Aspiring entrepreneurs will have to search for the best online business courses to obtain the knowledge they need to start their own business, as traditional universities can no longer help them in this task. This is why large company owners are turning to online courses on project development and team management more and more often. In this guide, we will share with you how to start a business from scratch, what to pay attention to when presenting a project to a potential investor and where you can learn all of this.
First steps towards creating your own business
One might think that it all sounds very simple — all you need to do is to create a business plan, follow the recommendations of successful business people, find investments, and promote your business. But in reality, the process of starting a business is easy only on paper (and even then it is not always the case). All the best online business courses suggest starting from the beginning, that is, with an idea. You need to go over it from all angles. But what if you have an idea but do not understand what you must do to make it a reality?
1. Study the market.
It is likely that your idea in one form or another has already been realized. Maybe a similar project already exists in another country’s market or is included in a large corporation’s structure. If you managed to find a project that is very similar to your dream project or is almost completely the same, but you do not want to abandon your idea, try to refine it and give it distinctive features. And Lectera’s free “From Idea to Working Business” course designed specifically for aspiring entrepreneurs will help you with this.
2. Find a niche in which your idea can develop.
For example, the market you want to enter is already full of various baby food brands. What do you do? Should you look for another market? No way! Just look around for a narrower place. For example, in the baby food niche, your chance may be to manufacture and sell food for babies of certain ages or children with allergies.
3. Study the major niche players to define the uniqueness of your offer.
For example, your baby food will contain supplements that are essential for babies between the ages of one and three years old with certain medical conditions. Or the food you offer will replace a whole complex of cereals from other manufacturers due to the increased calorie content. Don’t rely solely on the low cost of the product — it is unlikely to lead your business to prosperity. You need to create unique benefits.
4. Determine your target audience.
Perhaps your baby food will be available in supermarkets. Then the target audience will be parents of children with special food requirements. Or, perhaps, it will be sold only in pharmacies, which will simplify the process of acquainting consulting physicians with your new product. To perfect this, use the best online business courses from Lectera and after a free course you will be able to draw up a portrait (or portraits) of a potential buyer, which you need to “aim” at. This step will make it easier for you to release a truly in-demand product.
5. Create a description or beta version of the product.
Based on the information received from the course, try to describe or make a simulation of your final product. What exactly will you add to baby food? Why do you want to choose these ingredients specifically? How much will it cost and where can you do it? Will you produce the product yourself or use someone else’s facilities (for example, contract manufacturing) for this? We understand that if you do not own the necessary amount of money you need to start a business, you will not be able to fully model the future product. But in order for an accelerator investor to become interested in your offer, you must at least present it clearly, accessibly, and favourably.
Do you want to be fully prepared to present your idea to potential investors? Then answer the following questions:
- What makes your product unique and special?
- Why does the market need it right now?
- What problems does it solve and how?
- Why did you decide to create this particular product? Do you have experience in this area (for example, you have been looking for the right baby food for your child for a long time, but have not found it)?
- What are the advantages of this product? Does it have any disadvantages?
- How did you manage to define your target audience?
- How do you plan to promote your product? Where will you sell it?
- What kind of team will create your product? What kind of specialists do you want to involve in the product development?
- How much will your product cost and why?
- How much money will you need to create prototypes, launch the product, and start sales?
- How soon can this product pay for itself? How will it do so? What profit do you expect to receive in a year? And in three years?
How to create an offer that will be a success in the market?
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for bestsellers (no matter what business gurus or Instagram coaches tell you). But there are the main points that are being worked out everywhere. You can find them in the Lectera “Creating a Product From Scratch” programme, one of the best online business courses available. It also contains detailed information on the study of competition and target audience. You must thoroughly consider your competitors, potential customers, and market capacity even before launching the pilot version of the product.
We advise you to take consumer surveys especially seriously. Questionnaires and in-depth interviews will help you refine your offer, and working with reviews will allow you to adapt the finished product to the realities of the market. You won’t be able to avoid a “collision” with the buyers’ opinion — it’s very hard to guess correctly what exactly your target audience wants to see and what characteristics are actually important for it. Remember that the more thoroughly you prepare to launch a business, the faster you will reach break-even point and get the first profit. Do you think this is too much and you won’t handle this amount of work? Then proceed to the next paragraph.
How to manage a startup team
Imagine that you have decided on an idea, have already studied the market, and followed advice from the best online business courses, thanks to which you have found funding for your project. Now you want to create the first version of the future product. But don’t do this alone! You will definitely need assistants and efficient specialists.
You may be able to launch a business page on your own, be it a one-page website or an account on a social network, but you are unlikely to run a successful marketing company without the appropriate education. The same applies to creating high-quality SEO texts to promote your product, publicizing your project in industry publications (and in other fields, too), working with customers, and manufacturing your product.
Have you already assembled a small team? Now focus on managing it! The Lectera course “Managing Business Effectively on Agile Methodology” will help you cope with this task. The materials from the course are accessible and explain in detail how to lead a team of at least two or even two hundred people, to effectively distribute tasks and control their execution without getting frustrated at the slightest pretext.
Building your own business is not the easiest career choice. However, if, after reading this article, you realized that your project can cause a sensation in the market, start implementing it immediately, before you are outshined by competitors pitching new ideas every minute. And, of course, do not forget to do your field research and keep up to date with new trends — the success of your business largely depends on it.