The 3 Steps to Starting a Business (Part 1 of 3)

It’s Easier Than You Think

Last week, the crew made their way to the Big Apple for an interview with Fox & Friends, during which Colin and Jason discussed the 52businesses’ “secret” and the importance of recognizing diverse entrepreneurial opportunities. Most importantly, however, Colin spoke a bit on how to quickly and efficiently start a successful business:

“Identify your product: you need to know your product. You need to talk to your customers, then iterate your product. [After that], you need to find out what it costs to acquire a customer, and compare that to what you can make off a customer. Then you decide whether or not it’s a profitable business.”

We’re going to take a deeper dive into the three steps to starting a successful business through this 3 Part series!

Step One: Identify Your Product

It seems like a simple question up front: what is it that you’re going to sell?  Integrating the question “What do I need to make my current situation better?” into your daily life can help you identify a pain point which you, as an entrepreneur, can solve. With this information in mind, you can tweak your product to satisfy a greater percentage of your customers or at least be reaffirmed in the direction you’re taking.

Quick Tip: Avoid the common start-up pitfall of confusing the identification of your product with “developing a product in a vacuum.” There’s more to identification than your dream. No product “sells itself” or when it’s built, “they will come”; your dream needs to be processed into a fully fledged Minimum Viable Product.

Once you’ve answered this initial question, it’s time to really get to know who the target customers for your product are. For us here at 52businesses, we noticed that there is unnecessary stigma surrounding the act of starting a business and running it: all too often you would hear that business startups are too risky. This misunderstanding has dissuaded many in the past and still shake people up to this day. However, with the proper tools and guidance, startups don’t have to be that way at all. The needs of hungry entry entrepreneurs, the battered who carry past failures, and the curious and tentative have helped us identify an opportunity to fill a market space. Thus, 52businesses was born.

Another great example of how to identify your product outside of your initial idea is the story of Jordan Gutierrez. If you want to sell textbooks, students may not be your only customers: Jordan realized that doctors would come from all over Mexico to buy textbooks and equipment from metropolitan areas like the one he happened to be selling coffee in one day. With the observation that this had become standard practice for doctors from small towns (and probably even most third-world countries), he decided to sell textbooks online to professionals at a reasonable price, acting as a great alternative to the trek for goods that weren’t so easily available in less populated/developed areas. The doctors he served coffee to in the mornings helped him see the gap in a market, and he jumped at the opportunity to fill that market space.

After you take this first step, you should have a solid understanding of your product and your customers. Just note that this understanding is constantly evolving. You should always be in tune with your customers and how your product is developing in order to better To find out more about the next step in this process, come back next Thursday for another in-depth view of how to successfully start a business.