« Now or never! This is so easy to build a company here! ». You know what to do and the time has come: you want to quit your job, to give up your job search… in one word you want to let your daily routine far behind and take a jump start in the entrepreneur life! Now to be successful, you would rather be prepared to how this will impact your whole life!
15 steps to follow to start your business; 5 left which we will review today in this post. Last but not least, you have just started your journey!
In this last post, we will talk about your environment, your markets and how to open yourself to “others”.
Of course, you have not waited for these last steps to start listening actively to what is going on around you but schizophrenia may begin now: listen to who you are and want to be as an entrepreneur while developing your empathy towards your customers and all other stakeholders in order to sell and live from your business may be very hard to handle!
11. Become an expert on your market
Who are those who may be interested in talking to you, working with you? Where are they? How many are they?
What are their consuming behaviours? Do they know and understand what your products and services are for or is it an innovation you will have to explain to make them understand the benefits of it?
To look further:
– Contact the chambers of commerce around you, from your country and from others too. They may have other views and analyses of the market which could be interesting to hear
– Identify sectorial and professional federations and associations
– Read the specialized media
– Go to events such as conferences, afterworks, seminars…
12. Identify the market players, your direct and indirect competitors
Do not fall in the trap of only looking for their weaknesses to crush them: it may backfire. Your customers are not interested in what others cannot do but what YOU can offer them. Use your analysis to strengthen your quality and what makes you and your services or products unique and perfect to answer your customers’needs.
To know the strengths (and weaknesses) and the communication strategy of your competitors will help you anticipate your arguments and explanations to the questions your prospects will surely ask you.
To go further:
– A “classic” in business but very useful if you manage not too stay superficial: the SWOT analysis
Do not forget to consider 3 areas: you, your business and your market (first, second and third lines). Everything is always bond whether we like it or not.
13. Identify opportunities and anticipate risks
Watch your market, listen to it. Now comes the time to use intelligence technics! Every comment, article, job offer may bring you useful data. Read between the lines, crunch data, see how information is linked to identify weak signals and growing trends from the beginning.
Follow what is going on politically, legally, economically, socially, culturally, technologically…. You may not be able or interested in acting on those sectors but you may use them to build your messages, to go forward and make the market listen to you and understand.
To go further:
– This all deals with market studies of course but not only. Opportunities and risks can’t be totally represented in a market study which is static. Learn to listen to what happens around you and how to use this information in a way or another. Move from market studies to market and strategic intelligence!
14. Be empathetic
Your vision will exist if and only if it is heard and understood by your potential customers. You know what you want to sell; you need to create a bridge between your aspirations and your targets.
What do your customers look for? Time, adrenalin, fantasy, calm…?
What are the cultures they belong to? Which situations and behaviours do they prefer or try to avoid? This point is where you adapt your actions and communication.
Do not wait for everything to be perfect!
Dare start, fail, start over again, succeed;
Dare take time and learn to be patient.
To look further:
– TED Talk: In the mind of a master procrastinator
You have now everything you need to write your business plan down! Do not jump over this step. Business plans are not only financial documents. Writing a business plan is about writing down your ideas, validate their feasibility, identify gaps. Writing a business plan give you the steps to follow and be able to watch your evolution in your project path.
It will change while you test, discuss, build your network.
Good to know when you start a business in Sweden
– It is not mandatory to register to Bolagsverket if you create an “enskild firma”. The protection of your brand will by default be on a communal level. It will be very expensive to extend the protection to the entire region and even worth to the country.
– Before pushing on the Go button on Skatteverket website, visit Arbetsfôrmedlingen to talk about your project. You may earn to financial support for a 6-month period!
– Do not hesitate to contact Nyföretagscentrum to assist you in your first steps as an entrepreneur. By the way, I am one of their partners in the Söder Centrum 😉
Let’s sum up!
- Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses
- Be clear with the reasons why you started this adventure
- Measure your commitment
- Work on your added value, your Unique Selling Point (USP)
- Define your vision and be clear of your personal and business objectives
- Outline the vision, the mission and the values of your company
- Define your products and services
- Do not neglect administrative follow-up and financial means
- Set a price
- Be visible
- Become an expert on your market
- Identify the market players, your direct and indirect competitors
- Identify opportunities and anticipate risks
- Be empathetic