Sherrill Mosee is the founder and inventor of minkeeblue, a handbag with shelves. It makes it easy for lady’s to compartmentalize their handbags and easily store shoes, lunch, and other items in it. At Lamar Tyler’s, Traffic, Sales and Profit event, Sherill gave her insights and tips in how she started and built her business.
Are you an aspiring entrepreneur looking to start your own product-based business?
Starting a business can be both exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
We will focus on important areas such as decision-making, industry knowledge, target market, intellectual property, and budget, to name a few. By the end of this blog post, you will have a clear understanding of how to transform your business idea into a successful venture.
Get Out Of Your Head. Fear Will Come Don’t Let It Stop You
Starting a business can be scary, especially when you are not sure about the outcome. It is natural to have fears, but don’t let them hold you back. Instead, channel that energy into something productive. Keep reminding yourself of why you started your business in the first place. Fear is an indication that you are stepping out of your comfort zone, and it’s an essential ingredient for entrepreneurial success.
Make a Decision
The first step in starting your product-based business is to make a decision. Decide on what you want to offer, who your target market is, and how you plan to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Making a decision helps to focus your energy, resources, and efforts towards a specific goal. You can always refine your decision later on, but it’s important to start with a clear vision.
Define Your Differentiator
To succeed in the competitive world of business, you need to have a clear differentiation. What sets your product apart from the rest? Is it quality, price, design, branding? It’s essential to define your differentiator to target the right market and be successful in the long run.
Learn the Industry, You’ll make fewer mistakes.
It is essential to equip yourself with knowledge about the industry you want to enter. Conduct market research, attend conferences, and networking events. Partner with experts who understand the market. This will help you avoid making costly mistakes that can impede the growth of your business.
Don’t move so fast that you make too many fatal mistakes.
Don’t blame others about mistakes you could prevent.
As an entrepreneur, you have to manage the growth of your business wisely. Don’t move too fast that you make critical mistakes that can be detrimental to your business. Blaming others for your missteps won’t help. Take responsibility for your actions and learn from them.
Form Relationships as Partners Not Just a Transaction
Successful businesses rely on strong partnerships. Build relationships based on trust, mutual benefit, and shared values. Treat your partners as an extension of your business, and not just as a transaction. It is essential to build relationships with suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and customers.
Sustainable Businesses Provide A Solution to a Problem
Most successful businesses are founded on the idea of solving a problem. What problem does your product solve? Understanding the problem your product addresses will help you communicate effectively with your target market and build a loyal customer base.
Know Your Target Market
A clear understanding of your target market is essential for any business. Demographic and psychographic data give insights into your customer’s behavior, preferences, and buying habits. With this knowledge, you can create marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience and ultimately drive sales.
Most inventions are an improvement of what’s already on the market
Your business idea doesn’t have to be entirely new. Most successful businesses are built on an existing concept, but with a twist. Assessing what’s already on the market and improving on it can help you create a successful business.
Protect Your Intellectual Property
Your intellect property is valuable. It is essential to protect your trademarks, copyrights, and patents. This will prevent someone else from using your ideas and profiting from them. Consulting with legal experts in this area is essential for any entrepreneur.
Find a Manufacturing Partner
Once you have defined your product and target market, it’s time to find a manufacturing partner. You have three options to consider (Trading company, sourcing agent/agency, Factory direct.) Assessing the pros and cons of each option will help you choose the right partner for your business.
You can’t keep someone from stealing your idea
(There is no such thing as 100% protection)
Entrepreneurs need to be aware that they can’t keep their ideas completely safe from theft. However, registering your intellectual property and protecting it with legal contracts can minimize the risk of theft.
Create a startup budget
Starting a business requires financial investment. Create a startup budget that outlines your business costs, including overhead expenses, and other operational costs. This will help you plan your cash flow and avoid financial surprises later on.
Seek advice, mentorship, join groups
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Joining groups, seeking mentorship, and seeking advice from experts can be invaluable resources. Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, attend workshops, and network as much as possible. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there, and you can never stop learning.
Starting and growing a product-based business requires patience, determination, and resilience. Taking the time to research, plan, and execute will help you build a business that stands the test of time. Remember to define your differentiator, know your target market, protect your intellectual property, and seek advice from experts. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but ensure that you learn from them, pivot where necessary, and ultimately grow your business beyond your wildest dreams.