What do you think you need to start a business? Most people say things like “money”, “a business plan”, “an idea” while you do need an idea and a plan and no money is not a necessity to start a business, that is not the answer I’m looking for.
What do you need to start a business?
You need a customer. You need people who are willing to pay you the correct value for your products and services. If you can’t make a profit and are making a loss then the quality of your product or customer is incorrect.
So, before you throw yourself head first into starting the business of your dreams you need to test the market and make sure there is a market for your new business. Testing the market is 1 thing. How about testing yourself? If you have always been an employee and had support structures in the organisation, not having those support structures like free IT support, access to printers and equipment, free WIFI, a laptop etc can really be hard to digest.
Being an entrepreneur as exciting as it is requires skills like tenacity, open mindedness, creativity, adaptability, strong work ethic and more. Making sure you have enough money in the bank each month to cover your own salary and business costs is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. Most people are less than 3 months away from bankruptcy due a low saving culture and buy now pay later mentality. This mindset causes huge financial distress when monthly expenses can’t be met.
So before you dive into starting your business, ask yourself this question; “Do I have an entrepreneurial mindset?” “Am I ready to take a risk on myself?” “Do I have the tenacity and grit to take up this challenge?” Make no mistake running your own business is not for sissies. You are going to make mistakes, you are going to lose money (not always but at least once), you will experience bad paying customers, you will go through ups and downs and each day will present new challenges as you work on every area of your business.
Are you ready to become the sales person, the customer support, the marketing expert, the finance manager? These are all hats you will need to wear and roles you will need to play to make sure your business is running effectively.
I’m not trying to scare you, I really want you to think about the kind of life and business you want.
So, if you think you have the determination and grit required to take a risk on yourself, you need to test your idea, products and services.
Before you spend too much time, money and effort on a business that might fail you need to build an (MVP) Minimum viable product.
What is an MVP you ask? Well, it’s a way to test the market.
In 2014 when I started my Money Savvy business, I had this big idea to build a big scalable business model that I could grow into Africa. The business plan I wrote was so beyond my reach at that point, but I decided to begin with the end in mind and build the big dream. 8 years later I have achieved that but I needed a starting point. I needed an MVP to test the market. Did anyone want to buy this great product I wanted to develop?
So, I built 1 product “Money Savvy Kids” , not a whole product but 1 grade worth of content with 10 lessons. Once that product was developed, I could go and show people what I wanted to do. I made a small investment and used some already paid resources to help me build that first pilot product. My first client was Mrs Mbeki and she paid me R 250,000 for a product like mine but her own with her own branding on it. I had validated that this idea was going to work. Someone was willing to pay me for my services. Not just pay me, but pay me well! That R250 000 was what I used to build the Money Savvy brand.
So how do you test the market with your own MVP?
We have a MVP template for you to use to validate whether this idea is going to work and make you money.