There’s something so intriguing and satisfying about having your own business, right?
But the problem is, a lot of people don’t know where to start. Are you one of them?
Each person has their own unique journey in entrepreneurship. This post is about how we started our baby safety brand, Bonjour Baby.
Startup Business Step #1 Narrow Down Your Audience
The usual path of business owners (including ourselves) is to treat ourselves as the audience. A lot of business courses tell you to think broadly and hammer in “not everyone is you!”, but in our case, we chose ourselves to be our market. To be specific, we shaped the concept of Bonjour Baby around moms (like us!) who want to have well-designed, high-quality and functional items for our babies.
What kind of audience is your startup business reaching out to?
Who is your customer?
It would be too simplistic to say, “anyone with money to pay!”. In a perfect world that would be a great answer, but real life doesn’t live up to our idealistic answers.
The key to a winning business formula is to have a niche market. What is a niche market? Basically is a specific subset of the customer base where your product is focused.
If you’re targeting moms, what kind of moms are they? Moms who like organic and natural products only? Moms with special kids? Moms who appreciate the Montessori method?
Having a niche market will help keep you on track with your vision for your business and eliminate distracting ideas.
Considering your target market
Age, gender, income, location, spending habits, will impact every decision you make on your business. For us, even though we would want to believe that every mom would chase after our products, not everyone does.
Case in point, there are moms who find our products expensive daw, though we price fairly without compromising quality. Plug: Did you know that our Mix and Match Playmat has passed all the American and European testing standards (TUV, SGS and CTT), while priced P1,000 less than a similar brand of playmat?.
Rather than trying to please everybody and coming up with low-priced versions with lower safety standards, we just focus on growing our niche market and learning more about them and their needs.
Why Would Someone Buy That??
Have you ever had the feeling of entering a store and seeing something that makes you think “Why would someone buy that??” This happens to me when I’m picking out an ice cream flavor or going through racks inside a clothing store.
There are so many different kinds of people, some with totally polar opposite preferences than you, and they have spending power as well! So it’s worth taking a second look and withholding judgment. Don’t make the wrong assumptions, and do your research.
Ask yourself: Would you be more comfortable marketing to someone like yourself, or take a different step and reach out to a totally new to you niche? Goth lovers, cosplay afficiandos, wine connoseiurs, aren’t interests that I am familiar with, but they have a loyal and passionate following!
Startup Business Step #2 Product Selection
The most successful businesses have built products or services that solve a problem.
For me, the problem was my baby bump when I was pregnant with Mati (and bigger with Hannah pa!)
Mati in my tummy! Side story, we won a year’s worth of diapers from Huggies’ photo contest 🙂
It was literally a baby BUMP because I was always bumping into everything, particularly my vanity table at our master bath.
My husband bought plastic protector corner guards at a hardware store, but it still hurt when I bumped into them. And they fell off after a week too! That gave us the idea of sourcing thick, dense corner guards that softened the blow of impact.
How About You?
What do you want sell? A product, service, or idea?
Everyone sells something. It’s incredible how a growing population, global markets and technology have entrepreneurs to create the most innovative and valuable products services.
In order to take action, you have to know exactly what product or service you are going to market.
What is the problem that your product can solve?
What is that pain point that your product will bring a smile or a deep sigh of relief to your clients?
For us, we love receiving feedback on how corner and edge guards have saved wobbly walkers or speeding toddlers from bumps on the head and trips to the doctor.
Too Many/ Too Few Ideas?
What’s worse than having no ideas is having too many product ideas.
While you might want to take on the whole world with your exhaustive list of products and services, it’s wiser to focus and pick the most promising concept. In Mompreneur Mistakes I share about the stress and headaches of running like a headless chicken with too many ideas.
A solidly developed product idea crafted with care and intention beats having 30-something “get rich quick” ideas any day.
Believe me – indecision and uncertainty are recipes for disaster. There are so many products and services to choose from that it’s impossible to test them all (you would quickly make yourself bankrupt)!
Always ask yourself — What market do you want to reach and what problem do you want to solve?
Click here for Part 2 of this series.