Anyone can become an entrepreneur. You don’t (and shouldn’t!) have to quit your job to start one. If it is only moderately successful, you can continue to climb the corporate ladder while your business grows. If it doesn’t succeed, you still have the job that you love. Here are some tips on how to get it started.
Develop your business idea
Treat your idea like a secret or hidden treasure. Seek advice only from people you fully trust. Limit the information you give to potential suppliers, and make them sign a confidentiality agreement before you show any designs or patterns.
Check the market
Is your product really the first and only one of its kind that’s out there? Check the internet and local stores.
If you find that your product is indeed unique, consider getting a patent or trademark registration. If there are similar enterprises, see if you can introduce some innovations.
If the similar products aren’t locally available, go ahead and sell but don’t claim to be the ‘first of its kind.’
Make a protyotype
For garments or accessories that is made of fabric, for example, you can look for experienced subcontractors, meet with them, and gain insights on pattern making, labor, materials, allotting for fabric volume, and even pricing. Again, be discerning about who you talk to and who you share the information with.
Then, have friends test the product and give feedback. If the results are good, you can also use the prototype to plan your packaging design and branding.
Plan for marketing and distribution
Touch base with potential outlets which can carry your product. Ask about the percentage of sales discounts/ commissions, merchandising policies, and the like. Since they are the experts in retailing, they might also have valuable insights that could help you position your product well. Listen well and learn from them.
Do your costings
This is part of a successful business plan. Now that you have all the information you need, you can check your costings and work on your pricing plan. Incorporate your packaging and marketing cost in your pricing, as well as your retail outlets/ resellers/ agents’ commissions or discounts. With all the costs incorporated, you can add your mark up and check if your final cost or suggested retail price will still make your product marketable.
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