Five things to think about before launching your business
Navigating the business world can be tough when you’re the new kid on the block. There are a lot of small details and formal steps. Luckily, Arizona State University alumnus and owner of Endless Entertainment, Will Curran, is sharing his insider knowledge with ASU News.
Build a strong working team. Whether you have a physical product or a service, you need to think about the big picture. Who will handle your finances? Who is going to do your marketing? You may be the visionary of the company, but you may lack specific knowledge of all the details.
“You need people who can fill specific knowledge gaps. For example, I have an operations girl, technologist and sales team who handle the promotions and events since I can’t be involved in every little detail,” said Curran.
Focus on the beginning not the end. It’s only natural to believe that your business is going to change the world, and everyone will want to sell or endorse you. The reality though, is that it takes a lot of work to get there. In your initial stages, decide how you are going to fund your first prototype and subsequent orders that will come in.
“When I started I had a DJ box kit and home stereo speakers. I didn’t have the money to buy hundreds of dollars of equipment. I would rent the equipment until my company finally had enough to buy our own. When you’re starting out though, you want to make sure you have as little overhead as possible,” he said.
Create a brand that will travel across markets. Curran first began his business under the title “Arizona Pro DJs,” but realized that in order to branch out nationally he would have to change the company name to Endless Entertainment.
“Pick something that isn’t too literal. Take Virgin for example. You can put it in front of a record company, mobile product, anything. If you are John’s Roofing then customers will only expect to work with John and think you only do roofing,” he said.
Let your numbers speak louder than words. Curran suggests finding ways to measure your performance. First, set goals for sales, events or product orders. Next, decide how you will track these analytics. It’s also a good idea to put your long and short term goals down on paper.
“You need to be able to recognize when something is or isn’t working and make strategic decisions,” he said.
Be flexible. It sounds simple, but businesses go through highs and lows. It’s important listen to what your customers want and try adjusting your focus to suit their needs.
“You have to be ready to pivot. Take inventory of the responses you are getting and be ready to flip if necessary. This means rebranding your messaging, sales approach, everything,” said Curran.
Still looking for help with your business? Visit the Entrepreneurship at ASU page now.