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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Simple Start-Up Success


"Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth. "- Peter Drucker  
Innovation and Entrepreneurship
 
Too many entrepreneurs believe that they have to build the next big thing.  I always like the concept of piggybacking on the success of others.  You know, that ancient business approach of building a better mouse trap rather than simply trying to replace the mouse trap.

Why?

Let's attack the obvious first. The mouse trap you seek to innovate already has an existing audience.  You don't have to search high and low to find them.  You will need to do some market research in order to reach them with what you have for them.  You will need to identify their wants and needs, especially where what you offer falls on their list of priorities.

Your next move is about accessibility.  How do you get access to your audience? Do you purchase a mailing list or do you cold call everyone in the phone book? Do you need to place ads in areas frequented by those who meet the demographic profile of your audience? Is there a low-cost mechanism that will reach a broad audience? Could you tie in with a human interest story for your local newspaper reporter?

How do you make what you have to offer easily accessible to them? Can they order online and off line? Do you have other sites where your products are available? Are you the sole proprietor and the sole soul serving in every capacity of the business? [Uh-Oh, I think I hit a sore spot.]

Make a list and see where you stand.  You may discover that you are on the right track.  Or, you may find yourself way off course and in need of some immediate changes before you find yourself facing serious issues.  In either case, be sure to take the real answers into consideration and do not get into making assumptions regarding your target audience.  Read Inc and Entrepreneur, even Harvard Business Review.  Be sure to check your competition.  Get ideas from those who have a greater amount of the market within their grasp.  You are not seeking a mother lode.  You just want to get a piece of the action.
I guess that I could put in simple terms by saying that I like Inc's "How to Run a One-Person Business." In addition, their site offers some other valuable resources as well.  Essentially, I believe that such sites offer budding entrepreneurs insights and ideas on how to start and sustain their own business whether they are traditional brick and mortar shops or if they are mobilized and globalized ventures.  Check out the landscape before you go setting up shop.  Do your homework and ensure that you are making the right moves in the right direction.

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