I am starting a new business which is launching in September, aimed at supporting Mumpreneurs. It’s an online company and I can’t give you any more details in case some unscrupulous person swoops my idea, but let’s just say YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT!
I’m so excited! I can’t sleep very well as my head is full of ideas and inspiration and I spend all my spare time (cause I have loads y’know ;-)) thinking about and talking about my new company.
Anyway, the whole thing has been coming to fruition over these past three weeks or so and I’ve been beavering away on my business and marketing plans, making sure each i is dotted and t is crossed and I know exactly who my target market is and that I’ve niched my niche effectively.
I was working yesterday and I thought to myself that I wished someone had told me, when I started my first company, exactly what I needed to do to get it going. I sort of fumbled along, learning as I went with my husband giving me his vast, but ultimately masculine, well intended, but largely unhelpful, financial “advice”.
The problem with taking business advice from a man is that although the advice itself my be entirely valid and even very worthwhile, it is delivered from a man’s perspective, with a man’s intent. We women work differently. We have different considerations, needs and desires for our businesses. We will rarely be more concerned about our bottom line than the satisfaction of a customer or the welfare of an employee. That’s what makes it feminine and unique. We understand systems and have a concern for the happiness of others and we really really care about how our product or services are delivered and how they affect the people who buy them.
However, our demise is usually our lack of planning. Our propensity for doing usually overcomes our need for strategy, and without a well planned business strategy, the business will be unlikely to survive.
Many women when asked who their ideal customer is will answer “everyone”. This is at best naive and at worst dangerous. You can never satisfy everyone in the market with your product and if you don’t know who your niche is, you will not know how to market your products.
Try these tips to either streamline an existing business, or get a new one off the ground:
- Before you do anything else, and I mean ANYTHING else, write a business plan. Many are available for download from the internet.
- Identify your ideal customer by demographic – gender, age, income etc. The more detailed, the better. You should be able to describe your exact customer to a complete stranger.
- Write a detailed marketing plan and spend time doing market research. Get out there and speak to your target market. Write questionnaires, do surveys. Get feedback.
- Test your products or services on friends or with a focus group before you start to sell them. Incorporate any changes they suggest.
- Outsource your website to a professional. A decent website is a must in today’s technologically advanced world and it will give you a competitive advantage.
- Don’t be afraid to raise your prices. Would you rather be considered high value or low cost? People do have money to spend on your product and will not usually make a decision based on price. Price is an afterthought after they have decided to buy.
What are your best business tips? Please feel free to share by leaving a comment below.