Don’t Fake It Until You Make It
Know your business—inside and out.
By Chris Lewis
Entrepreneurs should consider conducting interviews with prospective customers to survey
their needs and determine how existing products on the market are—or aren’t—addressing those needs. Armed with that knowledge, entrepreneurs have a much better chance of turning their business visions into real opportunities.
In addition to determining their prospects’ needs and, in turn, the demand and monetary value of a potential product or service offering, entrepreneurs need to recognize other critical aspects of the customer relationship: how to acquire customers, retain them, and increase sales revenues on an annual basis.
“Entrepreneurs [need] to have full confidence in their [own] abilities and to be self-aware, as well as [having] looked at their businesses from all angles, thereby showing their risk management skill sets,” says Tony Willis, director, New Economy Division, Lansing Economic Area Partnership.
Those starting a business not only need to analyze what their competitors have already created but also the processes they followed to bring a product to market. They should study the “ins and outs” of their own products or services, making any necessary adjustments to account for impending risks that they noticed based on competitors’ past results.
“By having this type of information mastered and insightfully investigated, entrepreneurs can ensure considerable confidence in their abilities to deliver long-term profits,” Willis says.