Everyone has a business idea tucked away in their back pocket, the scheme that they think will make them millions and leave them independent of the rat race. It takes a strong character, and some iron confidence to make the leap to actually putting that idea into practice.
Today we’re going to look at one of the trickiest barriers to success for new entrepreneurs: fitting this long-cherished idea into the market.
Cold Hard Reality
The first problem you’re going to encounter, as a starter entrepreneur, is that reality is likely to differ significantly from the idealised outcome you’ve been dreaming of. Encountering reality can throw a dose of cold water on your plans. It doesn’t mean you need to pack up shop and give up, it’s just an important lesson: you need to adapt to fit the market, not expect the market to fit you. If you’re offering something people want, at a price they’re prepared to pay – and most importantly communicating those facts clearly in your marketing materials, people simply won’t choose you.
Product or Message?
If your products or services aren’t getting the response you were hoping for, there are two possible reasons. Either the offering itself is flawed (maybe you’re not offering a distinct enough product in a crowded market, or you’ve overpriced an otherwise great service) or your messaging is. It’s easy to come to the wrong conclusion – rushing to tinker with a product which simply needs better targeted marketing, or damning their marketing team when the offering is quite simply unattractive.
To avoid these costly errors you need to check your expectations for your business against reality. Finding a market research firm to partner with gives you the tools and expertise to get at the truth, and using hard facts and figures you can come up with plans for your future success.
One of the most important things you can do is a brand tracking survey – this gathers data on what consumers think of your brand, how they rate it against your rivals and why they think like this. This lets you know if your marketing is communicating what it needs to. If your marketing isn’t creating the effect you intend, you need to make some changes to ensure your brand is fitted to the market, rather than expecting the market to fit itself to your brand.