Starting a business is more than just a good idea

Every day we have people walk through our doors across the country with a great idea. There are some really talented, strategic, creative and open-minded thinkers out there. Their ideas often originate out of an existing frustration, something they’ve seen or something they have experienced.

At this point in the business life cycle, excitement and motivation is strong, but where is this being directed?

An idea and a cool name are not enough to make a business successful. Your people, your business model, your marketing, timing…there are umpteen reasons businesses can succeed and fail.

As a business, you need to consider the competition, how you will spread the word, whilst also building trust for your business and brand.

Outside of the belief that marketing is a great TV ad, marketing in simple terms is how you communicate your brand. If you’re not communicating your brand, how do you sell your brand to your audience?

What’s even harder is if your idea is something that no one currently has the need for. You need to create the demand for that category. You need to ask yourself – what’s the compelling reason for them to engage in my brand, what’s the benefit, does it have a factor that will attract leaders within my community to spread the word for me, why should people trust me?

You need to build trust with happy customers, satisfied users, and people of credibility who can put their name to the brand. This all creates trust. Placing an ad in a newspaper doesn’t. Trust isn’t a quick fix.

Doing the hard yards often happens behind the scenes of successful businesses, what the average Joe doesn’t see. A nice example is Airbnb which began in 2007 when two mates were struggling to pay their rent. There was a conference heading to San Francisco and all hotels were fully booked, so they came up with the idea of renting out three airbeds on their living-room floor and cooking their guests breakfast.

The next day they created a website. Six days later they had three people from all walks of life paying $80 each sleeping on their rented apartment floor.

In 2008, there was a Democratic Convention with an expected 80,000 people attending. The boys finished a new website, launching it a couple of weeks before the conference. Within a week they had 800 listings.

The boys promoted the category of an easy alternative for people to make money off their property in the short term whilst travellers saw a great alternative to inflated hotel rates during an event.

They aligned themselves with a grand scale event, and then once they had the listings, they told everyone about it. The snowball began.

So, how will you go after your first set of clients and customers? And how will you leverage them to give your brand credibility?

Find that point of difference, tell people about it and do things to build trust in your brand.

Michael Kava, Founder and Director, Little Marketing Group

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