5 Tips for Starting a Consumer Business by David Baer, Attorney and Business Strategist
For David Baer, attorney and business strategist, there has never been as good a time to start a consumer business like today. Thanks to the internet and a plethora of tools that you can use for low cost or sometimes, event for free, from marketing and advertising tools to virtual platforms to set up shop, technology has made it easier than ever to be an entrepreneur.
There are, however, a few critical factors that you need to study and carefully consider, cautions David Baer, attorney and entrepreneur. Below are five tips he’d like to share to aspiring entrepreneurs to help them successfully launch and eventually grow their own consumer business.
Perform a thorough market analysis
Before anything else, you must know what consumers need and want. Need and want are two factors that need to be integrated into your product because most of the time, something that consumers want to have doesn’t automatically convert to a need that must be fulfilled. Do your research, survey the marketplace and talk to consumers to find out what it is that they consider as a must-have; a need that must be fulfilled no matter what.
Create a product based on your research
Now that you know what consumers need, it’s time to get creative. First, you must identify your market. While you may want to create a product that targets all types of consumers across a broad range of demographics, this isn’t the ideal way to start a consumer business because the product and its features may be compromised—in order to make it palatable to as many consumers as possible.
Concentrate on a specific demographic and a specific need, advises David Baer, attorney and businessperson. The time to include other consumers will come when your business has grown, and expansion becomes feasible.
Test and tweak repeatedly
How will you know that your product will be welcomed and patronized by your target market? By testing and tweaking as many times as possible, until you’ve perfected it. Friends, family, colleagues and people you know are of course the go-to testers but it would help, too, if you can have your product tested by people you don’t know so you can get an unbiased opinion. For this, you may need to spend on a focus group to receive honest feedback.
Sell on a platform
Now that you know who your target audience is and you’ve created the perfect product for them, it’s time to sell. To test the level of demand, you may want to begin by selling your product online. Use social media channels to test the waters, advises David Baer, attorney and entrepreneur, instead of going the full-blown e-commerce website route. Website development and hosting can cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to about $5,000 to $10,000.
Sell on a pre-order basis first
It would be pointless to manufacture hundreds or thousands of your product if they will only sit in storage. To make sure that you won’t be wasting your capital on products that may never be purchased, market the product in a way that encourages pre-orders before your launch. This way, you will only spend on products that have already been purchased.