I went from living in a storage unit with no college education to creating some of the most profitable businesses in a extremely regulated and challenging industry – all while teaching close to 60,000 others how to become successful in the same industry (thanks to my Cannabis College in Orlando, Florida).
So, I know a thing or two about starting a business.
Keep in mind, this venture is not for the weak hearted – however – it is one of the most rewarding paths you will ever head down if you prepare for the journey!
Here’s an outline of what we will cover in this article.
- Identify your Target Market and Business Idea: Think about the product or service that you are offering and who it will be sold to. Think about what makes your business different and how it can solve a problem for your target audience.
- Make a Business Plan: A business plan is a comprehensive roadmap for your business that includes financial projections, marketing strategies and operational plans. This will help you keep organized and on track as you grow your business.
- Secure Financing: You may require funding depending on the size of your business. This could include applying for loans or seeking investors.
- Create a Team: You may need to hire contractors or employees depending on your business’s nature. Start building your team by assessing the skills and expertise that you require.
- Establish a Strong Online Presence: It’s vital to establish a strong online presence in today’s digital age to engage customers. This could involve creating a website, setting-up social media accounts and building an email database.
- Make Connections and Network: As you grow your business, it is important to build relationships with industry leaders and professionals. Join professional associations, attend events, and find mentors to help navigate the business world.
- Keep Focused and Organized: It’s crucial to keep your business organized and focused as you grow it. To stay on track and make sure you are making progress, use tools such as project management software, calendars and to-do list to keep you organized.
- Do not be Afraid to Pivot: You may discover that your original plans are not working out the way you planned. You shouldn’t be afraid of making changes or pivoting as necessary – sometimes, the best opportunities are found in unexpected places.
These steps can help you start a business that is profitable and reach your entrepreneurial goals.
Identifying Your Audience & Profitable Business Idea
Step 1: Define your Business Idea
You need to know what you are selling or offering before you can start a successful business. You could offer a product like handmade jewelry, artisanal foods products, or a service like coaching or consulting.These questions will help you narrow down your business idea.
- What is your passion? Think about what subjects or activities you are passionate about and where you have expertise.
- Which problem does your company solve? Consider the pain points and challenges that your product or service solves, and how your customers will benefit from it.
- Is there a market available for your idea? Look at the competition to see if they are interested in your product.
Once you have a clear picture of your business, you can move on to the next stage: defining your target markets.
Step 2: Define your Target Market
Your target market is the people most likely to purchase your product or services. Consider the following to help you define your target market:
- Demographics: Who is your target market? Consider your location, age, gender, income, education, and income.
- Interests and Needs: What is your customer interested in? How can you help them solve their problems?
- Marketing Channels: Which marketing channels can reach your target market most effectively? You should consider where your customers are spending their time online and offline to determine which marketing channels would be most effective in reaching them.
You might want to conduct market research in order to gain a better understanding about your target market. This could include surveying potential customers and analyzing data from your competitors.
Example: Let’s suppose you want to open a skincare business that sells organic, handmade products. Your target market could be women between the ages of 30 and 40 who are interested and have the ability to make a living selling natural beauty products. This market might be reached via email marketing, social media advertising, or partnerships with influential figures in the natural beauty industry.You can create a targeted, effective marketing strategy and sales strategy for your business by clearly defining your target market and business idea.
Creating a Business Plan
It might seem intimidating to create a business planning, but it is crucial in starting a successful business. It is a way to organize your thoughts, and map out your plan for success.
The following elements are required to create a business planning:
- Executive Summary: This gives a quick overview of your company, including your idea, target market, financial projections, and your business plan.
- Description of the Company: This section should include more information about your business including your mission statement, products, or services, and your target market.
- Market Analysis: This section should contain research on your competition and the market demand of your product or services.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy: In this section you will describe how you plan on reaching your target market and selling to them. This may include pricing strategies, sales tactics, and marketing channels.
- Financial Projections: Include detailed financial projections that include projected revenue and expenses as well as a profit and loss statement.
Research and analysis are essential to creating a strong business plan. This could include conducting market research, analysing data on competitors and creating financial projections based upon your business goals.
Example: Let’s assume you want to open a skincare business that sells organic, handmade products. Your business plan might include an executive summary which describes your business idea, target market, and a company description. A market analysis will discuss the demand for natural products and the competition. A marketing and sales strategy will outline your social media marketing strategies and email marketing efforts. Finally, financial projections will be included that show the projected revenue and expenses for the next three years.
If you take the time to write a detailed business plan, you will have a clear guide to follow when you grow your business.
Secure Funding aka Finding Investors
Depending on your business’s size and scope, you may need financing to get started. There are several options available:
- Loans: For your business to be funded, you can apply for loans from banks or other financial institutions. To be eligible for a loan you will need to have a solid plan and credit history. In some cases, you might need collateral.
- Grants: Grants are money that is given to individuals and businesses to support a specific venture or project. There are many grants that can be made available to small businesses. These grants include those for women, minorities, or companies in certain industries.
- Investments: Investors might be a good option if your goal is to find long-term financing. Investors might offer funding in exchange to a part of your company’s future profits or a share of the business.
In order to secure funding, it is necessary to do extensive research and create a compelling pitch. This could involve creating a plan for your business, making financial projections, or finding the right funding sources.
Example: Let’s assume you want to launch a business selling handmade, organic skincare products. You can get funding by applying for a small business loan at your bank.
The right funding will allow you to launch your business and begin making profits.
Pro Tip: If you go the route partnering up with a investor, start by asking people you already built trust with. Start with landlords or a old boss – but make sure your pitch is on point! If you can’t explain why you’re onto something big within 2 sentences, or at the very most 60 seconds – don’t expect to secure any funding.
Building A Dream Team
As your business expands, you might need to hire additional employees or contractors to support your operations. This could be hiring workers or contractors to help with tasks such sales, marketing and product development.
Consider the following to build a great team.
- Skills and Expertise: What are your skills and expertise to support your business’s success? Create a list with the necessary skills and experience for each role.
- Culture Fit is Essential: You want to hire people who share your values and culture. Find candidates that embody the values you are looking for in a team member.
- Legal Considerations: This includes setting up payroll, offering benefits, and complying with anti-discrimination laws.
Posting job listings, using a recruiting agency, or networking among professionals in your industry can help you find the right members for your team.
Example: Let’s take the idea of starting a business selling organic and handmade skincare products. To support your business you may need to hire a social media manager and product developer to create new products. A customer service representative will handle customer inquiries. To find qualified candidates, you might use job boards or recruitment agencies. You’ll also want to ensure you adhere to all employment laws when you create your team.
If you build a strong team, your business will be able to grow and achieve its goals.
Establishing a Online Precense
Establishing a strong online presence will help you reach customers online and keep them engaged. This might involve creating a website, creating social media accounts, or building an email database.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you build your online reputation.
- Website: This is a critical tool for any company. It provides customers with a central place to learn more about your products, services, and to make purchases. Consider investing in a professional website design with high-quality imagery and well-written material. Make sure your site is easy to use.
- Social Media: These social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, are great tools for engaging customers. Regular updates are a great way to establish a strong social presence. Interact with your followers and use hashtags or hashtags relevant for your industry.
- Email List: It’s a great way of staying in touch with customers, and to promote your products or other services. If you want to grow your email list, offer a newsletter or other incentive. Be sure to send your subscribers quality content.
Example: Let’s assume you want to open a skincare business that sells organic, handmade products. A website might be a good way to establish an online presence. It will showcase your products and allow you to interact with followers via social media. You can also create an email list that allows you to keep in touch and promote sales. For a wider audience, you may also consider paid advertising such as Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Establishing a strong online presence will allow you to engage customers and drive sales.
Networking & Making The Right Connections
If you want to start a profitable business, networking and making connections are key. When you are trying to navigate the business world, building relationships with professionals and industry leaders is a great way to get valuable support.
Here are some options to create connections and build a network.
- Events: Attend trade shows, conferences, and meetups in your industry. These events provide a great opportunity for professionals to meet and learn about new developments and trends in their field.
- Join Professional Organizations: There are many organizations in the industry that you can join. They can provide valuable resources and networking opportunities.
- Look for Mentors: Mentors are someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in your field. This can help you to grow your business. You might consider reaching out to colleagues you admire and asking them if they’d be willing mentor you.
You can make the most out of your networking efforts by following up with people you meet. You never know when a connection could prove to be of benefit!
Example: Let’s assume you are looking to start a company selling handmade, organic skincare products. For networking and connections, you can attend trade shows for natural beauty products and join professional organizations such as the Natural Products Association. It might be a good idea to reach out to industry professionals you admire to ask if you could mentor you or offer advice and guidance. Building relationships and making connections will allow you to access valuable resources and support for your business growth.
Networking and building connections will allow you to create a support network of professionals that can help you navigate business and reach your entrepreneurial goals.
Staying Organized & Focused
Here’s a few strategies and tools to keep you on track.
- Project Management Software: Project software can help you keep track and monitor tasks, deadlines, as well as the progress of your projects. Asana, Trello and Basecamp are popular choices.
- Calendars: You can use a calendar for appointments and tasks, and you can set reminders that will help you stay on task.
- To-do Lists: To-do Lists help you organize your tasks and track progress on important projects. It might be worth considering a paper list or an app like Wunderlist or Todoist.
You need to be clear about your priorities and goals in order for you to stay on track. Think about what you want in the long-term and short-term. Next, break down your goals into manageable tasks.
Example: Let’s suppose you want to open a business selling handmade, organic skincare products. You can use project management software, such as Asana, to organize your tasks and keep you focused. It is possible to set clear goals for your company, such as launching a new product or reaching a certain revenue milestone. Then, break down these goals into smaller tasks that you can complete.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot
When you are trying to create a profitable business out of nothing, it is important to be open and flexible to change. While having a clear vision of your business is essential, you might need to change your strategy or business model if things don’t go according to plan.
Here are a few indicators that it might be time for a pivot.
- If your product or service isn’t selling, you might need to reconsider and change.
- The market is changing. If your industry or market is changing, it might be necessary to adjust your business model or strategy in order to remain competitive.
- You aren’t reaching your goals. It might be time for you to reassess and consider making some changes.
You need to be open-minded to learn new things and to pivot effectively. Seek out feedback from industry professionals and customers. Also, be open to taking calculated risks and trying new things.
Example: Let’s assume you want to create a business selling organic and handmade skincare products. After starting your business, you discover that your customers don’t seem as interested in your products. Instead of giving up, however, you decide that it is time to change direction and offer natural beauty workshops and consulting. You ask your customers for feedback and use that information in shaping your new offering. If you are open to change, and willing to pivot, it is possible to remain in business and to find a new and more successful direction.
Being open to change, willing to pivot and being open to learning new things can help you stay in business and lead your company to a new and more successful direction. Be open to new ideas and flexible. This could just be the key for your business’s success.
Although it is not an easy task to start a business from nothing, it can be very rewarding and fulfilling. You can increase your chances for success and reach your entrepreneurial goals by following our step-by -step process.
Here’s a quick overview of the steps we covered.
- Define your market and your business idea.
- Create a business strategy: A business strategy is a detailed plan that describes your financial goals and strategies.
- Secure funding: You have many options to fund your business.
- Build a great team: As your company grows, you might need additional help to manage your operations.
- To reach customers and build a strong online reputation, you will need a website, social media accounts, an email list, and a social media account.
- Connect with others: Networking and making connections can help you to find valuable resources and support in the business world.
- Keep your goals and objectives in mind by using tools such as calendars, project management software, and to-do lists.
- Don’t be afraid of pivoting: You should always be open to changing and willing to pivot when necessary. There are times when things don’t go according to plan.
It can be hard to start your own business. However, it can also be very achievable and rewarding. If you follow these steps, and stay focused and organized, it is possible to achieve your entrepreneurial goals and create a profitable business.