Building a business is not easy. It takes hard work, some luck and a lot of dedication.
From our conversations with clients, we decided to share some useful tips. We gathered these 6 tips from a handful of our most entrepreneurial clients over several years of conducting our interviews.
Our story begins on one spring day in 2016, people were getting ready for the Brexit vote, and we met with a client in Mayfair, London. Pitching for a large project and showing our ideas to their team of 3, it was great to meet with someone with “crazy” ideas. We like crazy ideas! 😜
After a series of meetings, Empire Elements won the project, and we went on to start a 2-year-long route to an awesome product. Over time we discovered that this project is only one of many others they have going on at the same time. We learned a lot from this client. One thing that stands out from talking to this client is his words: “be patient and get the right people on the project” we then had the chance to talk more about this in-depth.
1. Be patient
Patience is apparently the key ingredient. You need to show patience developing your idea, to deal with issues effectively, to see your investment grow and patience when things aren’t moving as fast as you want. Patience is the key!
Most people want instant results, but it takes time to see a return on your investment. It takes patience to turn an investment into a profitable asset. But patience can also be applied to not making rash decisions in a fast-moving world of technology. Sometimes you need to wait and have a bit of patience, our millionaire client says.
2. Get the right people on the project
Looking for the right people to be involved in your app project is what can determine success. People without skill, enthusiasm or patience are not going to be a good match. Arrogant but brilliant jerks are a destructive force, and you should avoid those at all costs. Having a dedicated CTO and skilled and helpful team behind you is what propels your project to new heights.
One of the top 20 reasons startups fail is not having the right team.
Finding and hiring people is hard. It takes a lot of effort, and many of those hours spent on searching will yield nothing. But if you push through and have patience (point 1), you will eventually come across the right people.
Let’s continue our story. Fast forward 1 year, and we met another client in Monaco to discuss some ideas for exciting new VR project. From our morning coffee meet-up, we learned that having a clear marketing and business plan is something most people do not have. Usually, people start with design, calculate the cost of development and completely forget to set money aside for marketing and thought-out a clear plan on how to make the business profitable!
3. Create a business plan
Create your business objectives and a plan of how to get there. It is essential to have a goal and a plan, without it, how do you know where you are going? It then makes it so much easier to track progress. Startups usually aim for series funding, a steady or even rapid but measurable growth. It could mean numerous orders per month, a total amount of customers or any other key business metrics is what gives you clarity and a path to success.
29% of tech startups fail because they run out of cash.
A good business plan also includes a description of your products and services and streams of revenue. Putting together an investor pitch deck is therefore much more likely, and increases your chances of talking to the right investor.
4. Have a marketing plan
As you can see, planning is a significant part of a millionaires’ mind. Once they have the idea worked out and concept works, they set to create business and marketing plan first. And only if and when everything fits together, they move ahead with the project. It’s incredible to see similarities between our clients and the approach they take. It’s never perfect, of course, sometimes the entrepreneur client needs our help to make all the pieces fit. We help our clients understand all the critical parts of the project, for example, that planning revenue model of the app and store page and approval process needs to be accounted for. It’s an excellent opportunity for them; a new marketing channel that can be used for marketing when there is a plan! And we help them create one if there is none.
Having the right people on the team, patience and a plan are not enough. You need a few more things to make your project work. Some people seem to be chasing the next big thing while most successful products are an improvement of an existing one. Yes, that means Facebook too, do you remember Myspace? Facebook was a different take on social networking in 2004, and it worked! Without a marketing plan, I may add.
5. Know your audience
And find out what you can do better than the competition. Competing in an existing market is not always a bad thing. Chances are your product will be competing with somebody. You have to know your audience. Study them, read about them, find them. And then introduce a product like no other! Your vision of the product or service always needs to be backed by some research data or beta testing. That’s why we recommend building an MVP product first to test the waters and react to feedback you are getting. It is one thing to plough on with your idea and develop it exactly as you want, but quite another to show it to your audience. Don’t forget to test it with the people that will use your product or service.
Too many entrepreneurs and startups make the massive mistake of developing something they like, something they envisaged for themselves, making the users lives better as a result. Yes, but really? I mean, do you really know it works? If not, test it first!
Create personas, or avatars, which are fictional characters that will use your service or app. Make it a thing! Yes, it really works to have customer personas created so that you can test your entire sales channel. It’s also beneficial for other aspects like marketing strategy, not just testing and usability.
6. Right timing is crucial
Sometimes you need to speed up for a particular launch event, and sometimes you need to wait to see what competition comes up with or reveal their plans so you can react to that. Maybe it’s a dreaded political situation that requires your project launch to be postponed because the environment is not primed. Timing your launch can be critical. It can propel your project like the sudden wind moves the ship way faster. You just have to be ready.
Patience, right people, business plan, marketing strategy, the right timing, and knowing your audience are the key ingredient for your app success. One tip integrates with the other; you can’t have a good marketing strategy without a business plan. Your project isn’t going to move ahead without enthusiastic and resourceful people. These are the six most common factors our successful clients have.
The most important ingredients of a successful business are knowing your target audience, how to get their attention, convert them into leads and then turn them into customers.
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