It's funny, when I meet people who are leveraging content marketing, they always tell me one of two things…
Either they can't figure out how to generate traffic (no matter how many blog posts they publish)…
They've figured out how to generate more traffic, but the traffic hasn't turned into any sales or new customers and they can't figure out why.
Now, I know what you are thinking… there are so many companies that make millions from content marketing that there must be a way to make it work.
But here's the thing. Because of my ad agency, I am able to talk to thousands of companies each year and dig into their marketing. And of the ones that leverage content marketing, most aren't able to generate even one sale from it.
In other words, it's not working for them.
It's not because content marketing is flawed. It's that most people don't fully understand it.
Why doesn't content marketing work for most businesses?
What most people don't realize is that all visitors are not the same. And I'm not talking about demographics and income, I'm talking about intent.
When you land on a web page that ranks on Google because of content marketing, your actions are going to be different than if you clicked on a paid listing.
And it's not because one is paid and one is organic… here's what I mean.
When you do a search on Google for the term “auto insurance” you'll see a search results page that looks something like this:
And you'll either click on a paid listing or an organic one.
Here's what one of the paid listings looks like:
And here's what one of the organic listings looks like:
As you can see, the organic listing contains a lot of content… including information about the city where I performed the search, insurance options, and why I should choose Nationwide.
To some extent, it is educational and salesy all at the same time, but I'm not being sold as hard as the paid listing from AAA.
The AAA landing page only has 73 keywords. That's it… a measly 73 keywords.
In other words, if you land on the AAA landing page you are going to click on one of the two insurance options.
On the other hand, if you land on the Nationwide site (who leverages content marketing), your eyes focus on the text instead of filling out the auto insurance lead form.
And that's what I mean by intent.
Even though I performed the search “auto insurance,” I'm more likely to buy from the AAA site because it's a more aggressive landing page. The Nationwide site puts me in a more educational mindset, in which I am going to read and do some research versus just getting a quote.
And Nationwide isn't doing this because they want to educate. They are doing this because it is really hard to rank organically without providing tons of content.
Google loves content, hence the average web page that ranks on page one contains 1,890 words.
That's why Wikipedia ranks for everything under the sun.
If you are going to leverage content marketing, you have to keep in mind that when people land on your site it will put them in the mood of reading and learning instead of buying.
So, does that mean content marketing doesn't work?
Content marketing is amazing, and it still works really well. It doesn't produce as many conversions as paid advertising, but you can also build up massive amounts of traffic without burning a hole in your wallet.
Let's look at NeilPatel.com and how I leverage content marketing.
Over the last 31 days, this blog has generated 2,510,893 visits of which 1,609,314 were unique. And those visitors generated 5,890,103 pageviews.
That's not bad, especially if you consider that I am not really leveraging paid ads (other than the few blog posts I modestly boost on Facebook each month).
And during that time period, we generated 1,942 leads within the United States of which 262 came from companies who were spending over $5,000 a month on marketing.
Most leads don't turn into sales within 30 days as our sales cycle is longer, but so far those leads have generated $972,860 in contract value (we haven't collected all of that money yet, but we will over the next 12 months).
The number I shared above is just revenue, it's not profit. That number, of course, will go up as many more of the leads will turn into contracts but at the same time, my expenses will go up too.
So, can you guess how I generated almost a million dollars in new contracts in just 30 days.
Well first off, it wasn't me… I have an amazing sales team lead by a guy named Nick Roshon. And we have an amazing fulfillment team that helps the sales team close more deals.
But the lead generation is all me… and that came from content marketing.
In other words, content marketing works… as long as you think about it the right way.
So how should you think about content marketing?
The first part is traffic. You need traffic before you can do anything else.
How do you build up traffic via content marketing?
Well, you need to write blog posts. I won't go too in-depth on how to write blog posts as I have tons of blog posts already on that.
If you are going to take the route of hiring other writers, make sure you tell them the following rules:
Now that you have the writing process down, it's time to come up with topic ideas. The easiest way to figure out what's hot is to just type in keywords within your space on Buzzsumo.
You just insert a keyword and Buzzsumo will show you all of the articles around the web that are popular related to that keyword.
By doing this you will see what people like in your space. I'm not saying you should copy these articles but instead to use them for ideas. The last thing you want to do is write content that people don't care to read.
In addition to typing in a keyword, you can also type a URL into Buzzsumo. For example, I typed in Hubspot.com and it shows me all of their top articles.
This will give you an idea of what is working for your competition.
Now that you have some topic ideas, it's time for you to write a blog post (or pay someone to write it for you). Just keep in mind your content has to be better than your competition. If it isn't better than what they have, it will be hard for you to get more social shares or outrank them.
When I publish a blog post, I like asking myself the following questions:
Assuming you passed all of the questions, it's time to publish your content and generate some traffic.
So how do I generate traffic?
Sadly, there is no quick way to grow your traffic. It's a slow grind, but over time your traffic will go up.
Here's the traffic to the NeilPatel.com blog when I first started:
As you can see I generated 9,065 unique visitors in my first month back in August of 2014. I generated those visitors from the 4 strategies that I will break down in a bit (they still work).
And if you fast forward to the 1-year mark, I was able to 10x my traffic by August of 2015.
My traffic has continually gone up over time as well, which you can see by scrolling back up towards the beginning of this post (I'm now at 2,510,893 monthly visits, yay!).
So how do you generate more traffic?
Well, first off you need to be patient. Don't expect the same results I achieved. Marketing is what I do, and I'm willing to dedicate more time and energy than most people.
So here are the 4 strategies I used when I started NeilPatel.com (and I still use them today).
Keep in mind that these tactics work for all types of sites and I'm assuming here that you don't have a social following, so I won't be giving you basic advice like “share your article on LinkedIn”.
Strategy #1: Boosting posts
Still to this day I boost my posts on Facebook. It worked even better when I was starting off, but it still works well today as it helps generate traction.
As you can see from the screenshot above, I boosted my last week's post. I tend to boost all of my posts, which is roughly 4 times a month.
I spend $400 per post. I pick the regions: United Stated States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom when boosting.
You should pick the regions where most of your ideal customers are (ideally, I should only be boosting within the United States) and make your boost lasts 2 weeks as the clicks will be cheaper than if you spent it all in one day.
If you continually do this your traffic will grow over time and you will also get more organic Facebook traffic by boosting.
If you aren't, that means people don't care for your content… which means you need to go back and adjust your content with the tips I broke down above.
Strategy #2: Email everyone you linked to
Within your blog post, you should have linked to other sites. As I mentioned above, you want to cite your sources and link to places where you are finding data/stats.
Every time I link to a website, I will go to their site and try to find the email of the website owner so I can let them know I linked to them.
But before I share with you an email template to send, keep in mind that you will have to modify it for your website. I can't emphasize this enough.
And I know some of you don't think emailing works because you get so many link building requests, but if it didn't work you wouldn't be getting all of those emails.
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It's no secret that businesses need to prioritize the customer experience. Ultimately, keeping your customers happy will help your business grow and prosper.
In fact, 80% of consumers say they're willing to spend more money to have a better customer service experience.
As a business owner, you need to recognize this and adjust your approach accordingly.
Ask yourself if your current customer service strategy is more convenient for you or more convenient for your customers. Here's what I mean.
If the only way to contact a customer service representative at your company is via telephone during business hours on weekdays, that's more convenient for you.
But if a customer has the ability to reach you on weekends or after hours, this will provide them with an enhanced customer service experience.
Improving your customer service may cost you more money. I understand this can be discouraging for some of you.
But as discussed, customers are willing to spend more money for this experience. So you can increase your prices accordingly.
Let's take a look at the most important elements of the customer experience:
If you look through these responses, you'll see a common theme across the board.
Customers want fast response times. This is especially important if they have an issue, need, or complaint. But you also need to provide fast response times for general inquiries.
Your customers want to speak with knowledgeable staff.
They also want the option to reach customer service representatives, regardless of the time of day or their location. The contact method needs to be fast and easy to use.
Implementing live chat addresses all these factors.
For those of you who aren't currently using live chat to connect with your customers, that needs to change.
I'll explain how live chat will improve your customers' service experience and ultimately help you make more money. Here's what you need to know.
Customers prefer live chat
Now that we've had a chance to look at the elements of good customer experience, it's time to take those results one step further.
By reviewing those responses, it's logical to assume that live chat would meet the needs and requests of the consumer. But is that really what your customers are looking for?
Research shows that live chat has a 92% consumer satisfaction rating. This is the highest rating compared to phone support, social media, and email.
Furthermore, when asked directly, consumers cited live chat as their most preferred method of customer service communication:
Live chat is not a new advancement in technology. It's been around for decades.
That said, we're seeing an increase in its availability and popularity in customer service. According to experts, in the next 12 to 18 months, live chat for customer support is to grow by 87%.
It's in your best interest to implement this now, before your competitors beat you to it.
With the popularity of live chat increasing, consumers will be more likely to favor brands offering this most preferred method of communication.
Failure to jump on board with this trend now could result in you falling behind the competition and losing some customers.
Make your live chat option easily accessible
Let's say a customer decides they have a question, need help, or have an issue that needs to be addressed. Now what?
They shouldn't have to spend much time searching and scrolling through your website to find a representative. This is a navigation mistake that you need to avoid.
The live chat feature needs to be readily available, or it won't be as effective.
The best way to do this is to provide a live chat pop-up in the corner of your page. Check out this example from Warby Parker:
Your live chat option should be easy to find, even when a website visitor isn't initially looking to speak with a representative.
Just knowing that this option is available will improve their experience. If they don't want to use this feature right now, they can simply minimize the chat window and continue browsing.
I really like this live chat feature from Warby Parker: it's big, but not too intrusive.
Website visitors can continue to navigate and use the site, even while the chat box is open.
This makes it easy for customers to tell your live chat representatives exactly what they need if they have an inquiry that's specific to something on your web pages.
Provide fast response times
Think about the last time you contacted a business that didn't have a live chat feature. How did you reach out to them?
Chances are you used one of the following methods:
Several times, I've spent over an hour on the phone waiting to speak to a representative. We've all been in this situation before.
You pace around the room listening to terrible hold music or some other automated loop of a voice saying “your call is important to us.”
It's frustrating, to say the least.
Email communication isn't much better. This could take days or potentially even longer. I sent an email to an airline a few months ago, and it took them three weeks to respond.
But live chat gives you the opportunity to respond to customer inquiries as fast as possible.
Here's a look at the top reasons why customers say that live chat is their preferred method of contact:
As you can see, getting their questions answered immediately ranked first on this list.
Just implementing live chat isn't necessarily effective if it's taking forever for your representatives to respond. So make sure you properly staff your agents to handle the volume of customer messages.
Even if an agent isn't ready to respond as soon as a new chat starts, there are still ways to keep the customer happy.
You can use automation to your advantage. Set up instant responses using artificial intelligence software asking the customer what they need help with.
Based on the customer's answer, you can connect them with the next available and knowledgeable staff member, but we'll discuss that in greater detail shortly.
You can even gather more information about the customer once the chat is initiated and before an actual person starts responding.
Ask for details such as:
This buys you some time, but it also gives your chat agents more information to further assist the customer as fast as possible.
Include typing indicators
Once the chat starts, you want to make it clear to your customers that someone is there to respond.
When they ask a question, it may take your agents some time to read through it and research a solution. Plus, not all of your customers will be sending perfect messages.
There could be some spelling and grammar mistakes. They also don't know your products and services as well as you do, so they may not even know how to ask the question properly at first. It could take your agents a minute to decipher the question and understand what the customer needs help with.
But with all of this in mind, it's important to let the customer know that an agent is present. The best way to do this is with a typing indicator.
This shows the customer their question is not being ignored, even though they haven't seen a response yet.
Train your staff to acknowledge all messages from the customer, even before they provide a response.
For example, let's say someone asks a question, but the agent needs a minute or two to research and type the resolution. Rather than having a minute or two of downtime, the agent can respond with something like, “Yes I see what you're talking about.”
Then the customer will see the typing indicator as well while the agent continues writing the solution.
Now the customer knows their question isn't being ignored and doesn't think there is a glitch or problem with the live chat platform.
Connect customers with knowledgeable support agents
When a customer has a question or problem, it's important it gets answered not only fast but also efficiently.
If you can't come up with a solution for your customers, you aren't providing them with the best possible customer service. It's important to connect your customers with support agents who are able to help them with their problems.
So you need to gather more information about the inquiry before connecting the chat to an agent. Here's a look at how Apple handles this:
Obviously, Apple is a major company with a wide range of products, software, and services.
While overall their staff may be knowledgeable, they have experts for different departments.
For example, if someone has a question about their Apple Music subscription, they will probably be connected with a different agent than someone who is having issues with their Macbook software.
So if your business has lots of departments, you'll want to have some type of filtering system like this as well.
Don't have your agents answer questions they are not qualified to answer. In the event that an agent doesn't know how to provide help, there should be an option for them to transfer the chat to another representative.
Let's say you have retail store locations that sell various home improvement products, furnishings, and electronics.
A customer starts a live chat, indicating they need help with outdoor patio furniture, and then gets connected with a proper associate.
Once their question is answered, they may have another question about installing a sound system in their living room. So the agent could say they'll transfer the chat to someone who specializes in electronics.
Send your customers a chat transcript
Once the chat is over, your customers may want to refer back to the conversation.
This is especially true if they were troubleshooting a problem and the representative offered a step-by-step solution.
The chat transcript also shows you're being completely transparent. It keeps your staff accountable for what they say as well.
It's basically the same concept as phone calls being recorded for quality or training purposes. Sending the transcript to your customers proves you're recording and monitoring the conversations.
This may also reduce the chances of a customer reaching out for help again when they have the same question or forget something that was said.
They can simply refer back to the chat. This is one of the reasons why live chat is more cost-effective than phone support.
Plus, with live chat, your agents will be able to speak with multiple customers at the same time. This can't happen over the phone. But I'll discuss this concept in more detail shortly.
Either way, not only will you be improving your customer experience by implementing live chat, but you'll also be saving money.
This, in conjunction with the consumer willingness to spend more money for better service, is a formula for increased profits.
Build an FAQ database
If you see common questions coming in via live chat, you can use this information to improve your website.
Start an FAQ page.
Write detailed responses to those questions. Customers may search or check this page before connecting with a live chat agent.
If they see their question, they won't even need to contact your customer support team.
The database will also help you improve your products and services.
For example, let's say you're selling a product that requires customer assembly, but you're seeing a huge number of customers asking questions about the instructions.
You may need to go back and re-evaluate those instructions. Make improvements in areas where customers had questions.
This FAQ database will help both you and your customers.
Train your staff properly
To maximize the efficiency of your live chat, your agents will be dealing with several conversations simultaneously. Make sure they are able to handle this.
Provide proper training so they can navigate between windows and stay organized.
Even if they are knowledgeable about your brand and products, that's useless if they don't know how to properly use the live chat software.
You don't want them to feel overwhelmed, or it will hurt the quality of their responses and ultimately reflect poorly on the customer experience.
Look at how customers respond after they have positive and negative experiences:
They share their feelings on multiple channels of both good and bad encounters. But they are more likely to tell people about bad customer service experiences.
Make sure your staff are friendly. Train them to be both helpful and understanding.
Customers may say things in a wrong way or use incorrect terminology. Don't make them feel bad about it.
Apologize for any inconvenience your product may have caused them. Thank them for reaching out and supporting the business.
Stay engaged. Ask the right questions in response the customer inquiries.
Even if the customer communicates using slang, shortcuts, or acronyms, your staff should always be responding with proper grammar to stay professional.
Your business needs to implement a live chat feature. Ultimately, this will improve your customer service.
Customers prefer live chat over other methods of communication. They want their inquiries answered as fast as possible.
Add a typing indication feature to show customers that an agent is there and working on a response.
Make sure your staff is knowledgeable. If a support agent can't answer a question, allow them to transfer the chat to an expert in that particular department.
Send your customers a copy of the chat transcript so they can refer to it if they need any clarification. Use common concerns to build an FAQ database.
Your support agents need to be able to accommodate multiple conversations simultaneously. Make sure they're trained to be helpful and professional at all times.
All of these factors will keep your customers happy and increase your profits.
How is your brand using live chat to improve the customer service experience?
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Ideas are a dime a dozen. Everyone has them.
Some ideas are great, and others could be improved.
As an online marketer, I've heard countless business pitches from prospective entrepreneurs over the years. While I admire their creativity, just coming up with an idea alone is far from having a viable business concept.
If you are ready to put your idea to the test and launch a startup company, I encourage you to read this guide.
Your idea needs validation.
The last thing you want to do is launch a new business and realize six months down the road that it wasn't a good idea. By this point, you've already sunk too much time and money into the venture.
Don't skip any steps in the startup process.
Here's what I've done. I've outlined how you can take an idea and turn it into an actual business. I've tried to keep this guide as general as possible so that it can speak to the widest audience of entrepreneurs.
For example, some businesses will need to buy or lease retail space. Other brands will need production equipment or partnerships with manufacturing facilities.
Some of you may even need permits and have to meet certain legal obligations before your launch. I stayed away from going into depth on these types of details.
That said, this is an excellent reference for anyone with a business idea and no experience launching a startup.
Even if you've been part of startup launches before, this guide can help you avoid some mistakes you may have made in the past.
Write a business plan
When you approach your new business venture without a plan, you increase your chances of failure.
The odds are already working against you since such a large percentage of new startup companies fail.
You need to do everything possible to try to give yourself an advantage and increase your chances of success.
Here's a pretty common conversation I have with entrepreneurs. They pitch me an idea and follow up with something like, “Wouldn't that be a great business?”
My honest answer is I truly don't know. And they don't know either.
Many ideas sound good when they're verbalized. But when it comes to the logistics, finances, and other important details, the idea may not be as good as you initially thought.
That's why you need to learn how to write a business plan for your startup company.
Your business plan will help you tremendously and ultimately increase your chances of succeeding.
Startups with a business plan have a 29% greater chance of securing funding, which we'll discuss in greater detail shortly. Writing a plan also increases the chances of business growth by 50%.
These are the common components of a business plan:
Your plan will outline everything you need to do, even if your idea is very simple. For example, let's say you're planning to sell shirts.
How are you going to sell them? Where will you sell them? Whom will you sell them to? At what price will they be sold?
You'll explain in detail your costs to produce the shirts. The business plan will even outline when you plan to break even on your investment.
The financial projections section is arguably the most important part of the entire plan.
You need to come up with realistic numbers. In addition to listing all your expenses, you need to project your sales.
This information will help you determine if your new business can generate money. You'll be able to come up with price points so you can turn a profit.
Again, you must figure all this out before you open the doors of a new business. It starts with proper planning.
Define your target audience
The idea for your new business might sound good, but for whom is it a good idea?
Whether you have a product, service, invention, or modification to an existing product, you need to clearly define whom you're selling to.
I hear people say all the time:
This is simply not true. Plus, from a marketing perspective, it's unreasonable to try to launch a brand intended for everyone.
Imagine trying to come up with promotions that appeal to men, women, and children of all ages from every corner of the world. It's not a realistic approach.
You need to learn how to identify the target market of your startup.
Start with broad assumptions about your prospective customers, and narrow it down even more.
Begin with factors such as their ages, genders, and physical locations. Then get more specific, and identify their interests and lifestyle habits.
Here are some ways for you to segment your audience based on geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral categories.
For example, let's say your product is intended for males between the ages of 25 and 40. That's still a broad audience.
You can make it more specific by saying you're targeting males between the ages of 25 and 40, who live in the United States, make more than $60,000 per year, and are interested in fitness.
Do you see the difference? That's much more detailed. You can develop a customer persona to help you with this process.
Also, you need to look at your target audience from different perspectives. Let's say you're launching a startup that sells toys for young children.
That's not necessarily your target market.
Three-year-old kids don't buy stuff. You need to target their parents instead. Make sense?
Conduct market research
Now that you have an idea of whom you want to target, it's time to test that theory. Just because you think your idea is great for a specific market doesn't mean this is true. You can use:
You need to get out there and talk to people. Validate your idea.
It's also necessary to figure out who else is offering the same thing you are. Today, it isn't easy to come up with an idea that's 100% unique.
Don't get me wrong: it doesn't mean you can't make money by having the same idea as someone else. But if the market is oversaturated, it might not be in your best interest to proceed.
I'll give you a simple example to explain what I mean. Let's say you want to open a pizza shop in your city.
You've scouted out a location that can fit your ovens and tables. You can rent it at a reasonable rate. Your pizza recipe is outstanding. Plus, everyone likes pizza, and more than 100,000 people live in the city.
This idea must be a homerun, right? Not if there are 20 other pizza shops within a few blocks of your prospective location.
It's going to be too difficult for you to compete with a market that's so saturated.
This is an example on a small level, but you can scale it to any industry. Look at the ecommerce space. There is a huge competition globally.
In addition to niche brands, you'll also be competing with giants such as Walmart and Amazon.
The number one reason why startups fail is that there is no market need.
While your idea might be cool, there may not be a need for your product or service.
Or even if the market needs what you're offering, it could be getting it from someone else already.
Market research will also require you to analyze your competition.
Establish your brand
Your startup company needs to have a differentiation strategy that separates you from your competitors.
What's your identity?
Your brand may be cool, edgy, and trendy. Or maybe you're going for a brand identity that is conservative and family-oriented instead.
Some startups launch with a mission to help a greater cause, such as a nonprofit organization.
No matter what your brand identity is, it needs to be clear to your audience. All of your branding campaigns will reflect the image you're trying to portray.
Your website colors, marketing campaigns, and promotions will speak to your brand identity. This even relates to your logo and the name of your startup.
Come up with a name that doesn't restrict your growth. Even if you're focusing on something specific right now, you don't want the name of your brand to put you in a box, preventing your expansion in the future.
Your brand needs to speak to your target audience, which was already defined. A proper branding strategy will nurture your brand reputation.
In a perfect world, your brand image and brand reputation will be the same. You want people to see your company in a positive light.
So it's important to get your branding strategy right the first time because your reputation is going to stick with you for years to come.
It'll be hard to rebrand yourself in the future if you make a mistake during the launch stages, so don't rush into anything.
Surround yourself with the right people
It's time to assemble your team.
The size of your team will vary based on the type of business you're launching.
You want to find people strong in areas where you are weak. For example, if you're extremely creative but don't have managerial skills, it doesn't make sense to bring another creative mind on board without hiring someone who can manage employees.
Or let's say you're building a mobile app but don't have any experience with coding or design. You'll need to hire a developer and designer.
Surround yourself with people whom you are compatible with. You want to build strong working relationships with your team.
Here's another problem I see all the time. People launch a startup and just start hiring their friends and family.
Don't get me wrong - this can work. But you need to think long and hard about this decision. Do you want your personal relationships to be impacted by the business?
Can these people take directions from you? What if you need to fire your best friend?
These are all sticky situations, so tread carefully. You also need to make sure every member of your team can bring something to the table.
Just because you were bouncing ideas off a friend a few months ago doesn't mean they're part of the business.
I'm not saying you need to be selfish or stingy, but ultimately, you need to do what's best for you and your business.
Your startup will need some money to get off the ground. Depending on what you're doing, this can range anywhere from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars.
Everyone's situation is different. You'll need to recognize all your business costs. Here are some examples to consider:
You need to realize you won't have any income when you first launch, but you'll still need to cover all your expenses.
Based on this information, you'll be able to determine how much money you need. Learn how to get your startup funded.
Use your business plan and financial projections when you're speaking with prospective lenders or investors.
You may consider getting a bank loan and pay interest fees for the funds you borrow. But big banks may not be your best bet. Just look at these approval rates for small business loans:
For your startup company, you may want to consider some alternative options:
These are all reasonable sources to raise capital to launch your startup. You'll just have to consider these options and decide which ones are the best for your scenario.
Figure out if it's worth giving up equity in your company. Will your investors bring anything else to the table besides cash?
While it may be nice to have other opinions, you want to make sure you have the final say in all decisions. There is nothing wrong with giving up some equity, but just don't lose control of your company.
Build hype before you launch
Everything is falling into place.
Your business plan looks good. The target market is clearly defined. All your market research is complete.
The team you assembled is qualified. All of your funds have been secured.
Now it's time to put your company branding strategy to work.
Buy a domain name. Launch your website. Create social media profiles.
Start to market your brand. Even if you're not officially launched or selling anything just yet, you can still take pre-orders.
Create a blog. Try to get featured on press releases or news articles. Send free samples to influencers.
Do anything that will make your presence known. Get creative with guerilla marketing and content marketing strategies.
Be prepared to work
Before you officially launch, you need to ask yourself if you're ready to work.
Sure, you know your idea is great and it's been validated through your research. But are you ready to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?
Just look at how many hours the average entrepreneur works per week:
In order to launch your startup, you might be leaving a job with a steady paycheck to work twice as hard on your new business, without being able to pay yourself for years.
Is this something you can handle mentally and financially?
Research shows 41% of entrepreneurs say they feel stressed almost every day. An additional 33% say they feel stressed a couple of times per week.
But only 7% of entrepreneurs say they never feel stressed.
Unlike with a regular job, there's no quitting on your own business. You can't call in sick when you don't feel like working.
You're the boss. You set the tone for the entire culture of the company.
While being your own boss definitely has lots of benefits, it also comes with added responsibility and plenty of sleepless nights. You need to recognize that your startup can still fail.
I'm not saying all of this to discourage you from following through with your plan, but you need to accept this reality.
But if you're willing to take these risks and get to work, proceed with your business plan, and make it happen.
There is a big difference between an idea and an established business. You need to take steps to validate that idea before you launch a startup company.
Write a business plan. Identify your target market. Conduct market research.
Then you'll need to come up with a branding strategy.
Assemble your team. Surround yourself with people who can contribute to the success of your new business.
Recognize your costs and outline your financial projections. This will give you a better idea of how much money you need to launch your company.
Being an entrepreneur can be rewarding, but it's no walk in the park. You need to ask yourself if you're capable of being a business owner.
But if you're ready to work and you've taken the steps I've described in this guide, you can turn your business idea into a reality.
What steps have you taken to turn your concept into a startup company?
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