Every business has its ups and downs, but successful entrepreneurs are the ones who learn from their mistakes and find ways to overcome them. When you start your business, you invest your time, money, and efforts to make it successful. They say that a great venture begins with a great idea, but it also takes endless research, ample amounts of hard work, financial abilities, and a willingness to face each challenge upfront. Here is some business advice for entrepreneurs, just like you, that will help keep your business ready to face any challenge.
1. Do your market research to understand your competitors
The success of your business lies in the answers to the three questions:
- What is the purpose of your product or the service you are providing?
- Who is going to use it?
- What are the alternatives available to your customers?
In-depth research of your market will help you find answers to these questions. You may think that your product is what the world needs, but only rigorous market research can help you validate that thought. While doing market research, you will identify your customers’ pain points. These help you understand what your customers like about the products already available in the market and identify the gap areas where your product can flourish. A good understanding of your market will help you make better business decisions and avoid the obstacles before you encounter them.
2. Know your business funding options
Having access to enough financial resources will help you focus on the growth aspects of your business. If you can barely meet your business expenses, then most of your efforts and time goes into developing your income stream rather than growth or business expansion. It’s better to have the finances sorted out beforehand rather than waiting for your newly started business to develop a steady inflow of cash. Your best option may be to apply for a business loan. There are various loan options available to SMEs.
When you apply for a business loan with CreditEnable, we help you find the best loan option suitable to your needs. If you don’t own any property or cannot offer collateral, you can apply for an Unsecured Business Loan. If you want to buy equipment for your factory, you can go for a Machinery Loan. Another funding option is to apply for a Working Capital Loan to cover your administrative and overhead expenses.
3. Get hands-on experience first
Experience is key when running a successful business. You do internships to gain experience if you want to work for an MNC or a public office, so why not get some experience before starting your own entrepreneurial journey? This is one of the best pieces of business advice for entrepreneurs we’ve ever got.
India today is at the peak of its entrepreneurial culture. To understand the real-time challenges you may face, you can associate yourself with a business similar to yours and get hands-on experience. When you closely look at the challenges that businesses in your niche or sector face, you will be able to develop solutions to overcome them before you even start your own venture. You will also get a chance to learn how other businesses in the market are tackling these situations.
4. Test your business idea
The best way to find out if your business idea will work or not is to conduct a test run. Offering your product or services for free to a sample set of your target customers is the best way to test your business idea. You will receive valuable feedback, and it will help you understand what will work and what won’t before you begin your full-scale operations.
5. Have a clear idea of who your customers are
Identify the best set of people who need your product/service. These people will not only buy your product but also become your spokespersons if they are happy with it. When a customer is truly happy with your services, they will recommend it to other people who may benefit from it. So, having a good understanding of who your customer is will help you strategize your marketing plan and refine your market strategy to reach the correct target audience.
Doing continuous research on your market and your audience will help you understand where your business stands against the competition and what your key performing areas in the market are.
6. Pitch your business idea to professionals for feedback
One significant piece of business advice for entrepreneurs is to seek professional feedback. Once you’ve developed your business concept, you need to create a strong pitch to sell your product or service. Remember that your pitch decides the future of your product. The stronger your pitch is, the more confident your customer is to buy from you.
One of the most efficient ways to understand if your product or service is worth the effort you are putting into it is to take feedback from someone who has tried out their luck in your target market and came out successful. Find professionals in your niche, pitch to them, listen to their feedback and incorporate it into your business plan to make it more likely to succeed.
7. Make an agile business model
The economy right now is as unpredictable as it can be, yet consumers are more informed and willing to try out new things.
When building your business model, remember to always develop Plan B and C to prepare for the “known-unknown” situations. Your business needs to be ready for anything that comes up tomorrow.
An agile business model helps you push through uncertainty. Take the lockdown as an example – when the pandemic began, many small businesses shut down during the first national lockdown because they lacked the ability or the infrastructure to operate remotely. At the same time, many small businesses also flourished because they adapted to the changes. Almost all pharmacies began home-delivery, some restaurants set up cloud kitchens to continue working even when customers couldn’t dine-in, and even bookstores set up home-delivery systems overnight to keep readers stuck at home occupied and happy.
An agile business model will help you adapt to most challenges, especially when your product or service is directly affected by the external factors, not in your control.
8. Rely on your friends and family for advice and support
Your loved ones are your biggest critics, but they are also your loudest cheerleaders. Another piece of business advice for entrepreneurs we swear by is relying on your friends and family. Share your business idea with them, use them as a sounding board, and get their feedback as an objective consumer who may one day seek this service. This is valuable free advice and feedback that you can incorporate into your business ideation stage.
9. Establish a social media presence
Having a social media presence is very crucial for businesses today. Social media has proven to be the most effective way for businesses to reach their audience. With so many social media platforms available now, you need to identify one or two platforms your target customers use and build your brand on there. Make this a part of your market research plan, see which platforms your competitors use, and start your brand pages there.
After starting your social media accounts, remember to interact with your customers. Social media is the easiest way to get to know your customers and their needs and bring your brand in front of them. So, make the most of it by regularly checking in on customers, keeping them updated about your products, services, and developments, and checking out what’s trending in your sector.
10. Register your business
Another piece of very important business advice for entrepreneurs is to register your business from day one.
When you register your business, it becomes a legal entity, and you can obtain the necessary permits and licences to operate. A registered business is more likely to be perceived as legitimate and trustworthy to customers and lenders alike.
There are various benefits of registering your business, including the ability to borrow from a formal lender. Your business registration determines your business vintage. If your business vintage is more than two years, you can even avail a loan with a lesser rate of interest. Once registered, you can even get a collateral-free loan to grow your business.
CreditEnable partners with 25+ leading lenders in India, and all our lender partners only lend to registered businesses. Once the lender establishes your business vintage via your registration documents, your business becomes more credible, and if you meet their other eligibility criteria, our lender partners are more likely to lend to you.
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