Have you ever had a brainstorming session for your business – a really deep and meaningful exploration into the outer reaches of what’s possible?
I was speaking with a woman a few nights ago who was telling me about her new business and the product she offers; what goes into it and how she packages it. She says she is the only person in Australian doing it. Now, I don’t know how much research she’d done but someone else who joined the conversation said “Oh yes, I’ve seen that in America and other countries.”
How long do you think it would take before someone else looks at it and says “We can do that, let’s copy it.”?
Given that the product was not unique and the packaging, while unusual, was not unique – not very long I’d say… And there’s another fledgling business left with nowhere to go because they hadn’t worked out how to stay ahead of the curve, and because they didn’t know how to do that.
Harsh Reality: business is tough, it’s not for everyone. Will you be a survivor?
I love to encourage new business owners, and I don’t like to burst the entrepreneurial bubble – but the reality is, if you want a sustainable business that makes consistent money and gives you plenty of satisfaction you’ll need to delve deeper into your concept.
Most new entrepreneurs can easily identify their first wave of customers – friends, family, some first degree relationships – but the second, third and subsequent waves of customers starts to get a little fuzzy. They realise this is going to take some thinking and some marketing and “gasp!” selling. And they’ll need to get to grips with money and finance.
At this point some people give up. But SOME people roll their sleeves up and get to work.
Until you have a Proven Concept with a hungry crowd already consuming products like yours (and are looking for more or better) you may just have the seed of an idea, but not an actual business.
If your business is more established, don’t get complacent. You always need to be on the front foot, testing what works, what doesn’t and be ready to make changes. Swiftly. Decisively. Intelligently.
One of the best things you can do right now is imagine how your business and your industry will be in 2 years, 5 years and 10 years’ time. If your business is based on a “fad” – and there are plenty of them – make a plan to get in quick, have some fun, make some money and exit before the fad becomes extinct.
If your business has a longer lifespan because it is in an essential market segment or it is able to grow with new technology then make some long term plans – but make sure you are flexible, agile and at least listening to the market if not predicting the future.
The trick in business is to look further that the next few months – get real about what’s possible for your business beyond where you are now.
And if you need some help with that. It could be time to “Reinvent Your Business”. Ask me how.
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Ask me great questions and I’ll answer them.
If you’re an ideas person, or you need some ideas to grow your business, you’ll love next week’s blog “Capitalise on your Concept”.