Existence is the first step towards operation, and gradually, success. In the early startup phase of your business, it’s up to you to manage and consider every single aspect of operations. This is the period where you need to work the hardest and be the most creative to attract customers and provide the best product or service that you’re capable of.
What is the Existence Stage?
The existence stage is the very beginning of any business. The biggest challenge in this stage is generating demand for your product or service. This is a period of first-hand learning and experiences, where you’ll tackle problems like product and service viability and cash flow.
In this stage, you as the owner perform most of the tasks. Your goal for the business is existence and function. Often, you’ll use your own money or a small business loan to help stay afloat.
Some of the questions to consider as you validate your business’s existence include:
- Who are your customers and what do they want?
- Who are your competitors and what are they doing?
- What do you want to achieve and what is your plan?
The key to surpassing existence and becoming a viable business requires that you focus on your core and provide value all while managing everyday aspects of day-to-day operations. To do so, consider these six areas of focus.
Focus on Your Core Business
Always remain true to your business purpose, values and mission. This helps drive your business in the straight direction towards achieving your goals rather than getting mixed up in other schemes and ventures that aren’t in alignment. If you remain steadfast and concentrate your energies on your core business, success will follow.
Define a Market Niche
Your product or service must attract and appeal to your target market in order to generate demand. Uniqueness and distinction will set you apart in the industry, and will attract the customers you’re looking for.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses, create your value proposition and define your market niche. Then, narrow your focus on serving that niche with excellence before expanding.
Articulate your Competitive Advantage
Before you are ready to plan all your marketing and pricing strategies, it is essential to examine what techniques and promotions are being deployed by the competition. This will help you stay competitive and maintain an edge in the market.
Your aim is to be unique, and counter your competitors with a greater, more attractive value proposition. Your customers need to know why they should pick you over the countless other businesses who provide similar services or products.
Manage Cash Flow
Liquidity and solvency are the biggest problems during the earliest stage of business. Be sure to manage your cash flow, avoid waste, and keep a check on each and every dollar that is spent. If you are bad at managing finances, hire a professional accountant to do it for you.
Acquiring customers is always cited as the most challenging aspect of running a business at every stage of small business growth. The key to acquiring customers is creativity, effective promotion and value. When you provide value to customers, they want to reciprocate in the form of a purchase or referral.
Provide your customers superior quality, value-added services and products, so that they keep coming back for more, and refer you to their friends. Being a resource and solving customer’s problems are the best thing you can do to grow your business.
As you begin the journey of starting up your business, you’ll need people that can come along side of you. Our Bridge Starter package can help set your business on the right path at the very beginning. Contact us to learn more.