Browsed by
Tag: entrepreneur

47 Reasons For Starting A Business Today

47 Reasons For Starting A Business Today

It is fine to be afraid to leave your comfort zone. You might be beginning to contemplate doing that, but it is just a thought for now. Starting a business is probably one of the best examples of venturing into the unknown. I know you are just looking for that push. Are 47 reasons for starting a business today enough get you going?

Although the list is numbered, the list items are not by any means listed by significance or importance. 

1. Follow Your Dreams

You have a business idea. It matures over time in your mind. The more you think of it, the more you like it. Trying to make that business idea a reality means that you are no longer dreaming – you are following your dreams!

2. Create Something

Each one of us has a unique trait of talents and skills. Our minds work in totally different ways – in a good way. By using what we know best, we can create a something that will count forever.

The idea is not to live forever. It is to create something that will. – Andy Warhol

3. Do What You Want

What is harder than doing something that you do not want to do?

Trying to suppress your desires to do what you really want.

The modern lifestyle is full of boundaries, even though we are more free than ever. But our boundaries come from the materialistic nature of our society. Everything runs on so called “norms”. It is a sin to not follow them.

On the other hand, our mind knows no boundaries. Thus our desires hold no boundaries too. Starting a business today means you not only fight your business competition, but the societal norms as well. Just remember – you are going to be happier!

4. Define Reality

Reality includes everything that has existed, exists, or will exist

If you are reading this far, it means you are not satisfied with what existed and exists. Do you really need a better reason to start a business than to create something that will exists?

5. Face Your Fears

Fear is a fine thing – it protects us physically and mentally. It is also a key factor to starting a business today. Creating a venture for the first time is far more than a scary thing. It is associated with fears that we are not even aware of. And that is a good thing. The more fears you face, and eventually overcome, the tougher a person you become.

6. You Are Missing Opportunities

Usually we first think of solutions to our personal problems. It is awesome to solve something that is a pain in the neck for use. Our life is suddenly more fun. Then we say:

– How many others have the same problem?

Lack of confidence and personal motivation tends to stop the thinking process here. But a little effort into research is nothing to be shy of. Just imagine what opportunities you might be missing by not gathering info? What if your solution is the most superior out there?

7. Someone Else Will Do It, Eventually

In context to the previous reason, there is also a high probability that someone else has had the same problem. He/she might do something about it in the future, or maybe not. By not acting, you are letting time make that problem an even bigger pain in the neck. And the bigger the pain, the bigger the need to be solved.

starting a business

8. Achieve Monetary Independence

Are you going to wait for someone else to see your potentials? Give you that promotion you feel you earned? Or take action now, make your business idea a reality and never wait for anyone?

The hardest, but most rewarding way to achieve monetary independence is to start a business. I say the hardest, because it requires an extreme unconditional effort before you are going to see any rewards. This is a risk that most people are afraid of. Leaving the comfort zone to try something that might fail. People are really afraid of being broke. It is not only a matter of physical needs, but an ego-shattering experience that is only effected by our materialistic society.

By taking your destiny into your own hands, your existence on the line, you will not get any better motivation. Remember that great rewards require the greatest risks.

9. Networking

People make the world “spin”. The more people you get to know the better your access to information. Starting a business means meeting people from a wide range of backgrounds. They could be your new friends, new partners, new employees or new competitors. Each brings a personal opinion to the issue at hand. Their inputs could be valuable for the development of the new business.

The guide to help you along the way.

10. Be Able To Sell Something

New entrepreneurs often forget that a business at the end of the day exists to make money. It is very true that its purpose is to satisfy a need to a large enough market, willing to buy the solution. And it is even better to not set money as a direct goal. But if a business does not make money, it will seize to exists.

One of the best fillings for anyone wanting to start a business is to have your idea be accepted. It achieves that only by trying to sell. That feeling also works wonders for your confidence. You have created something that customers want to and have bought.

11. Increase Your Confidence

Surprisingly we are not aware of how our confidence level is low. When was the last time you confronted you boss? Or when was the last time you stood for something that was the right thing? I can assume not in recent time.

Our society trains us to be obedient. We listen to the elders, do the tasks, do not question reality and live a boring life. But starting a business means fighting all that head on.

At first most want you to fail – so they will be right.

You live a life full of sacrifices all for your vision. Looking back on what you have done is a major personal boost. How many of the people you know have stood for something they believed in? Went all in against all odds? Lived a happy life even if they failed?

12. Improve Your Personal Brand

Starting a business has many secondary positive effects. When you create something that is successful, you become the its successful image. You become known in your community as a person that has done something amazing. The community will start to look up to you as a leader, will ask for opinion and help. This is your chance to show what you stand for.

13. Help Someone By Solving A Problem

A business’s sole purpose is to do something that improves the life of a certain market. You will get to create a product that will make people happier by solving a problem that is giving them headaches. There is nothing better for an entrepreneur to create a solution that people are happy to use, but also share their happiness. That is a real reason to start a business!

14. Take On A Responsibility

Staring a business is a combination of many responsibilities. As it grows bigger, you become responsible for not only satisfying the needs of the customers but making sure the business is running smoothly. Employees rely on your actions to provide them salaries they can take home to their families. Partners and vendors expect to be fully compensated too. But probably the biggest responsibility you have is the one towards yourself – you are responsible to make your business work because of all the sweat, tears and passion that has gone into it.

15. Create Jobs For Those Who Can Not

You have an obligation to do something today. You are thinking of reasons to start a business and a business cannot exist without its employees. If your business grows, so will the need for colleagues. You have the power to create something that will take care of other people’s needs at home. They will get to do what they want, do it in a pleasant atmosphere and be rewarded for their efforts.

16. Fight Challenges Everyday

Starting a business is nowhere close to boring. Daily challenges always come up. They are things you have never even thought of or planned for. You will be challenged by your market, competition and even by your employees. Working under pressure and creative problem solving will become something very normal.

17. Give Back to the Community

A business is only as goods as the environment it operates in. Are you a person who is looking for ways to improve your society? Building an enterprise will provide you with the resources to do so.

18. Support Newcomers

Entrepreneurship is about sharing. Help others achieve their dreams too. Every entry into a new field is very hard. You need self motivation, knowledge, networking and energy to sustain the effort. The world needs newcomers because they bring new ideas. One should never see them as competition but as people with a genuine mission. Support them!

19. Create The Lifestyle You Want For Yourself

Not having the lifestyle you always wanted? Starting a business today provides the flexibility to make your own decisions. Take the initiative on life and strive towards your dreams.

lifestyle change

20. Invest In yourself

Constant personal improvement must be a personal goal. One of the best ways to do so is by starting a business you have always wanted. When passion has a saying in your actions, you will want to have the best possible knowledge and skills to make your business work. So investing in yourself is not only an excellent reason to start a business today, but an excellent reason to be a better person.

21. Make A Lot More Money

Basically, starting your own business will mean that all the finances will be yours to manage. All the gains will be yours to manage as well. Remember that running a business requires a lot more effort when compared to being an employee. It is only natural to ask for greater rewards too. Just have in mind not to jeopardize the healthy operations of your new company by fulfilling your personal wishes.

22. You Set The Deadlines

Running your own business also means you will set the deadlines. We have all been in a position where some deadlines set by others cannot be completed under the circumstances. We were unhappy and anxious. Now you will have the chance to properly manage the resources and delivery dates, making sure stuff gets done, but your colleagues are happy along the way.

23. Be A Leader

Do you want to be able to influence others? Have you found a reason why people might follow you? Creating a business today will set you on a path to leadership. You will be doing a change, guiding your colleagues and making your clients happy. By building your reputation, you will be building your leadership.

be a leader

24. Give To Those In Need

Inequality has become a major component of modern societies. Finances are limited, especially for some specific groups of people. By starting a business today, you will also get to help those in need. You will provide free services, create jobs and brighten up their future.

25. Find Colleagues That Are Passionate About Things You Are Not

We all have different characteristics. We like different things. This is a good thing. How often have you been asked to do stuff you have no passion about? It is fine to be helpful when needed, but often wrong management practices leave us unhappy at our workplace. We are misunderstood and given daily tasks we absolutely hate.

Creating your own business will mean that you can always search for colleagues to do the stuff you are not passionate about. But you will also not make the same mistake – make sure they like what they are doing.

25. Flexible Working Time

You are your own boss. You set the working time, tasks and deadlines. But flexible working hours can also create negative effects. Do not get carried away without regard for the your colleagues and company’s needs. Maintain strong personal discipline despite having flexibility in your operations.

26. Make Your Society Better

You have an idea to make something better? Is your solution going to kill one more headache in our lives? After all, being part of your society gives you the responsibility to act if you can.

27. Gain New Skills

Reaching success requires gaining many new skills. Some are to your liking, some are not. Nevertheless they will help you reach your goals. If you are a person that wants to explore new subjects daily, that starting a business is one of the best things you can do.

28. Take Care Of Your Body And Mind

The body achieves what the mind believes. – Unknown

The tremendous energy that is used in the beginning phases of a business are somewhat comparable to a superhuman effort. Most importantly, taking care of the physical condition of your body will lead to a healthy mind.

Further Reading: “Physical exercise for brain health”

29. Learn Something New Every Day

Learning is not only related to gaining skills and knowledge in the professional field you are in. You meet new people, learn about personal characteristics, learn to communicate, implement psychology to improve the outcomes. You experience new cultures, spend time among different social circles. In other words, learning new things everyday means you are going to become an even more open and tolerant person.

30. Learn To Manage Finances

Starting a business today will teach you everything about managing finances. It does not matter if you are good with numbers or not, learning to work with money is a skill that every business teaches you on. The same principles can also be used in your personal life.

31. It Is Never Boring

Each new day presents something new. Whether it is a problem, a prospect or a new unexpected lead, running a business is never boring. It sometimes gets very intense but be sure you will be challenged every day.

32. Start In A Totally New Profession

Some professions have very significant barriers to entry. They require climbing the ladder slowly, taking up various entry level positions and hoping for the best. You would need very good networking too.

There is also another way – starting a business! It is the hardest but the most rewarding. Have you always had a dream to try something or try a new career? Why not start a business in that related profession? It will be a tough path anyhow but at least you will create something for yourself and learn even more.

33. Help Develop Others

Entrepreneurs have the ability to look into other people’s best, even if they themselves do not. They can spot the best working preferences, their passions and ideas. Starting a business means you will have the chance to give others the best opportunities to achieve the most. Your motivation will come from their success.

34. Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Getting out of your comfort zone is the first thing an aspiring entrepreneur has to do. The feeling of being constantly under the burden of social norms and stereotypes can prove a lot to bare with. It sucks your energy away. It makes you less responsive to the environment. It makes you passive. Taking the first little step out of the bubble will make the world show its purpose again.

35. Shut Everyone Who Has Ever Questioned You

Entrepreneurship is a very lonely road. We are lucky if we find a partner who understands us. What hurts the most is the negativity of the people around you. They want to see you fail. They will be happy when you do, because they were right. This reason should not be a starting point, but should be a motivation for persistence. Show everyone what you are made of.

36. Become A Mentor

There is no better feeling than helping someone else reach your success levels and even pass you. Now you might be thinking that these words are stupid, but by remembering your early days into entrepreneurship, become the mentor you have always wanted and needed.

mentor quote

37. Be An Inspiration

Become the person new entrepreneurs look up to. Inspire them to build their dreams, use your tricks and learn from your mistakes. Become the entrepreneur that would inspire you.

rise

38. Create The Organizational Structure You Feel Is Right

The organizational structure of any company is as unique as the company itself. It is its bloodline. It depicts how decisions are made, roles are played, communication is conducted. Working a regular job means fighting an organizational structure that might be faulty. Its issues create demotivation.

By starting a business today you have a chance to create the organizational structure you feel is right. Do not make the same mistakes your previous managers did.

39. No More Working Days

I see the term “working day” as any day we work to make the dreams of someone else. We excange our time for money and other benefits. So our income is limited to the amount of time at our disposal. Starting a business today will spell the end of the “working day” as you know it. No day will ever mean only work, but will have a higher purpose. You are making your dreams come true and being happy in the whole process.

40. Do CSR

Corporate social responsibility means incorporating all the legal, social and ethical standards into your business model. It is not only about providing value for you and the investors, but also taking care of the ecosystem. Just as your business will rely on the environment it operates in, so will the environment rely on your operations.

41. Be The Boss You Wanted To Have

A boss’s job is quite unique. Managing people is considered to be very demanding, both in knowledge and personal skills. Often the managers misconduct operations that leave unsatisfied employees. Their disregard for personal traits and beliefs can lead to unhappy workers. Start a business today to become the boss you wanted to have. Take care of your employees by satisfying their human needs first.

42. Create A Legacy

Our lifetime is limited. It is the only limited thing today. Naturally, humans want to have a life purpose. Each chooses it individually but is goes in line with their believes. A legacy will insure that your achievements will be handed down in the generations to come.

we all die

43. Get More Creative

A way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh perspective that suggests unorthodox solutions (which may look unsettling at first) – Business Dictionary

When an entrepreneur approaches a problem, it is based on creative thinking. The mind works in mysterious ways when a problem pops up. Starting a business today immediately boosts your creative potentials. Creativity will help you deal with all the unplanned issues.

44. Surround Yourself With The Colleagues You Always Wanted

We rarely choose the people we work with. Yet they become a vital part of our life. We share more than one third of our days in their company. Conflict might sometimes come between us and our colleagues. It may make us dislike our job. By starting a business you will have the rare chance to choose the people you share the working day with.

45. One Business Leads To A Next One

Entrepreneurship is addictive. Once you feel the power to make things happen, you will never go back. All your skills are continually improving with experience. It becomes easier to spot new opportunities and approach them effectively. The first venture is the hardest. Then it becomes natural.

46. Never Ever Live A Boring Life

What is the purpose of our life if we are unhappy. Boundaries are all around, constraining our thinking and feeling. Starting a business will make you enter a dynamic world, where no same day will ever exist. Sometimes it will feel too dynamic, but just remind yourself of the life before entrepreneurship.

47. No More Monday Fever

The hype that exists around Monday, I feel, was created by people who do not like their job. Going back to work after a nice weekend can only be a bad thing if you are not happy with your career. Pursuing your dreams will eliminate the “Monday Fever”. As a matter of fact, the workweek will take a new form all together.

Wake Up Your Entrepreneurial Spirit – 18 Tips to Success

Wake Up Your Entrepreneurial Spirit – 18 Tips to Success

“Do you want to run your own company?” – I ask

Would you answer “no” or “maybe”?

I want to find out if someone who declines this question, after using the tips below, can wake up their entrepreneurial spirit and answer “yes” in a matter of months. The tips come from my personal ups and downs of being an entrepreneur – not the glamour we think of, but the true sweat and tears.

Are Entrepreneurs Born or Made?

What makes the entrepreneurial spirit thrive? – Somehow I cannot get around the fact that entrepreneurs are born, have talents, have specific skill sets, have some “special” spirit, that makes them very prone to being successful. Starting with myself, my entrepreneurial spirit might have been boosted by some of the above, but it is much more than that.

Not to jump to conclusions, I had to explore the Internet. Matt Erlichman wrote an interesting article for Inc.com – the five characteristics of the entrepreneurial spirit are: in-tune with passion, questioning everything, optimism, taking calculated risks and execution. One of my favorite success gurus, Robert Holden, Ph.D, wrote an insightful article on his personal blog. In his view, there are 10 characteristics that define the entrepreneurial spirit and these were some I never even considered:

An entrepreneur sees that the world is a cause, and we are the effect.

An entrepreneur doesn’t wait for life to happen; they begin.

An entrepreneur realizes that you have to be what you want in order to get what you want.

This got me thinking – using what I know, can I be able to boost such traits in anyone? It does not have to mean that entrepreneurship is fully exclusive for those born with the traits. Just as sports people accomplish far more by training then on talent alone, can we apply such a thesis to our problem?

After reviewing all the characteristics that needed to be boosted, I looked into specific tips for the job. Theoretically, by using them, you could apply more energy to your persona, thus be better at making your dreams come true.

18 Tips for Enhancing the Entrepreneurial Spirit

 

1. Think for yourself

Entrepreneurship is a lonely road. At first almost everyone will question your quest. Do not worry, people are afraid of new things. To become an entrepreneur you have to start thinking for yourself. Start to be more confidant in your abilities. After all, YOU have started something no one believes will work! WOW!

Pep talk: You are your best friend! 

2. What would you do if you had no fear?

The philosophy of fear is a widely covered subject since the beginning of time. If scientists talked about it thousands of years ago, it must be very crucial to the human existence. Fear can be a good thing – according to the classification of the 5 types of fears, the first four are almost fully physiological:

  1. Extinction
  2. Mutilation
  3. Loss of anatomy
  4. Separation

But number five – ego death – is the real killer:

the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of the Self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one’s constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.

This reminds of when we are obsessed with what others think of us.

I wrote a similar article based on the bestseller Who moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson where I point out that fear is our biggest enemy. Of course, not the first 4 types of it, but the fear around our ego. After reading the book, I have used a similar technique that helps build you resilience:

Pep talk: Always ask yourself – What would you do if you had no fear?

3. Question everything

Obedience is something we are taught from a young age. I, myself, have grown up in a transition country that is still (more than 25 years). Conformity was (and still is) a valued trait among our circles. But conformity also robs you of one extremely important tool for entrepreneurship – asking questions!

Interestingly enough, an article by the A More Beautiful Question website is dedicated to helping educators teach children to question. They have even developed the Question Formulation Technique”.

But how can asking questions help us improve our entrepreneurial spirit?

Every entrepreneurial quest begins with the urge to change something. History is here to testify that asking the hard questions is hard, clouded in fear, but crucial for progress. By questioning our society, the people around us, the potential customers, we are gathering information on the current situation. This data is vital for our progress as an entrepreneur.

Tip: Day 1 – count the number of questions you have asked that day. Day 2-10 – each day try to double the amount of questions you have asked the day before.

4. Problems are opportunities

something that is difficult to deal with : something that is a source of trouble, worry, etc. – Mirriam-Webster Dictionary

A problem is a bad thing. That we can agree on! But the longer a problem persists, the bigger the impact it has. Dealing with problems (even in our personal life) is one of the hardest things to do. But if there is something negative, that makes the life of a number of people a degree tougher, that is an opportunity. Do not be afraid of problems. We are not perfect. Our society is far from it too. Every problem is a chance to improve. Every problem is a business opportunity!

Tip: List all the problems that you face today. Start to look for solutions. Can you spot an opportunity?

5. It is OK to fail

Thomas Edison Quote

We are afraid of failure not because of ourselves, but because of others. It goes in sync with our ego.

Must read! – How to Keep Fighting in the Face of Failure by James Chin

6. Forget money – think VALUE

Money moves the world – or we think that way. Money is a means of exchange of value. It is an instrument that quantifies the benefits (most of the time).

Thinking about money limits us. Often the most breathtaking ideas cannot be quantified at first. They are hard to comprehend and even harder to measure. Nevertheless, we are talking about ideas that change the world. They bring massive value to the end users.

Warren Buffet

What is value:

relative worth, utility, or importance – Mirriam-Webster Dictionary

The connection between the entrepreneurial spirit and the value lies in the essence of customer satisfaction. The more value a product/service brings, the happier the user is going to be. By thinking about value, not money, you are beginning to rewire the thinking process. It is not about collecting money – it is about helping.

7. Money is a means to an end

Money is a tool. Simple as that. The more money you make, the more options you will have. Just remember – cash should not be your mission!

8. Ask for help

We all have different talents. That makes the world fun. To wake up your entrepreneurial spirit, you have to be ready to ask for help. In the same way a product is created for a specific purpose, each person can only be best at a handful of things.

Knowing your limitations is the best personal strength. By doing so, you know what type of help is needed and where to find it.

9. Listen (not hear) to people

Communication is the essence of society. I believe that every problem is a result of poor communication and every problem can be resolved with good communication.

An awesome video by Mind Tools to help you get there:

Another extremely helpful resource is the Training Zone article – Trainers’ Tips: Active Listening Exercises.

10. Talk to the mirror

Become the best at giving yourself the best pep talk possible. Often, entrepreneurs become very lonely and demotivated. This is when you turn to yourself for motivation. Face yourself in the mirror and act as if you are motivating someone who is of great significance to you. Just a simple rephrasing of your motivational speech can go a long way according to psychologist Sandra Dolcos, Ph.D and her team.

11. Understand that learning brings long term effects

How can you solve current problems if you have do not have the latest knowledge? The entrepreneurial spirit depends on learning.

The more you know, the more you know you don’t know – Aristotle

Sometimes learning can be a painful process. It takes time, energy and other precious resources. To remain persistent in constant learning, you need to change the thinking process:

  1. Think of learning as a tool that will help you reach your goals
  2. Think of learning as your competitive advantage
  3. Think of learning as an opportunity

12. Start to love data

Data is a friend. Numbers are nothing to be afraid of. In my belief, people are generally afraid of numbers because they never lie. Having the right information can lead to better decisions. There is no excuse for not doing research and analysis.

One of the best articles on conducting research for entrepreneurs by Aabaco Small Business will help you start the data gathering process. By using these tools you can get a better understanding of the opportunities.

Tip: Do not be afraid of reality!

13. Sharing is caring

A stereotypical behavior among new entrepreneurs is not to share their ideas. The excuse – their listeners will steal it! This absurd way of thinking is one of the primary reasons why new ideas fail. If you do not share the idea, how will you ever get feedback?

No idea is perfect, but it takes time for it to mature. The maturing process consists of small changes and tweaks that go in accordance to your new findings. Some of the best resources to improve on your initial idea is to share it out loud.

14. Feedback is a friend

Ken Blanchard

Enough said.

15. Think GOAL!

It is very easy to derail on the path to success. Living in the “success bubble” can have dreadful consequences to any new entrepreneur. By having personal SMART goals you eliminate the risk of derailment. What is even more important is to constantly think in terms of goals. Every time you come to an opportunity/problem/obstacle, check your alignment to your personal goals.

Tip: Goal execution is equally important as goal setting. 

16. Take everything with a pinch of salt

Absolutely everything in the world can be changed. Waking up the entrepreneurial spirit must be fueled by rebellion. Do not fall into the current societal platform. It is made up of people who live in the comfort zone.

17. People want to see you fail

Few days ago I saw the biographical movie about Jesse Owens. It featured a scene during the 1936 Summer Olympic Games, where Jesse (played by Stephan James) talks to coach Larry Snyder (played by Jason Sudeikis). Jesse faces constant pressures through out the competition, finding out that racial effects and politics have strong influence on sports.

Interestingly, coach Snyder recalls him missing his Olympic appearance due to a bizarre accident. Days before traveling, he crushed his airplane. The moral of the story is that people love sports because it defines the reality. It is a testament of the human evolution and character. And they love outstanding sport results.

Flying a plane is like sports. It is like no other experience. But crushing a plane is even better entertainment. – Coach Snyder

If you fail, everyone who has ever doubted you, wins! They get to be right! Not you!

18. No risk, no return

Risk is the essence of entrepreneurship. Generally we measure and present risk in material values, almost always as money. To become an entrepreneur, you have to stop treating risk as an obstinate. Risks exists to quantity the unknown. No one knows the exact future, but you have the power to change it.

Bringing it together

Waking up the entrepreneurial spirit is not an easy task. It is especially hard for those who feel they do not possess the right traits and talents. I believe there is no such thing. It is completely up to you to achieve what you want, how you want it and with who.

I hope that by using some, or all of the tips I provided above, you will be able to wake up your sleeping traits, stand up for yourself and give purpose to your life.

Til next time!

Market Economy Basics Debunked – The Case of the Green Market

Market Economy Basics Debunked – The Case of the Green Market

Economics is a science created since the beginning of human interaction. It describes production, distribution and consumption of products and services. The ease of learning the basics of economics is relative to the professional background you might have. Usually learning the science is only exclusive to those that have chosen to go down that path. But how can anyone of us not be concerned with learning the basics at least – after all we are effected in every moment of out lives?

The story goes:

Upon the request of my girlfriend (who is so much more into shopping than me) we chose to visit the local green market for some fresh groceries shopping. Here in Skopje, we have a variation of a green market, which is a semi-open place with a lot of different stands where mostly fresh produce are being sold. It is very dirty, crowded and loud, but the offer and prices are unparalleled. And yes, I am not a huge fan of such places.

Walking around with bags in my hands (being the gentlemen you are supposed to be), my mind started to wander. We were inside a market. How cool was that!? I have studied economics and business, have read books and posts, but could not identify that I had a real market close to my house. Imagine that!

Things get even better. Strolling the narrow alleyways I could really see the basics of market economics:

  1. Large number of suppliers
  2. Even larger number of consumers
  3. Same or very similar products on offer
  4. Each of the individual locations has a fairly same exposure to consumers
  5. Prices on similar/same products are almost identical
  6. Pricing strategies rely heavily on customer demand – on weekends, prices are significantly higher

Could I be witnessing an almost perfect market:

A market in which buyers and sellers have complete information about a particular product and it is easy to compare prices of products because they are the same as each other.

Now the fun part! What do the sellers on the green market do to make more sales? If we are talking about a perfect market, than all would have same results. But this was not the case – clearly there were winners. With the clear intention of seeing why they were winners, I went to buy stuff from them. At the first contact bell started to ring – these people had real competitive advantages.

An advantage that one has over its competitors, allowing the achievement of greater results, is a competitive advantage. 

How green market sellers use competitive advantage to sell in an almost perfect market?

The green market is the perfect place to show how the competitive advantage is basically used. And that Sunday I learned quite a lot about the simplicity of succeeding inside such congested markets.

Quality – Selling Tomatoes

Lot of sellers sell tomatoes. You could see then on every second selling stand. Prices varied in a 50% price range. Is then any tomato a tomato? Apparently not! Buying the most expensive tomatoes from a woman with a very crowded stand gave me an insight. Those came from geographical position which was very suitable for growing a tomato sub-sort which makes large, sweet and crispy tomatoes. Bought 2 to compare to the ones that cost 30% less and the difference was apparent.

Now I am hooked to the best quality tomatoes and the woman that pushes high quality ones has one more loyal customer.

Specialisation – The “Garlic Boutique”

Have you ever heard of a “Garlic Boutique”? Well, there was a stand which only specialised in selling garlic related products. The line in front of it was long and the people selling were clearly busy. From the design of the stand, to the product packaging, I could conclude that they were doing a lot better than others selling garlic. Even better – they had made a brand from selling garlic. The owner was very proud to present the product portfolio and argue the unmatched offer.

Marketing/PR – Sign War

Communicating in such a crowded place is very hard. Innovation makes some creative solutions to this problem:

  1. Sign War – communicating the product attributes to the potential customers is a genuine “sign war”. Everyone competes with colours, creative texts, fonts and shapes.
  2. Loud is better – yelling louder than the competitor brings more customers to your stand. Or at least, it should. Calling out passing customers in a direct way sounds insulting to me personally, but the fact that the technique is used justifies it for other “target groups”.
  3. Referral – building relationships among the sellers can go a long way. Most merge together and offer each other’s products to customers. When I finished shopping for tomatoes, I was referred by the seller to a neighbouring stand to buy products which she did not have on offer, but she vouched for. Of course I followed her referral.

Selling techniques – Front of Stand Selling

As far as selling techniques go, the best one I saw was selling in front of the stand. This technique is far more personal. The seller makes a better relationship with you and looks at your needs. After looking at a few sellers doing this I could see that their conversion was very high.

Customer Service (or NO)

The situation: a highly specialised stand is selling a special variety of peppers that are in high demand now. There is a constant line in front of the stand. Business is good.

I look at the offer and wait patiently. Once it is our turn my girlfriend starts picking peppers from the large pile. She wants to choose what to buy. The seller rudely points out that you either stop choosing and pick up peppers from one side of the pack, or do not buy at all. We looked shocked but the seller did not care – the line was packed. Somehow I can see a resemblance to the Street Musician thinking short term.

Different Offer – The White Aubergine

Have you ever seen a white aubergine?

JAPANESE WHITE EGG

It was definitely a first time for me! In a market full of regular aubergines we saw a new kind. We did not care about any selling lines or small talk from the seller. We bought it immidiialtey just for the sheer “coolness” of it.

Bringing It All Together

This trip to the green market was really fun. Looking at simple things in life from a business/economics perspective can be very cool. I can say that no matter the scope and size of business, the environment dictates adaptation in order to succeed. Even the smallest chain in the economy (private sellers on the green market) are using the basic principles of business to fight for the market. What is even better is that they are doing this naturally. Using the techniques I listed above comes as a second nature to them because their existence fully depends on the volume of sales.

And here we are, spending years on learning fancy theories when you can visit the local green market and see them in action.

Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur – A Single Step Guide

Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur – A Single Step Guide

You have got an excellent idea! The next Facebook, Amazon, or E-bay? It must have been hard to come up with it. So now you reap the rewards of nothing. An idea, no matter how good or bad, is nothing until put to the test. I can say that the idea of Facebook was mine, but you would laugh and close this tab right away! Even if I did think of it, Mark made it a reality. Rewards do come from action.

Recently I read a few posts about the concept of wantrepreneurship. In the open space of the Net there is even a definition of a wantrepreneur:

someone who thinks about being an entrepreneur or starting a business but never gets started.

Going deeper into the concept, some features start to appear. According to Entrepreneur the differentiation between an entrepreneur and a wantrepreneur is about passion, taking massive action and sacrifice. Others say it comes down to worrying over ideas, worrying about capital, procrastination, fear of failure and lifeless goals. Some even mention the team, perception of success, motivation behind money and the concept of learning forever. 

We can go even further in depth but that is not the point. The conclusion: these are the basics of entrepreneurship itself. The curiosity behind this new idea (at least for me) has brought me back to starting a business. You constantly walk the line of no action/action, and believe me, it is very thin. At least this is the case of the beginning stages – idea stage. But no need to worry! Please follow my short SINGLE STEP GUIDE on how to stop being a wantrepreneur:

From Wantrepreneur to Entrepreneur – A Single Step Guide

A question for you:

How long should you look into an idea before taking action?

What does look into mean? Any action towards research, learning, reading or any type of gathering information is part of this process. It is fully justified for you to take your time in inaction to properly do background research. But this can be an endless phase! Going through a lot of info in a short amount of time can have a toll on your mind. This is why you start to second guess you idea. You see a competitor which you did know existed, or a superior product, or even unforeseen regulatory framework and suddenly all you confidence is gone. But should it be? Of course not! Doing the research prepares you more for venturing and entrepreneurship always follows change. Be open to a bit of idea tweaking. 

INACTION TIME FRAME 

The SINGLE STEP GUIDE suggests the concept of INACTION TIME FRAME. It is the amount of time that you will willingly use up with no real action. As you read above, doing all the things to justify you idea is perfectly fine, but setting up an INACTION TIME FRAME is crucial for success. Before doing anything with any idea, predefine the amount of time you are willing to spent and FOLLOW it! In my experience it takes anywhere form 2 weeks to a month to do excellent preparation.

TIP 1: An excellent tool for the job is the Gantt Chart – a basic action plan, which you might have seen in sales plans. It looks like this:

Blog_2012_02_08_ProjMgmt1

The method does two things at the same time – uses pressure to push towards action and provides accountability for past actions. If you really want to achieve business success, one of the easiest ways to make yourself do things is to be under pressure. Creating an INACTION TIME FRAME does exactly that because it provides time boundaries. It constantly keeps you on the edge because it forces you to do things. The second important thing that makes this method successful is accountability. When developing a business idea most of the tasks are up to you, or a small team of people. If tasks are assigned to you/team than the outcome is directly and only related to performer of the task. Should something go wrong or be done better than expected, that person will be held accountable. Being accountable fights procrastination and free rider problems.

TIP 2: Setup clear actions and realistic time frames. Example: “research competition or “research legal framework” or “find and analyze substitute products”

The Leap

When is the actual leap from the inaction phase to the action phase? I always advise that the undertaking of these actions begins the process of creating a company:

  • getting your hands dirty
  • developing a product prototype and testing
  • recruiting team members
  • finding sources of capital
  • pitching the product to as many people as possible
  • negotiating contracts with vendors
  • going to the market (rather than waiting for it to come)

Basically any action which leads to the implementation of the idea ends the inaction phase. This is the braking point between a wantrepreneur and an entrepreneur. Once you have gathered the courage and confidence to take the leap, the real fun begins!

Best of luck future Entrepreneurs!