Stepping into your class on the first day of college, you found exactly what you thought would be there.
A mash of random peers flooded around you like a river, and yet, only a handful will become wildly successful as they wished, while most will evaporate their dreams and remain a dried river bed.
"Some could barely wait to be away from family, independent, maybe for the first time in their lives.
Some ramped up their party-specific conditioning for quite a while, knowing they'll be partying like never before.
Some were enthralled by the very thought of all the accumulated knowledge which they'll get to absorb, use, and perhaps even expand upon.
Some came just to get traction and slay it afterwards, whatever "it" might have been at that moment in their lives."
You, along with each and every person in your class, are aiming high. Even if in secret.
Most lusted prior, and still lust, to be themselves, own their own sh*t, be recognized, free, successful (whatever this "success" thing might be), and feel good about where they are in life.
At one point, some (again those pesky "somes") will live up to their desires, and they'll dare venture into being a speculator, business owner, entrepreneur, enterpriser, a mover and shaker destined to rise in social hierarchies, heck, maybe even a tycoon! Or not.
Let's take this back to the plain of reality and ever-present difficulties which might lay within it and lay out some steps to be thought about, planned out, and followed up on before we skyrocket ourselves among the Forbes 100 Richest People.
0. Become a man/woman of quality
Even though this is a seven (7) step list, I felt this had to be emphasized. Everyone works in slightly or widely different ways. Our habits and our characters drive us to do things we should or most definitely should not do at that time.
Some will wait for their assignment to be almost due before they freak out and start working frantically. Some will divide their studying and project time into bits and follow a schedule to get them done.
The prior will perhaps finish what is due, but even if they do, they might not remember what their work was about a week later. Not to mention the immense stress they put themselves through during those brief stints of caffeine-fueled information overload. The latter, not that much.
You see where I'm going with this.
Prior to heading into the arena of competitive business on the local, national or global market, try introspecting honestly, and use what you discover to make corrections and changes that will help you immediately, and stay with you for the rest of your professional life, hopefully.
1. Think about your concept through
According to Digital Silk, our favourite NYC web design company, if you want your business to be a success, look for things that people need but are missing, and fill up that space of the market with innovation.
This doesn't necessarily have to be a never-heard-before idea that is gonna change the world as we know it. Doing something better than others is often simpler yet rewarding still.
That thing that's missing might just be a slight preference of yours that no business in the niche can cater to. By realizing that, you might find a whole bunch of like-minded people who are going to love that you took the initiative and will support you to reward your effort.
We are nowhere near discovering everything, let alone inventing a way to use everything in combination with other everything's. You can always strive to start a company that is an innovator in its field or creates a new field entirely.
A good path to take can also be one that has fewer competitors, providing you with the chance to find your spot under the sun much easier.
A great example of a company conquering an existing market by providing superior service is. This dedicated bunch is raising the bar in what they do, and their client portfolio can testify to that!
Whichever path you might take, make sure you've given your business concept plenty of thought and tried making it objection-proof, at least through internal dialogue.
2. Pre-initiating research
Knowing what you're getting into doesn't necessarily have to do with having a theoretical nor practical proof of concept.
It can closely relate to your target audience, to the supply chain for goods distribution, to your pricing, to your competition, and to legislation that governs your specific field of business.
Plenty of these might be present, and plenty of them might be in sync with one another, but missing one important piece of the success puzzle will potentially doom your efforts.
Investing time and energy into a hypothetical invention of warm water in a land overpopulated with geysers will leave you with a bitter taste in your mouth and a bruise on your heart.
3. Write it all down
This would include a number of things. Considering all the different purposes your notes, observations and presentations might have, it's truly valuable having a flash of insight written down quickly, so it could be acted upon when the time is right.
We can suppose, and rightly so, that a lot of ideas which were due to be written down later were forgotten and thus lost by a great number through recent history.
Of course, all of these might help, but nothing will help as much as a business plan. It can consist of three versions, a brief, a business plan, and a feasibility study.
All of these will strain you to really think about how to solve every potential objection or remark that a future investor might have and will give you a good perspective of the timeline and order of events that will happen while you're scaling up.
Just to be clear, a brief is an overview that is concise, clear, easy to read, and outlines expenses and profits briefly. The business plan itself goes deeper into the processes behind the product, overall research, finances, production, distribution, all the good stuff.
Of course, one shouldn't forget to have projections about initial profits, as knowing when to expect a profit is a real driving factor for your associates, investors, and yourself.
A feasibility study would be a display of the cost of all of these, going down to the appendix, the minute details. These are especially handy if you're in your pre-seed or seed stage of investing, as you'll quickly learn that all expenses covered by third parties must be accounted for in order to keep the trust alive and the mutually beneficial financial relationship going.
One of the biggest advantages you can have when creating, developing, and ultimately scaling your company or business is making the right choices when selecting individuals who will help your effort.
Even though family and friends are frequently supportive and well-intentioned, rarely are they the experts matching the exact needs of your new venture.
Knowing what you prefer, or more importantly, need, in co-founders, partners, colleagues or employees, is gonna be a major factor in keeping your head free of serious aches.
There's perhaps nothing more rewarding than seeing that a team member shares your vision and has acted upon it in a way that might not have occurred to you, like, ever.
Also, seeing a hastily selected team member doing your business damage after you've invested your entire being into its rise for the last X number of months or years can be heart-breaking, nerve-racking, and profit-cracking.
Another thing. If you ever look for investments, keep in mind that basically everyone will closely look at your team members and their previous accomplishments, as they want to make sure there isn't a link in your chain weak enough to threaten the wellbeing of their investment.
5. Be dedicated, be persistent
You are starting a business, which is your own (duh). Therefore, if you wish yourself good (and starting a business might imply that), you want to do all you can or at least the best you can in order for your business entity to grow with stability.
Sometimes though, you will go above and beyond, but there will be other factors that will obstruct your effort. Do not let this hinder you. If there's an obstacle, try finding a way around it, beneath it, above it.
Persist, and you'll get much further than if you dropped to your knees at the first sign of difficulty. This is immensely important.
This has been talked about time and time again, and since we're not having a motivational conference here, I'll let you research this on your own, in case you're in need of it.
(I like Earl Nightingale, you might like someone else).
6. Understand value to users
Dive into the mind of your ideal targeted user, like you're a full-fledged psychic. This will bring you closer to proper troubleshooting, the kind that your businesses' progress might depend upon.
Keep in mind, there are a lot of variables that can go into the calculation of product value.
If you take a piece of coal and market it as if it were the world's most precious diamond - it might become more valuable than an actual diamond.
Having that in mind, combined with your research, you can navigate the development and marketing so that if your product isn't too popular or valuable (which I doubt you'll try to make), you can at least find the right customers for it and target them specifically.
7. Steer not your ship against the wind
Commonly, when we start a business or launch a product, we're confident about its success, and we're more than hopeful that we'll be able to keep from crashing if the terrain gets rough.
Now more than ever, we're able to let people know about what we do, what we offer, how we do it, and how our offer differs from everything that our competitors are providing.
For that reason, except if we're incredibly acknowledged by our peers and our community, and even if so, it becomes a duty towards our business to advertise, at least minimally, through various tools which the internet provides us.
Choosing not to take advantage of that incredible benefit of the modern-day is, in a way, choosing to go down when the tide of competition or/and modernization rises.
Keeping up to track with analysis of the reach, engagement and overall contribution has become simplified to the point where there's simply no excuse to not use it.
This important indicator to our benefit of what we're doing right or what we might need to change can truly make or break a starting business.
Finishing college and stepping into the competitive market, especially as a business owner, is a huge threshold to cross.
If you're reading this, you're more than certainly looking to get a head start and get every inch of competitive advantage. And that's a great thing.
Believe in your intuition, explore your ideas and share them with people who will tell you what you need before you head into disaster.
Do your homework before making big moves, keep working diligently, keep your head up, and see what you're doing through objective eyes.
If you stick to those basics, you'll easily see your path and how it can lead you further than you hoped for.
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