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Before I launch a business, there are four things I must establish:
1. what problem(s) am I trying to solve
2. what solution(s) do I offer
3. who do I want to serve
4. how I want to deliver
Items # 1 and 2 are common. I won’t write much about those.
How about item # 3? A lot of people would say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know who my customers are.” But in reality, they don’t have a categorized, focused, target market. They cater all. That’s fine if your product or service is a general solution to a universal problem (e.g. water, electricity, etc) but many of us only have a specific solution to a specific problem. Hence, there is a need to narrow down your target market. Drill down. Be specific.
For example, my target market for my flagship financial service, the Stock Signals, is “a person who needs a data-driven technical analysis – explained in an easy-to-understand language – and holds himself accountable for the decisions he will do.” I cannot serve everyone. I cannot and do not want to serve people who will choose my business so they can pass their inability to hold themselves accountable for the decisions they’ve made in stock trading or investing. How do I filter prospects? I have my own marketing style. I call it “straightforward marketing”. At the onset, I am super clear and frank on what you will get and what you won’t. It’s a great time-saver for me and the prospect. It helps me filter the people whom I only want to do business with. Straightforward.
Let’s talk about item # 4. This is where a lot of people confuse themselves between basing their service delivery on clients’ feedback and knowing exactly how you want to deliver, in connection to item # 3, even before you serve the first order. When I asked some people on how they will deliver their products or services, the usual response was, “Oh well, we’ll do this and that. We’ll just complete or refine our operational processes once we receive customers’ feedback.” I don’t know about you, but I don’t operate like that. You should already know how to execute before you aim and fire. Otherwise, your customers will dictate the flow of your business, especially if you have a weak conviction in standing your ground. You will end up violating item # 3 when that happens. Feedback are welcome, but they must complement and blend well with “how I want to operate” and not corrode it in connection to item # 3. I begin with an end in mind.
How about you? What are the things you ready before you launch a business? Let’s discuss. I’d love to read your comments below.