Two weeks ago, we championed the news of entrepreneurship’s rise with a rallying cry to launch a business of your own. Last week, we tackled the tricky terrain of securing the funding needed to start a business before becoming the legal age of an adult. And this week, we look to the future: now what?!
Once you’ve chosen an entrepreneurial path and secured the funding required to turn your idea into a reality, the real work begins. After all, recycling bins around the world are filled with business plans of great ideas that didn’t stick – or promising ventures that burned through more money than they took in.
So how can you rise above the rest? In business, success often comes down to how well you use two levers: marketing and money.
Marketing is the engine that most effects the demand side of the supply & demand equation. How are you getting the word out about your product? How are you communicating its value to the people who need it? The shorthand for the categories that matter most in marketing are referred to as “the four P’s.” Here’s what they are (and what they mean):
1. Product: This refers to the goods or services that a business offers. It can also include aspects such as the quality, design, features, packaging, and branding of the product, though some of those fall into promotion as well.
2. Price: How much money are customers required to pay for your product or service? Your pricing should take into consideration factors like production costs, competition, and demand.
3. Promotion: How are you persuading potential customers to purchase your products? Common promotional tools include advertising, discounting, and PR.
4. Place: Location, location, location. “Place” refers to the digital or physical stores a business uses to put their products in front of customers. The bottom line? It should be convenient.
Ready to tackle your own 4 P’s? Check out our free download, the 4 P’s of Marketing.
You could gain a quick and loyal base of customers by selling five-dollar bills for a buck a piece, but the math will turn your “business” into a bust in short order. Yet that kind of math – chasing demand at any cost – is precisely how many entrepreneurs lose their shirts. How can you avoid the same fate? By making sure you’re making a profit at all times. Not sure how? Our free Profit Worksheet download will help you tally your expenses and calculate whether your pricing, cost of goods sold, and marketing budget will help you turn a profit or turn up empty-handed.