The Indian government has launched the following schemes to promote and support entrepreneurs in their startup journey.
For entrepreneurs, the easy availability of capital is an important factor that affects the enterprise’s growth. Many business ideas do not come into existence because of a lack of working capital. To curb this situation, the Government of India has launched several schemes for funding startups. Through these schemes, the government provides financial assistance to entrepreneurs.
About Startup Funding
Funding refers to the money required to start and run a business. It is a financial investment in a company for product development, manufacturing, expansion, sales and marketing, office spaces, and inventory. Instead of raising funds from third parties, some startup founders go for bootstrapping (to prevent debts and equity dilution). However, most startups raise funding, especially as they grow larger and scale their operations. A startup here means a company built to grow fast, and a high-growth company almost always needs to burn capital to sustain its growth before achieving profitability.
To take your idea from concept to market, you must prepare to invest time and money and factor in some determination to turn your vision into reality.
If you’ve moved past the ideation and conceptualization stage of business, you have moved on to the business development stage. You’re ready to start manufacturing, marketing, and selling your product or offering your service.
While many people believe that coming up with an exciting idea that you believe in is 90% of the work done, reality often deceives expectations. The hard reality is that coming up with an app idea is easy, and figuring out what to do next is the hardest part.
However, the magic is in the execution.
To take your idea from concept to market, you must prepare to invest time and money and factor in some determination to turn your vision into reality. But if you’re struggling with where to start, this article will help you get going. So read along!
Steps to move your product concept out of the ideas shed and launch into the marketplace:
1. Conduct Market Research
The importance of this step cannot be overstated. Without conducting market research, the chances of your business failing at the first point of contact with your customer increase greatly.
Conducting market research can help you learn how many consumers or businesses could use the product. It can also help you assess your competitors, which will exist regardless of how unique you believe your innovation is. We recommend going offline and conducting real-world market research to nail this first step.
2. Connect with customers
Knowing your customer in a wholesome manner is prominent to having a strong customer base. As an entrepreneur, you must know what your customers want, their preferences and desires, what they are looking for, and their purchasing behavior.
Maintaining an enhanced customer base will build confidence and loyalty in them for the brand and give the company free marketing in terms of word of mouth.
If you are a retailer with no online presence, consider setting up a web store as another way to capture sales and connect to the clients. Consider engaging with your clients through emails and social media campaigns.
3. Profile your customers
When designing a product, it is easy to get caught up in your passion for the idea and become disconnected from those who will ultimately buy the product. Understanding your customer will help clarify your design parameters, what features add value, and which are just adding costs.
Anything that helps you get closer to understanding your customer is useful. It’s great to think out of the box as well. Your ultimate goal must be to make an abstract concept of your customer into a real person with wants and needs.
4. Leverage social media
Social media is one of the strongest tools in the business development strategy. Numerous social media platforms allow sellers to reach their potential customers and the masses.
By implementing a comprehensive social media strategy, you can ensure social media works as a driver of new business that positively promotes your service offerings. However, to best leverage social media, it is important to understand your customers and identify the channels through which they prefer to communicate. Instead of using social media to sell your product, use it to give away your knowledge, industry trends, and insights on the preferred platforms, and focus on building a relationship with your followers.
5. Do your legal due diligence
Legal due diligence can refer to intellectual property (IP) rights as well as product compliance and safety testing. It is possible to carry out a certain amount of due diligence yourself, but at some point, you will need to spend some money to make sure your product does not infringe any law, is itself protected, and can be legally sold in your target market.
Most third-party testing houses will give you free advice and a list of legal testing requirements that you will need to pass to launch your product.
6. Market Your Product
Marketing is the process of getting the right goods or services or ideas to the right people at the right place, time, and price, using the right promotion techniques and utilizing the appropriate people to provide the customer service associated with those goods and services or ideas.
A business plan forces you to clarify the strategic plan for business growth.
It consists of the answers to some key questions – how to get your product or service into the hands of customers who are your target market. Will you do it yourself, or will you outsource manufacturing? Who is going to physically transport your product to customers? What are the methods of distribution: retail, online, and/or catalog purchases? Who will sell it: you, in-house sales staff, independent reps, telemarketers?
7. Launch the product and research future market opportunities
Launching the original product is the most exciting part of the process, but the work doesn’t end here. Apart from marketing, an entrepreneur should look for other opportunities in the market. Is there a way the product may be useful for another audience? Are there improvements or expansions that should be considered for the line? This method of continuous innovation is what turns a single creation into a global product line.