It’s true to say that every idea has been done before; just how many times have you noticed Star Wars’ story in the cinema, under a different title. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing; in fact, it can work to your advantage.
Have a Winning Idea
Not every idea needs to be an original, high-concept one, but it does need to have something different about it to help it stand out. Let’s take an example. Coca-Cola and Pepsi are both an idea for a soda drink with a certain flavor but what makes them different is the taste – and the marketing. If you have an idea that’s been done before, don’t bin it, first ask what makes it different.
Know Your Market
When you’ve got your winning idea, it’s time to research it online and compare the market. You’ll want to know what the competition is doing right and wrong. It’s a good idea to follow them on social media, sign up to their mailing lists, and even buy their products. As part of your research, you want to experience their product as a customer’s (but wearing your researcher’s hat, of course). You might find out some interesting and useful ideas that you can implement in your business to make it more successful and competitive from the get-go. Many companies use Cloud Computing; for instance – this might be something you get on-board with from the start.
Know Your Value
It can be extremely easy to undervalue yourself, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in a particular area. The tendency is to set your value lower than what the marketplace expects because you don’t feel you have the authority or credentials to charge more. This is a mistake. You may not be the most experienced entrepreneur on the Internet, but you will know enough to sell your product or service to customers. They will expect to pay a certain price, and if you offer your product below market value, you will be sending them the wrong message. You will be telling them that your product is inferior in some way.
Keep Your Day Job
Regardless of whether you are immediately successful or not – chances are you won’t be, but best of luck – it’s a good idea to keep your day job for the foreseeable. Being successful online is a sort of balancing act. You need to grow the business in the same way you might grow a tomato plant. Give it soil and water, light, and nutrients, and it will grow steadily into what you want. Until then, you need to keep an income coming in. It doesn’t have to make you rich, but if it pays the bills while your business gets off the ground – that’s good enough.
Basic organization can take you a long way, and in some cases, it can be the difference between success and failure. A solid business plan can help here. If you know your financial responsibilities, and you’re committed to your short and long term goals, your strategy should be easy to see and implement. Don’t be afraid to review your SMART goals and business plan regularly – there’s no such thing as too much planning.