Are you doing your research?

How important is research? Is it really necessary? Or can you just go with your gut instinct? If you are really serious about building a successful business, I urge you not to by pass this step. In fact, this crucial step in starting and growing your business can make or break you in the blink of an eye.

Let me break it down. You have this super awesome idea for a business or for an extension of your business. You happen to see something like it so you think it must work if that other thing is working. Or 1 person asked you to do this little extra thing and you think- wow, I can add this new service- based on 1 person asking you. So you invest time, money and resources and then you hear crickets!!!!!!

Why? Why? Why? Because you did not do the research.

You do not have a real sense of who will buy, how much they will pay, how often they will buy, how they want it delivered, nothing, nada. You went straight into launch mode because of a gut feeling! Doing research is paramount to your success. I cannot repeat it enough.

And before you get all winey and complainey, let me just say that doing the research for your business can actually be one of the most enjoyable parts of starting and growing your business. Research can happen in a number of ways:

  1. Conduct a survey using a free tool like Survey Monkey. Get real feedback from people about what they want and need
  2. Do a short poll in your group or page
  3. Come out and ask everybody who you are currently serving. Every time they make a purchase, ask them a question
  4. Through your email list, just ask 1 pertinent question and ask them to respond to the email
  5. Sampling if you have a product to gather if it is something people would eat or drink
  6. Host a small gathering of friends/family and ask them 10 questions each

 

Do this right and the information you gather will be gold. In fact do not rely on just one method. Combine some of the methods above so you get a variety of answers for comparison. If you already know your target audience, you can get very specific but if you are not sure about who will need your solution, then spread your net as wide as possible and gather intel. After the first batch of research and you have narrowed down your audience, do some more research so you can start to get some more specific answers.

Research is not something that is conducted only when you start business though. It should be conducted every year in your business to ensure that you are meeting the needs of your ideal clients; to garner what needs to be improved or changed and to give you a sense of the way forward for your brand.

Research, research, research….you just cannot skip this out of your business strategy. Not sure what to ask, how to ask or where to ask, then let’s get on a FREE 30 minute discovery call and chart a way forward

Thinking beyond our shores

So you launch your business idea and it is picking up momentum but after a few months you realise that you have plateaued and of course you automatically go into panic mode. You wonder if you are doing enough and if you can sustain your business. The usual feelings of anxiety and worry start to take over and then you pause, because you realise that maybe just maybe your vision is too small. Do not fear this happens to alot of entrepreneurs!

We are taught to believe that we need to think small. That when we launch we have to launch small and capture a small audience first. That we have to nurture them for a long time before we branch off into bigger territory but the truth is that once you have done the research and your business is viable there is no reason for you to stay hidden in the shores of your island or country where you reside.

There are millions of people around the world who are waiting to buy from you.

In fact I know some local entrepreneurs who get their greatest sales from overseas clients! This could be you to if only you would broaden your perspective and outlook on who really needs your services. You need a global mindset!

And it really does not matter what industry you are in, service or retail, there more than likely a market regionally and internationally for what you are providing. How would you know? Start by doing some research. Create a survey and send out to all your friends and family living away. Share the survey in groups or on your social media profile. Ask questions about exactly what they may be looking for and tailor your business to suit. Now it may mean that to handle the international shipping and handling of your business may take some work but it definitely is not impossible. Don’t you buy goods made from China and Europe everyday? Don’t you listen to webinars and buy short courses from persons from around the world? So why should you be any different?

me in tobago

For many Caribbean entrepreneurs, this is a big struggle. I understand it, because we have grown up in an era where foreign translates to ‘better’. But as more and more businesses are popping up and more persons are collaborating and seeing the potential for bigger and better things, it is your duty to share your skills, your talents and your vision with the rest of the world. It is more than just about the money. But it is about filling a need and a gap like no one else could. Putting your unique spin on your idea and taking charge of your vision to make it come to life.

It starts with shifting your mindset about the possibilities for your business. Once you believe that you can do it then jump in and do it. Get the research done, tweak your ideal client avatar and then start to engage with and build relationships with persons outside of your shores. Think regionally and internationally. In some cases, this is where your biggest sales may actually come in. And put a spin on it by targeting foreigners who visit our shores who you know need and want your service when they do visit. There are multiple ways for you to make your business successful internationally if only you would allow yourself the chance to actually do it.

Before you start with the excuses of why this would not work for your business, let’s hop on a FREE 30 minute discovery call so we can chat about exactly how it can actually work for you

The thing holding you back is you

The thing keeping you back from achieving exactly what you want is YOU! I know that may come as a shock to many people reading this but the truth is that if you would choose to get out of your own way, you would get so.much more accomplished everyday.
The usual stages of entrepreneurship is
1. Coming up with a great idea
2. Start complaining that you don’t have the money to fund it, or no support, or you just don’t know what to do.
Granted you may need help because you are not versed in social media, sales or developing a business or marketing plan, but with the age of technology, saying you do not know is basically a cop out. There are an onslaught of videos and tutorials literally teaching what to do step by step. Agencies have been formed worldwide with the sole purpose of helping you launch and grow your business. There are templates and swipe files littering the world wide web for you to steal and develop your own version. Not to mention the plethora of experts everywhere who are eager to show you how.
But instead of taking the time to shift through all the resources available at your fingertips, you sit and complain or created horrific scenarios in your head about the worse thing that could happen to you in business. You create a system of doubt and fear so deep that you do not know how to pull yourself out. YOU put up barriers to growth and sustainability and then blame it on the economy or the lack of something magnificent.
If you want success and to create a business that truly helps others then take a deep breath and step out of the way. Get out of your way. Tell your doubting complaining self to step aside while you get to work. When you take the reigns back then you are ready to move forward.
You do not need a huge budget to start. You do not need the support of family and friends (shocking!). You do not need to be the cheapest or the loudest. What you need is a goal, commitment, focus and consistency. Those 4 things are what you need everyday to succeed. Get into action everyday to grow your business bigger than the last day. To talk to 1 or 2 new persons per day. To stop hiding behind your computer. To get uncomfortable until you are comfortable. YOU have to make that choice every morning when you jump.out of bed to pursue this dream.
Things work when you put in the work. This align when you have a goal and a clear vision and do actionable steps to get you to where you want to be. You and only you have that power.
Are you ready to kick the old YOU to the curb and welcome the brand new reformed version of YOU who is ready to work and make things happen? And if you are really serious then you would get on a FREE discovery call with me this week