you'll be offering before you start your business.
Get a name
You can start working on your own using just your full name as a consultant or freelancer. But if you're selling products or want to create more of an impression of size and stability, you'll want to come up with a company name and register it.
The best business name will be unique and catchy, easy to pronounce and relatively simple, and, most of all, available. You'll need to check your name choices with your local and national government entities to make sure they're not already taken.
Make sure you check for the domain name, register a business name with the Companies Registration Office and also, very importantly, register a trademark.
Find our who will be your customers
Until you make your first sale, your business will be just an idea. You need customers to make your company a reality—and, just as important, a solid understanding of your customers to keep your business up and growing.
Marketing and sales aren't easy for everyone, though. They require pitching over email, making phone calls, dealing with difficult people, and, in general, putting yourself out there with the high chance of being disappointed. Still, regular sales efforts are critical for your business's success. And the good news is that if you're passionate about what you're doing or producing, self-promotion won't be as hard. Think of your customers and how your business will potentially be useful to them to stay motivated.
But first: Who are your customers? In some cases, this will be obvious. If your product is a new, clever cat toy, you'll target cat owners. If you're starting a tutoring business, you'll want to look for parents whose children are getting ready for that college exam. In a nutshell, your customers—your top focus—are the people using your product or service, the reason why your company exists.