YLAI Network members can get some business pointers from the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) tackles how to create a profitable business with a target market and discusses how to successfully pitch ideas for investment in their third video of the #YSEALILearns Series.
Here are three ways to set your business apart from the competition:
Identify the Target Market
A profitable business must enter a market that best fits its good or service in order to become successful. Identifying target clients compels the entrepreneur to learn about the wants and needs of the customers that keep the business lucrative.
Ask yourself if the market is:
- Measurable: How big is your market?
- Accessible: How do you connect with customers and what tools can you use to work with the customers? One possibility is using social media networks.
- Substantial: Can the earnings be substantial? Is the business sustainable with good growth and ready to enter the market?
Now, ask yourself if the product/service is:
- Differentiable: Is the product different and with more customer benefits than what other similar products offer?
- Actionable: Are there enough resources to compete with other products in the industry? Compare yourself and your own resources to competitors’ resources.
Researching the market and possible competitors is key to sending your business in the right direction. Make a benchmark estimate and assess what percentage of the market it is possible for you to grab. Learn more about how to make this market estimate here. Wondering about how to value your product? Watch José Perez’s YLAI Network Give Back presentation (en español).
Aria Widyanto co-founded Amartha, a financial technology company that provides financial aid to women entrepreneurs in small villages and acts as a bridge between lenders and potential borrowers. He created an imagined “persona” to describe characteristics of possible customers.
Aria recommends asking these guiding questions about the creation of the company:
- Why does it matter that you are creating this company?
- What is the urgency for this product? Why do you want to establish it now?
- Are your customers willing to pay to solve the problem the product addresses?
- Can the solution be scaled up to cater to a larger audience?
- How does your company stand out from other companies and what are the “killer” features that make the product unique?
Upon making the good or service available for purchase, the entrepreneur should maximize the business’s ability and capacity to deliver a product that is better than competing products. Assess the industry to accelerate the growth of the parts of the business that are unique.
Pitch Your Idea for Investment
Before pitching your idea you must find an investor who not only backs the business, but collaborates with the entrepreneur as well. In order to create a lasting and collaborative partnership the best investors must be familiar with the type of business.
Four factors to consider while assessing your business partner/investor:
- Governance: Inspect how they make an informed investment decision in the market. What seems to be their priority?
- Financial Model: Assess your partner’s spending behavior and their view on cost and growth. Remember: Some investors look for short-term profits and others look for high growth with long-lasting profits.
- Brand Value: Examine how the firm brands itself. Would the brand value help business development?
- What goods and services does the investor sell: Are the customers of the investor related to the customer the entrepreneur aims to reach with the product?
Richard Branson’s Five Elements of a Perfect Pitch:
- What’s in it for them: Empathize with investors and put yourself in their shoes.
- Be concrete: Show investors you have a solid market. Use statistics and clear numbers and projections.
- Prove that growth is sustainable: Give them optimistic and realistic scenarios and demonstrate how you will sustain operating costs and break even.
- Be unapologetically disruptive: Don’t be afraid to stand out!
- Demonstrate bench strength: Show that you’re competent and have a strong team of knowledgeable employees.
Your Skill Set
While identifying your markets and pitching your business ideas are important steps in creating a successful business, Jonathan Gultom, the facilitator of the presentation, emphasizes that the key ingredient of the formula for success is passion: Your values, goals, and resources must ultimately align strategically with customers wants and needs. Your happiness is necessary to strengthen the spirit and perseverance you will need to run the business.
Looking for more inspiration for your business? Learn more about the entrepreneurial spirit with this TEDx Talk.
Este artículo está disponible en español.