You know the feeling you get when the thought of moving forward seems to put you at a standstill, makes you feel like you’re trudging through cement, and everything in your being is telling you not to do it — but somehow, despite all adversity, you keep going?
And when starting a business, you’re going to need a whole lot of courage.
There are going to be signals that seem to scream, “Don’t do it. It’s not going to work.”
But if you really want to start your own business and bring your ideas to life, you’re going to have to push forward and get past those negative thoughts.
After that, you’ll want to grab a piece of paper and write down your concept. Ask yourself: What is it that I’m really trying to get started? And how is it uniquely different from anybody else?
In the marketing world, we call that a USP: Unique Selling Proposition. After you’ve identified what that might be for you, you’re ready to get started putting together the five P’s of starting a business: Pricing, People, Product, Promotions, and Process.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is figure out how you’re going to price your products and services.
Here are a series of questions to help you get started:
- What are your competitors charging? Are you going to underprice them, or charge more than they do?
- Will you implement a subscription cost or a one-time fee? Is it a recurring revenue model where you bill everyone every month, or will you charge a lump sum or by project?
- Are you going to allow people to make incremental payments or after-purchase payments? Will you offer financing or interest-free options?
- Are you going to offer contracts that last set amounts of time? Will you offer discounts if someone goes for the six-month option compared to the three? If someone has been with you for a while — let’s say, a year or so — will you offer them discounted services?
Of course, these are just a few of the many factors that you’ll need to consider when pricing your products. But when you’re looking to start a business, it’s important that you start thinking about pricing as soon as possible so you can forecast how said business will grow.
In addition, when considering your products and programs, it’s important to think about how people will go about getting involved with what you have to offer. Offering freebies and tryouts is a great way to get them interested, but if that doesn’t work for your business model, consider making tiered pricing with options on the low and high end to entice consumers that might be a little hesitant.
Next, you absolutely have to think about the people you want to bring into your business.
Consider the following:
- Who’s gonna run everything? Is it you? Are you actually going to run it, or do you want to operate behind the scenes and have someone else handle the day to day?
- Exactly what kind of people do you need? Do you need people on the front line? A receptionist? Janitorial services? Maintenance workers? Delivery drivers?
- How much are you going to pay those people? Are you going to take care of payroll yourself, or hire an accountant?
Even if your business is small — even if it’s just you and a few folks — thinking about who you want to bring onto your team to help you grow is one of the most important steps in starting a successful business.
Of course, you actually have to offer people something if you want to start a business. So the next step is to figure out what kinds of products or programs you want to provide.
Consider these questions to get started:
- What exactly are you offering? Is it a product or a program? What makes it unique? Will you offer multiple versions? What do those look like?
- What are you going to do to brand your product? What colors and copy do you want to use to strengthen your messaging? How are you going to describe them so they stand out among the rest?
- Will you offer options for potential consumers to try out your product or program for free? Or are you going to have a low-barrier product that people can try for a low amount?
When thinking about your products, it’s vital that you consider what audience you’re trying to reach. What problems do your products solve? What are you really trying to do? You’re not just selling someone a gym membership, you’re selling them a better lifestyle, a stronger mind, and a healthier body. Figure out what that looks like for your business, and get ready to share it with the world.
Next, you have to accept the fact that you’ll probably need to embark on some marketing endeavors if you want to carve out a space for yourself in today’s increasingly competitive market.
- How am I going to market my business? How am I going to tell my community and my customer base about my program and products?
- Who am I marketing to? Who are they on a molecular level? What problems do they face? What do they love, what do they hate? What makes them tick?
- Am I going to market my business myself, or turn to a marketing company to help me out?
- What channels will I use to get my message out there? Is that message better suited for Facebook or LinkedIn? Do I want to create a multi-channel marketing campaign? Do I want to run paid advertisements, or focus on organic growth?
- Will I conduct outreach programs? Will I use influencer marketing or focus on word of mouth? Am I going to offer incentives for people to promote my program to others?
There’s tons of ways you can promote your business, and it might take some trial and error to figure out which will work best for you. If you have the funds, outsourcing your marketing or hiring a marketing expert is always a great route to take — plus, it gives you more time to focus on other things that might require your attention.
Finally, you’ll need to think about the processes you’re going to put into place.
- What processes are essential for your business to thrive? How are you going to formalize those processes?
- Are you going to have a sales system? What’s your payroll process like?
- What are your internal business processes going to look like? How do you get someone onboarded? Are you going to offer benefits?
- How is cleaning going to work? What are your opening procedures like? What’s the first, second, third, etc. thing you need to do to get started? How are you going to close up for the day?
There you have it: Pricing, People, Product, Promotions, and Process. The five P’s of starting a business.
And believe me — planning a business can be tough. But by breaking the whole process down into little pieces, by going step by step, you’ll find you’re heading down the path to greatness in no time at all.
I hope this helped you start thinking about some things you need to do when you’re ready to take all that courage and turn it into a successful business.
If you’re looking for more information about how you can go about starting a business, tune into this week’s episode of my podcast.
As always, thanks for reading my blog. Don’t hesitate to leave me a comment with your thoughts.