- Created on Thursday, 01 August 2013 15:04
- Published Date
- Written by Veronica Jorden
You've got an idea for a great business and a great product that you know everyone will love. But, finding success too fast can create issues for your business if you are not prepared.
In today's advice post, our featured military spouse reminds us that success can sometimes happen when you least expect it. We've included some sound advice from military spouse entrepreneur extraordinaire, Roxanne Reed on things to think about before launching that "must-have" product.
"Don't ever think that your business could not grow by leaps and bounds. Take it serious from day one, and above all, start your book-keeping immediately. Because when your business booms, like mine did, book-keeping will be the last thing on your mind."
Military Spouse Entrepreneur
Today we feature a special blog post from military spouse business owner extraordinaire, Roxanne Reed.
CONVERTING YOUR DREAM INTO A BUSINESS
Do you have a concept that you believe would be a great product or service for a large retailer? Many times the greatest inventions come from the most unusual places and when you stumble upon an idea – the next question is, “What do you do with it”? Here are a few simple steps to put your concept to the test to see if it can become the business of your dreams!
WILL ANYONE BUY IT? We all like to believe that our friends and family are a reflection of the marketplace, but regretfully their “buy in” is sometimes not a valid market test. To find out if your product or service is “cash worthy” give it to a few friends, and ask that they share it with others outside of your circle. When strangers begin to inquire on where to buy your product, rest assured you are on the path to an opportunity.
TEST OUT NEW MARKETS This can be fun and tricky at the same time. Make sure you know your core business first – then find new ways to repackage your same product to different markets. You never know what opportunities you may find! Businesses don’t become giants overnight – the good ones learn how to slowly nibble their way into larger markets.
CAN I EARN AN INCOME FROM IT? In today’s economy everyone is out for a deal – but do not undervalue your new product. Work to find a balance of both quality and affordability. Remember that in the beginning you may have to set an introductory price to get new customers to test your product. Overtime as your reputation builds so will the ability to increase your money making potential.
CAN I AFFORD TO MAKE THIS PRODUCT AND MASS PRODUCE IT? If your goal is to work with large retailers, such as your local Exchange (BX/PX), you will need to develop a product line that you can provide consistently and in a cost effective manner. Working with the exchanges is a great way to test your products main stream retail abilities. They have a proven track record of helping ignite and support a number of military spouse and veteran owned businesses. You can learn about doing business with the exchanges by visiting: http://www.shopmyexchange.com/DoingBusiness/prospective.htm
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY PRICE IS RIGHT? This is where you’ve got to put on your business hat and put your ego in check. If your customers tell you they love the product, but hesitate to buy due to the price you need to find a more realistic price point. However, if your customers are buying multiple pieces without hesitation, then you are probably a bit under priced. This is not a bad problem to have as long as you can keep up with the customer demand. Finding a balance that works for you and the customer is the key to a successful pricing strategy.
KEEP YOUR EGO IN CHECK. In a tough economy and when a big opportunity arises – take the time to think of it from every angle. It can be a blessing or the reason you stumble. Scrutinize every big decision. In the end let your professional “gut” make the final decision, not your ego.
AM I DREAMING…IS THIS REALLY POSSIBLE? Every entrepreneur loses sleep over this question and the answer is yes – this dream can come true! You are not unlike those that have gone before you, changing the world one product or idea at a time. Do not fear the unknown – embrace it with gusto, enthusiasm, and a clear focus on building the right product for you and your customers!
ALWAYS REMEMBER YOUR COMMUNITY… Take the time to learn about your community and customer needs by doing your research. Being in “the know” is critical to your short and long-term success. If you plan to market your product or service within the military community, you should acquaint yourself with the various exchange websites. You should also understand the environment you seek to support by learning more about important initiatives such as Save Our Benfits.org By being a community champion in your own unique way will often ensure that you stay focused on building the best products and services we can all enjoy.
Stay focused on your customers, always support your community when you can, keep your “gut” on high alert, and always know that you CAN succeed.
Roxanne is a proud military brat, military spouse and mother of two. She is a published author in Military Spouse Magazine, professional contributor for Military Officers Association of America and Blue Star Families, a contributor/advisor for Military Spouse Corporate Career Network and has been featured by Fox News, CNN, American Support You (ASY) Radio for her thought leadership in military spouse career issues. She is a certified instructor and has experienced her own entrepreneurial successes with the well-known Jane Wayne Gear and All Fired Up Candle Company brands. She has spent the past 8 years of her life establishing herself as a community leader among professional military spouses through business consultation and mentorship, and is proud to have founded the Military Spouse Foundation.