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You’re Seven Steps Away From Starting Your Business

You’re seven answers away from a successful business launch.

Seven Steps to Starting Your Business…

  1. Identify a product.
  2. Identify the market for the product.
  3. Understand your market’s pain points.
  4. Create a brand your market will rally around.
  5. Let your paid leads lead the way.
  6. Show up in email AND wherever your audience is.
  7. Deliver the goods.

There are loads of resources out there, but few will get to the bottom of what a successful business requires. This report will do exactly that.

There is a lot to consider when starting a business, but only three objectives are required for generating revenue which is the foremost requirement for an entity to be considered a viable business. These are the three most important things and without them a business isn’t a business at all.

  1. Have something to trade for cash.
  2. Get people to buy it.
  3. Deliver the goods.

Sounds simple enough. Right? Unfortunately, these are the most difficult parts of starting and running a successful business. Many businesses fail before they’ve ever had a chance to thrive because they never conquer these three objectives.

In this report, you’ll work diligently to thoroughly answer seven questions that are key to meeting the above three objectives.

Read the guide as you complete the worksheet that is at the end. Once you’ve accomplished the objectives in this report, you’ll be ready and have the confidence to legitimize and invest wholeheartedly in growing your business.

Q1: What will you trade for cash?

 

When developing a product or service offering, there are only two rules of thumb. (1)It must be something people will buy and (2)you only need one thing or line of things to sell.

People pay for the things they find value in. This is a key point to remember. Quite often, entrepreneurs start businesses without giving this factor enough thought. A lack of care with choosing products or services can kill your dream of business ownership. Make sure that your product solves a current problem that some group of people will pay to have a solution for.

You only need one. Starting with one product, service, or offering is the wisest decision any startup can make. It allows startups to generate revenue, master their craft, and master their market quickly.

Identify the problem you want to solve and devise a solution. If you already have a solution or product, then make sure you fully understand the problem it solves.

Q2: Who will buy it?

 

Develop a customer persona. Find the “type” of person who will pay for what you are offering.

One tried and true method for doing this is through the development of a customer persona. Imagine your perfect customer and create a customer profile that defines who your customers should be. What’s their age, sex, culture, values, and lifestyle characteristics? How much do they earn and what’s their education level? Define the demographic, social, behavioral, and socioeconomic parameters of your ideal client or customer.

Learn customer behaviors. It’s important to know how to connect and communicate with potential customers. To do that, you need to know where, how, and when they show up so that you can show up and meet them where they are, speak their language and know how to deliver your solution to their problems. You’ll want to learn what social platforms they engage with, where and how they spend their free time, and when they engage.

Q3: Why will they buy it?

 

Understand their pain points. Knowing what ails your customers is key to attracting and selling to them. Understanding what your market knows or thinks they need is key to faster conversions. What are your potential customers’ pain points? Why are they willing to give you their money?

Sometimes potential customers think the solution is something that is not what you offer. It will be your challenge to introduce your audience to your solution. You can do this by connecting what they think they need to your solution. To do this, focus more heavily on how your solution resolves pain points rather than the solution itself.

For example, many entrepreneurs that come to us believe they need a website to start an online business only to learn that an online business requires much more than a website. Stratinuity offers a complete business system including a website and all the tools to support doing business online. We sale a complete business system, but many potential customers think they only need a website, mentor, “more” information, or a consultant. Some have no clue what they need. As the providers of a solution, we have the challenge of figuring out how to help our audience understand that they need more to achieve the results they want for their business. We must figure out how to show them that their business isn’t suffering because they lack a website, mentor, or a huge budget, but because they lack the strategic resources necessary for successful online business management.

Another benefit to understanding market pain points is that it will help you develop and deliver the product your market actually needs even if they don’t know what they need right off hand.

Tap into customer desires. A key thing to remember is that you must understand your ideal customer’s desires better than they do. What is it that they really want to achieve in terms of your solution? What feeling or emotion are they trying to capture? What error or wrong are they trying to correct? What struggles are they trying to overcome? What goals do they want to achieve? Then, give them what they desire but most importantly, you must clearly communicate how (not that) your solution will fulfill their desires.

That product and brand message should resemble this statement. “You experience X problem. We fix your problem by (list each pain point and how its resolved [the solution]).”

Q4: What is your brand identity?

 

There is value in your individuality. These days customers want to know you. They want to feel like they can identify with your brand in some way. So, what strong positions do you have? What values will you bring into your business? What polarizing message will your brand represent?

The key is to make a statement with your brand. There will be a faction of people who hate you and your brand and another who loves your brand because of your position. This creates brand loyalty and if you’re lucky, your haters will make your brand famous! This is how most content goes viral – opposing sides making a lot of noise.

The idea is to let your brand stand strong and unapologetically for something. You can do this no matter what your solution is. Just infuse your own values, passions, and mission into your brand message and build an audience around your message.  What is your brand message? What position are you willing to associate with your brand and stand behind wholeheartedly?

You should also choose brand qualities that align with your brand message and is attractive to your target market.

  • Name
  • Colors
  • Fonts
  • Logo
  • Tagline
  • Imagery

Q5: How will you get in front of potential buyers?

 

Lead the way. Once you’ve decided what your brand message will be, you’ll need to capture an audience to introduce it to. Return to your customer persona as you identify the platforms and places where your target audience is and present your brand message to them. Allow people to rally around your brand while you capture them as leads for whom you will show up.

The fastest and easiest way to get in front of potential buyers is through digital advertising. Facebook is optimal for accomplishing this, but you want to advertise on platforms where your audience is engaged. Other options are LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

You’ll also need a place from which you will display and sell your products. That’s typically a website although some people get creative with Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other tools. We recommend a professional website as it sends a message that your brand is here to stay (so that your brand will be here to stay). Furthermore, websites are easier to create and maintain than you might think.

Targeting is everything. Use your customer persona to narrow your target audience. Doing so will help reduce the amount of junk leads you get. Even so, it will not eliminate junk leads. Only time will do that. One strategy to reduce junk leads is to make it more work to become a lead. Something we do is keep a lead ad that’s a brief survey. It helps us better understand the market our ads appeal to and market needs. It also creates a small amount of work that nosy people who aren’t serious prospects don’t want to do. So, it discourages them from submitting lead forms. Your per lead cost will be slightly higher on paper, but in most businesses 1 paying lead is worth more than 500 junk leads. It’s worth the extra cost per lead to get quality leads.

Still, junk leads have their place. For example, it helps us gage our target demographic’s interest in starting and growing their businesses. This is an indication of the markets need for our product. Nonetheless, it says nothing about their desire for it. Ads that do not require “work” attract a lot of junk leads but are lower cost and can help validate market need, but not market desire. It also provides the opportunity to grow a steady audience of watchers who may still become customers someday.

Testing is integral to perfecting your ad strategy. Social platform ads are ran based on machine learning algorithms. These algorithms attempt to get you the most bang for your buck. They can take a little time to learn how to achieve the best results according to the criteria you set. We recommend running a campaign with the minimal daily balance and testing the results, while building a slow and steady audience of people who can validate your concept even before you have a product.

As time goes on, you should tweak your ads to obtain optimal results in terms of volume and quality of leads. This is where testing comes in. Try different approaches, graphics, videos, memes, audience configurations, ad types, and find what gets you the best results. Always make sure you account for the time it takes for machine learning algorithms to start producing satisfactory results. We’ve found that it takes at least one week for these algorithms to get in a groove and perform at their maximum capacity. When testing, it’s wise to invest the minimum daily dollar value allowed since the point is to see if the ad will perform. When you are satisfied with an ad’s performance, increase your budget to achieve your desired results.

Set your ad budget. Once you are past the testing phase, you can determine how much you need to invest in your advertising strategy. It will depend on how much revenue you want to generate. Once you determine how much money you need to generate (See Pricing section in Q6), translate this into how many customers you need to secure.

First, make sure your final estimations are conservative. It’s better to overestimate your ad budget and get more business than you expect, than to underestimate and get less than your target revenue goals. Here’s some guidelines to keep your estimates conservative.

    • Round the number of customers needed up to the nearest 10.
    • Round your sales conversion rate down to one decimal digit.
    • Round your cost per click up to the nearest dollar.

These three formulas will get you started with coming up with an ad budget. Use the worksheet that comes with the full report download. It’s free!

  1. Determine the sales conversion average for your advertising platform. For example, Facebook conversion rates vary by industry and the average across industries is about 9.2%. It’s our experience that about 2% of ad leads convert to cash paying customers. (See Facebook Advertising Benchmarks)

    If you’ve had a significant number of sales during your ad testing or from existing business, you can calculate the real conversion rate instead by dividing the number of sales by the number of clicks.
    formula: sales divided by clicks = sales conversion rate

  2. Based on your testing, calculate how many clicks will likely result in your target customer acquisition.
    formula
    : customers needed divided by sales conversion rate = number of clicks needed
  3. Calculate the cost per click and the total amount you’ll have to invest in advertising to acquire the number of customers you need to meet revenue goals.
    formula: Ad budget = cost per click estimated by ad platform times number of clicks needed

Q6: How will you show up for potential buyers?

Showing up is about maintaining a presence in your customers' and potential customers' everyday lives. When they need your product, service, support, or expertise, it's never far from their reach.

Email is not optional. The number one sales channel is email. So, you absolutely must have an email marketing strategy. Benefits include unrestricted communication with your audience and ownership of the channel. Contrary to social media marketing, your email lists can’t get blocked, paused, or deactivated because you own it. It can also be easily automated so you can work less and earn more. It’s one of the few things in business that you can set and forget, at least for a while.

Other ways to show up. Also consider other mediums and means by which you want to show up. For example, what kind of content will you use to build your audience and your business… blog, video, podcasts, guest blogging, social media engagement?

Will you create recorded or live videos? Make sure you have the equipment and setup to create quality video with good audio.

How often will you publish content? Remember that consumers typically have a very short attention span. Inconsistency or infrequent content delivery will freeze your leads faster than liquid nitrogen.

What will you talk or write about? Create a content calendar with about seven different content themes related to your solution and useful to your target audience. You can than home in on each theme with different content throughout the year.

What platforms will you use? Several platforms offer live video. Some examples are Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. Blogs are best served from your own personal website and can also be shared on other platforms such as Medium and social media. You can deliver podcasts on platforms such as Spotify, Buzzsprout, and Soundcloud. For guest blogging or guest podcasting, connect with people who share the same target audience and cross market (they market to your audience, you market to theirs).

Finally, consider repurposing your content to reach a wider audience. For example, video transcripts can be turned into blogs, its audio can be converted to podcasts, its cover image can be converted to an Instagram post, etc.

Convert your leads to customers. Toward what will you nudge leads? After you’ve captured a lead, what do you want from them? What is your objective for them? Do you want them to join a newsletter, listen to your broadcast, become a FB group member, try or buy your solution?

Most potential buyers need to be nurtured to the finish line. They want to know that your offering will deliver the value it promises and the value they expect. They need to know what they are purchasing and what it will do for them. They need to trust you and your brand to deliver. You, as the offeror, bear the burden of proof. You have to get potential buyers to the place where they feel they are making a good purchasing decision that will in fact solve their problem. Sometimes this means allowing them to try it at a lower risk compared to the risk associated with the primary offer.

Consider creating a tripwire product – a low-cost sampling of your product that will turn your lead into a customer. Statistics show that first time buyers are difficult to snag, but second-time customers are much easier. Welcome your audience to become customers with a high-quality, low-risk sample of your solution.

For example, if you provide a service, offer a report, template, digital download, or something that is already part of your higher cost offering. If you sell goods, offer sample sizes or lower-cost versions.

Another method some companies use is free offers. They give something away in hopes of turning the lead into a customer someday. This slows the sales funnel down but has proven an effective marketing tool for some very successful organizations.

Additionally, if you sell a membership or subscription, offering a free trial or demo can convert leads to customers. The best part about trials is that you determine how long you’ll give the customer to make up their minds and buy, while also creating a sense of urgency.

Q7: How will you deliver value to buyers?

 

Inputs and outputs. A business is not a business without a product. Think about what your value promise is and how you want to deliver it. Your inputs may be knowledge, skill, time, or actual raw materials. Your outputs can be a digital or physical product or a service.

What raw material do you need to deliver on your promise? Think about what you’ll need to create or purchase to deliver what you say your solution will deliver.

What processes are required to convert those raw inputs to finished goods? Consider the work and resources needed to convert raw material into a finished product.

How will you get the solution to your customer once they’ve paid? Let’s talk logistics. You’ll need to manage inventory and delivery of physical goods, make digital products available for purchase and download or access. What tools will you use to accomplish this? What vendors do you need?

Pricing.

Price your primary offer according to your financial requirements.

  • How much does it cost to produce and deliver the product?
  • How much product can you produce and at what frequency?
  • How much are operational costs such as salaries, taxes, and other overhead?
  • How much money do you need to “take home”?
  • How much of a cushion do you want to leave for cash flow and reinvestment?
  • How much revenue must you charge per unit to cover expenses and profit?

Price your tripwire, freebie, sample, or trial product to be low risk to your target market.

  • How much are they willing to risk to see if you’re the real thing?
  • Select or develop a tripwire with which your costs will be less than the price your audience will be willing to risk but the value will exceed customer expectations.
  • Ensure that the tripwire, freebie, sample, or trial product are both a useful introduction and an enticement to your primary offer without blatant upsells and shameless self-promotion. Do this by demonstrating, rather than boasting about the benefits of your solution.

Summary:

Although a successful business has many moving parts, the most important things to get right quickly are the product, marketing, and delivery strategies. Taking the time to answer these seven questions will have you well on your way to owning a revenue generating machine.

Seven steps to startup…

  1. Identify a product
  2. Identify the market for the product
  3. Understand your market’s pain points.
  4. Create a brand your market will rally around.
  5. Let your paid leads lead the way.
  6. Show up in email AND wherever your audience is.
  7. Deliver the goods.

Complete the attached worksheet and grids and start implementing your startup strategy right away.

The steps outlined in this report are essentially your feasibility test. You’ll develop a product concept, bring it to market, and test its profitability.

If you develop a solution that people pay for and present it to the people who will pay for it in a way that appeals to them, this is the start of your business.

If you don’t do these 2 things, you’ll have to tweak your product or marketing strategies until you establish feasibility.

Deshina Buck

Deshina Buck

Founder & CEO of Stratinuity and Creator of LevelUp - The All-in-one Business Platform That Helps You Do More With More.

After 20+ years of starting businesses, I've learned that the best way to grow a business is to adapt quickly and lean on those who know what you don't know.

See How We Can Grow Your Business

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