Monday, March 30, 2009

Find your market

Work on your business while on vacation.

I see so many people going on vacation only to not leave their own country. If you are one of those, next time make sure you go to a foreign country. You are missing a great opportunity of interacting with a different culture and finding great business opportunities, an import business.

Travelling is a great way to find new products to sell it back in your home country.
Many product make success in other countries before getting to your.

Globalization isn't perfect yet, so it still takes a while before a foreign product gets to where you live. You can be the guy that brings that product home.

When in a foreign country check out supermarkets, local stores, local ads, talk to people, see what other people are buying. Find what's hot!

It doesn't have to be a really big thing, it just gotta be different from what you have back home and people must find it useful or cool.

Now, once you find it, you need to get in contact with the people who make it. This is where you research, read the labels, do a google search, talk to the manager of the establishment you found it, do whatever it takes.

Next offer them a distribution deal in your home country and go for an exclusive dealership. The terms vary greatly from deal to deal, so use your best judgement, and aim slightly higher.

Back home, you can sell them yourself to the general public or you can setup a B2B channel where others will sell you product for you.

One way of getting into the B2B market is getting a hold of one or two big retail companies, however it is very hard to get the attention of a big company, not to mention you gotta have a very solid deal with your supplier or else you run the risk of the big company stealing the product from you.

If you can get an exclusive deal with your dealer, you got your life easier. Now you gotta present to your clients why this product will work on your market.

Negotiating with a big company deserves a post all by itself, however always remember to make a good presentation, show them the advantages of working with you instead of doing it themselves (most big retail chains do importing themselves).
Also keep in mind that most big retail chains avoid making deals with very small companies, but if the deal is good enough they will go for it.

Just keep in mind, that the harder it is, the better it feels once you get it done.

~Bruno A. R. Faria


Starting up a new business,

Starting up your own business is allot of fun. It involves allot of creative thinking, imagination, decisiveness and maturity.

If you don't like not having somebody tell you what to do, then starting your a business is probably not for you.

We can divide the planning stage of your business in three steps.

  1. Get a product/service that you can offer
  2. Find a market for it
  3. Mold your objectives around it

This has been the traditional way and it still is order in which most entrepreneur make their plans. It is the safest. You find something that you can make money from, then just work your way around it.

I believe it is more important to make your business suit your needs instead of the other way around, too many business owners find themselves in a position where they make allot of money and end up unhappy for various reasons.

In the end, starting a business should be more than just about making money, it should fulfill you in some way, it must improve you quality of life.

I recommend putting your objectives first, like this:

  1. Find out your objectives
  2. Find a potential un(der)explored market that meets your needs
  3. Search or design a product or service that will fit in it

In future posts I'll go indepth in each of these steps, but this is a simple breakdown of the above points:

1-Find out your objectives

Before starting your business, any business, you should look in yourself to find the reasons you want to do it. Be specific! In the end your business should be there to fill your objectives first.
Now, don't work with the intangible here, think of feelings and action, "become rich" and "stop working" are not good goals. Work on the feelings it gives you.

For example, rarely does somebody want to become rich, most of the times they want the lifestyle of being rich instead. Money for the sake of money does not improve your life, spending it does.
Not working is very boring, there is a huge amount of free time on your when everybody else is busy (working!) and while it is easy to achieve it is very hard to maintain. Instead "Having more time to spend with the family", "Making money in a way that I enjoy", "Be able to work from anywhere in the world". The first and third probably gives you almost the same end result and is tangible, the second you probably would be happy to get to work.

Bottom line: Choose something that will improve your life quality.

2-Find a potential un(der)explored market

Every time you see something and think to yourself "that sucks", "that's unsafe", "it should be easier" etc... it's a potential market to be explored. You may or may not have the means to explore it, but to start you only need one.

Next make sure the market is compatible with your objectives. If you tapping into an activity that requires your presence, such as most services, it will be incompatible with any objective that you may have of freeing up your time or working less.

3-Search or design a product or service that will fit in it

This is where the beginning ends, depending on your resourses you may design the product yourself, hire somebody to do it for you or buy it from somebody.

Your product should have something that will make it unique and different from any direct competition it may face. That will be your winning edge.
However your winning edge doesn't have to be in the product itself, instead it can be in the way you present it to the public or in the way sell it or how you support it or all of these.

Getting all the above steps done already puts you on the top 15% of all the entrepreneurs. Next comes the execution.

~Bruno A. R. Faria