Categories
Career Change Entrepreneurship Personal development Start up

Five steps to a successful start up

You have a software application written and you are excited by the opportunity to start your own business. Launching it is not enough, to successfully secure sales you need know your market.

History has proved that marketing is the key to launching a successful business, you can have the best solution, but marketing wins. Once that stands out for me was SQL and Nested database. The latter is superior for scale, simplicity, yet SQL won the business. The alternative is a slow burn of referrals, which can work, but takes time.

So here are the steps:

Target market: Who are you selling to? What is their demographic? How do you get to the target audience(what do they read, what apps do they use)? Why are they buying?

Knowing how you reach your target audience is critical and knowing why they would buy your product?

How to?

1. Get a database of your target audience. There are many options to gaining access to a database:

  1. Utilise a company with same target audience: ie customer segmentation, industry segment and/ or regional. Set up a referral fee in exchange for using their database. If B2B business to Business then buy a list: Illion, Core logic, listing company Or: Building your own database, utilise the internet for research
  2. Dont proceed to step 1 without knowing who is your target audience. You will waste money and time, both precious.

2. Whats your message? Why are your target audience interested?

  1. Why use your product?
  2. Testimonials from exisiting customers
  3. Referrals. Will your customers refer to other customers
  4. Social media, connect with Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  5. PR; utilise a PR company in your sector, to get the message out their.
  6. Note: Educating a new market is not for the faint hearted, definitely for organisations with deep pockets. If people don’t get it and you are not making sales, relook at the offering and your target audience. Jeffrey Moors book “Crossing the Chasm” describes early adopters in his book. Basically you need to look for risk takers

3. Easy to buy from

  1. Once you have steps 1 and 2 nailed, can your target audience order your product simply and easily. If its too complicated, then you will not secure the business even if step 1 and 2 are executed well.
  2. How many prospects have abandoned the process in coming on board, as it is to complex.

4. Build a business plan and cash flow and take it out to your network to test the above. Is the target marker large enough? Sold some niche products in my time and one the target market in Australia was 400 companies, only 10% come to the market annually and have a 10 year lifespan. Even if you won 100% of 40 Companies is that enough revenue to deliver the profit you are looking for?

This is a great opportunity to tweak your plans before going ahead for real.

5. Press the button, register the company and execute your plans.

Categories
Personal development Resilience

How to build resilience?

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If it not’s scary its not worth doing?  My favorite saying.

My mother has suffered with anxiety and depression, on and off her whole life. At age 16 I was on a bus going to my nearest town, when I had an overwhelming fear that this trip was not going to turn out well. I was hot and flustered and I got off at the next stop and got a bus home.  It was a moment I will never forget because it was a turning point, I did not want to be trapped in a life of anxiety. I was so disappointed with myself and spent much time reflecting on the situation and why I took such a hasty retreat.

I spent time reading self help books and realized that to achieve anything you need to face into fear and move through it. Anxiety is a build up of never facing fears. Since then I have faced every challenge with a strong mind and determination to get through and even enjoy the other side, which is all about excitement and achievement.  My life has been far more fulfilling, I am still learning and trying new things in my 50s and love the opportunity to surf which I learned in my late 40s. Yes I am scared as I am not very good, but I face my fears and get out on the waves. The thrill of standing up and riding to the shore far outweighs the fear of being out in the water.

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Categories
Coaching Leadership Personal development Work life balance

Finding motivation in difficult times

There are multiple factors at play when it comes to motivation. Even in Covid19 times, staying motivated is critical to well being.

motivationI am addicted to change, moving countries, roles, places to live. Each change brings about new opportunities to start, stop or continue what you are doing.  I remain motivated when there is something new to explore, challenge to overcome or learn something new. My motivation slows down with humdrum existence.

Covid19 is an opportunity to learn on so many levels. Learn about what you need to do to be successful in these challenging times, learn and develop leadership skills, then ensure you team remain motivated and delivering success.

Five key strategies to managing motivation:

  1. Look after your well being by exercising daily and meditation
  2. Look for learning opportunities
  3. Stay connected to your friends, family and colleagues through video calls
  4. Practice appreciation. Think of three things daily that you are grateful for
  5. Set goals and plan for success

Stay motivated in these challenging times.