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Starting a New Business
Having a business idea for what you believe to be the next best thing is one thing. Determining whether or not it will be successful and bringing it to market is quite another. While it takes hard work and dedication to work towards your dream and bring it to fruition, you can do it using your ingenuity and following these tips.
Conduct Market Research
One of the first things you need to know when starting a new business, but before you bring your product to market, is how it will be received. There are a variety of ways to do this, but one of the most efficient and productive methods is through the use of the MaxDiff tool.
The MaxDiff tool is an important one to keep in your proverbial business toolbox. This method uses the survey vehicle to ask respondents what is most important and least important to them based on their preferences and respective value sets.
Market research is effective in helping your company fine-tune its products to better suit what your potential consumer base and the buying public at large are interested in. The data gleaned from the surveys will help you refine what you have based on survey feedback.
Research Patents and Trademarks
Just because you have a great idea for a product doesn’t mean that someone else hasn’t come up with their own similar idea in the past. Before you go too far down the road with your business idea and sink money into something that may not have the potential to work for you, you need to do your due diligence.
Use the available resources online, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office or USPTO, to begin the research process. If you find that you’re having difficulty or feel there might be a potential for copyright or trademark infringement, always seek the advice of a qualified patent lawyer before proceeding. You don’t want to fully bring your product to market only to have an existing company file an infringement lawsuit against you and lose money in the process.
Here is a helpful website to get you started on your research process:
Test Small Markets
Once you have your product honed into a more enticing and marketable form, it’s time to conduct further testing. This time, you should actually bring it to market, but do so in small batches.
Find local small business vendor expos, farmers’ markets that offer space for other vendors, or open a pop-up shop within another business’ current storefront. Consider handing out free samples along with your business and social media information. Or invite people to try out your products then and there so you can see their reactions and hear their comments.
Asking your friends and family members to test your products is another good way to test the marketability. Do note that sometimes these groups of people come with an inherent bias as they are emotionally invested in seeing you succeed. However, you can still gain valuable information from their overall responses and learn from how they interact with your product.
Create Business Social Media Accounts
You’re already active on social media and probably touting the upcoming wares on your personal channels. That’s a good way to get started, but you will need professional accounts when starting a new business too. Your personal social media accounts reflect who you are, and that is often of interest to potential consumers; however, your company’s socials are an opportunity to showcase what you are selling beyond where you ate last night (there’s no shame in posting your dining out pictures, of course – they just aren’t relevant to your new business).
Start your social media endeavors by selecting only as many platforms as you can manage. Since you may be in the early stages of developing your business, you might not have many, if any, other employees than yourself. You don’t want to spend all your valuable time posting updates and wearing yourself out before you truly get started.
Look at the general demographics you’re marketing to with your product and use the applicable social media platforms to reach them. There is, however, a broad reach among many of the platforms. YouTube, for example, has content that varies in audience age and demographics. Be selective at first, and you can always decide to expand to other platforms later.
Get started on your new business ventures the right way. Do your research, test the products, and find out what works best. Manage your priorities and time, and you will soon be on the path to success.
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