Entrepreneurship is not the only way to succeed. It’s also a die hard mission. It is hard. Really hard, especially when you are building a product. Which is why succeeding is long term.
Now, let’s take an example. You have an idea. Let’s say you want to start a company that sells ladders for emergency cases. What are the things to consider?
Will you just go to meet carpenters to be making ladders for you? Or how do you succeed? You need to ask yourself questions that will push you into months of research.
Follow me as I analyze some.
- What emergency case? Is it fire incident or building collapse or escape from robbers or hurricane?
This one doesn’t need too much research but you still need to be wise about it. This will make you do research #1 which is Which disasters occur mostly in the area I want to focus on?
You know you cannot just assume it’s fire; that means you will leave your house to your neighbor, to the next street, to the next shop, to the churches and mosques nearby, to the schools, hotels, etc to make inquiries.
Day 1 has gone.Matter of fact, 2 weeks have gone.. You cannot accomplish this in a day.
So after research, you discover it is fire which means the ladders you will be making will be for fire incidents.
Emergency ladders remember.
You will only be foolish to go and meet carpenters to make wooden ladders. Matter of fact, no investor will sponsor you if they hear it’s wooden ladders. Wooden ladders will catch fire before they even rescue the victims.
People will flag your company. You have lost trust; go home and pay your huge debts.
So if not wooden ladders; metal ladders, right? Now, another foolish thing to do is to call blacksmiths. They should just build any metal ladder. Either they will rust, or matter of fact, there’s something else you might have never considered. What if the fire gets so intense that the metal gets very hot?
Will those who they want to rescue be able to climb down? What if a lady was escaping from a bathroom and she has no slippers on?
So you see, you cannot just order for a metal ladder; you will have to go out to ask, visit Google, go to ladder shops and ask questions, meet blacksmiths, even experiment… two months gone already.
If no ladder exists for such a case, you know you will either have to pay people to come up with a new type of metal that can withstand heat at high temperature, and yet usable.
That will take months again. Let’s say 5 months. So 5 months and no kobo from your company. People will out-rightly say you might not succeed. Or write you off.
Another problem is: it must be easily spotted in emergency cases.
If rescuing a victim, such a victim must easily spot the ladder from long distances. That means very bright colours must be used.
Hope you know you are not the one doing the rescue but you’re just selling ladders right? But you must solve the problem for the person who wants to get your product to solve a problem. This will lead you to do two things.
- Consider the colour people identify with danger.
- Consider if that colour is easily spotted.
Now if those two are antagonizing, you know you already have another research and work to do again.That’s another one month.
That’s like 6 months already gone . Remember, you’re still building the product. Marketing isn’t there yet.
Now look at another problem. Let’s assume blue is the colour of danger, you will need to get the ladders blue. But have you even looked at the cost of making one ladder and the amount you will sell it. What if they cannot afford an expensive ladder? Another problem?
You need to cut down cost, another 3 months if research on: “The best quality material for the ladder that would be cheap and have necessary features”.
If there isn’t, you will need to pay people or give them shares to build it Three months again. That’s 1 year spent.
One year without a dime made. Your friends earn N500,000 in their companies where they work already. Does that mean you’re stupid and losing? Definitely not; you are planting a cocoa seed, you shouldn’t be on a maize farm inspecting it. Be bothered about how diseases will not kill your cocoa.
Next, in an emergency situation, if I buy a ladder at home, when a fire outbreak happens, that ladder mustn’t be what the whole family needs to carry before we set it against the window.
What if daddy and Uncle Jimmy, the muscle guy are not at home? How will Mom and Stephanie carry such heavy ladder?. Your product is useless to a single mom and her two daughters. Shortage of sale.
Another problem: “Cheap * Lightweight * Ladder that has all the features”.
Another research on how to make it light weight. One year, 2 months gone. Friends who do not understand business will be calling you broke in secret. I laugh when I hear stories like this though.
What if the ladder was foldable as well? I mean where should I keep such a long ladder? Besides, it needs to be nearby not in the basement!
One year, 5 months gone, and you’re ready for sale. Your friends are all earning well but you. I feel every entrepreneur building a product needs to understand that entrepreneurship works this way. I feel they don’t.
Now sales. Well, you have a solution to their problems doesn’t mean 1 out of 1000 people will buy. In sales is where the most work lies. You need months of research again to know how to sell.
Now, if I were to be the one who has my ladder ready for sale, I will begin to pen down why they may and may not buy my ladder. What if they all believe in God to deliver them out of fire disasters. They wouldn’t see the need for a ladder.
What if all houses had fire extinguishers to quench fires and they trust that it would save them without needing to escape .
These and many more are things you should consider during sales. Now, you need to consider how to make a profit.
Remember you are trying to fix sales and at the same time accelerate profit making. This is another huge problem.
Will they come over to your store to get it, or would you deliver to their stores? How do you fix the glitch. You already have employees; you will pay them and profit must still be made.
Two years have gone; yet, profit is like peanut butter. This doesn’t mean your startup has failed. I will soon write on “SEED TIME AND HARVEST TIME IN BUSINESS”.
There are so many factors to consider as you expand. For example, how to maximize channels to reach your customers and all.
I have codedly given you a business plan process. Besides, I have given a tip on how you can structure out a business to succeed using a ladder. But that ladder can be pencil, milk, moi moi or practically any product or service you want to sell in the market.