There's no doubt that successful businesses start with a brilliant idea.
In today's business climate, with increased exposure to competition, entrepreneurs need to innovate to stand out from the crowd.
Innovating to get started? Not necessarily.
Many new entrepreneurs think that starting up a business necessarily involves invention. While this is indeed necessary for pioneering companies, most other businesses simply reinvent existing concepts or find new ways of doing things.
For example, developing a brand-new application to improve the customer experience is innovation, while selling a web-based customer monitoring tool is simply offering an improved tool for monitoring customer needs, which some firms need to ensure their success.
However, finding the right niche based on what you do best and the market potential requires careful planning and research. Companies will tell you: the greatest commercial successes are certainly based on product excellence, but are very often the result of favorable market conditions and excellent timing.
There's no recipe for starting a new business, but here are a few rules to help you get off on the right foot.
Watch for business opportunities
The best way to find unbeatable ideas is through careful observation. Start by assessing exactly what you do best. You'll increase your chances of success by starting a business in a field you know well and where you can exploit your strengths.
For example, if you work in the hotel industry, you could set up a company specializing in transport and pre-routing to hotel sites.
Here are a few useful tips:
- Do what you're passionate about; your enthusiasm will arouse the curiosity and motivation of funders.
- Choose a project that allows you to act immediately, before your enthusiasm fades.
- Set yourself precise results targets, so you can easily self-assess.
- Be on the lookout for business opportunities, such as taking over a family business or reinventing the local food industry.
- Create a company that offers something different from existing businesses in this market.
- Consider operating a franchise. Read also: How to buy a franchise?
Find your niche
Successful marketing of a product or service depends on a host of factors, including design, features, benefits, price, profit margin, safety, service, image, durability, packaging, incentives and sales forecasts.
In addition to inventions, here are some possible options for product development:
- Innovative product ranges that enable you to create your own niche, revolutionize markets or create new ones.
- Modification/replacement of a product to add it to your current range.
- Repositioned products to discover new applications for your products or acquire new customers for your existing products
- Imitation products that are copies of products manufactured by others and for which there is a market.
Here's a short list of things you can do to determine your niche:
- Consider the needs of your potential customers; ask yourself how your company can meet them.
- Identify existing opportunities among these needs.
- Examine your customers' desires. A market need may represent a gap, e.g., a product for which there is no after-sales service.
Remember that consumers buy products to satisfy a particular craving. What desires can your product or service satisfy? Does it make your customers' lives easier?
Clearly identify your niche by answering the following questions:
- What is my product or service?
- Who is my customer?
- Why does my customer buy my product or service?
- What is my customer's definition of value?
- How is my product or service superior to that of my competitors?
- What won't my potential customer buy?
- Why is my potential customer buying from my competitor?
- How can I position myself to attract this customer to my company?
Prepare an effective business plan
The next step is to describe your creative idea in a business plan. Your business plan will enable you to sell your idea to financiers, investors and shareholders.
The main shortcomings of most business plans are a lack of clarity, poor content or a lack of strategic direction.
Be sure to include all the relevant information: positioning, market analysis and financial data. Projects developed with the help of a specialist in the target market are best received.
Find a mentor
Setting up a business is no easy task. Many projects fail to see the light of day because they are not taken seriously, or are not given sufficient follow-up or support. You can greatly increase your chances of success by seeking advice from someone experienced in the business world.
These business leaders, often referred to as "mentors", provide management advice, suggest sources of financing and often offer internships to their young protégés, enabling them to perfect their skills in their field.
Business acceleration zones offer mentoring programs designed to facilitate contact between business leaders and people with business projects. Local economic development centers and some business leaders' associations also offer mentoring programs.
Get the right financing
There are several organizations in Israel that can help you finance your project.
Many of these organizations focus on encouraging and helping people to make aliyah, and can sometimes help you borrow the money you need to launch your project, interest-free.
This will give you the cash you need to launch your project in Israel and make it a success.