When you started your business did you actually write a business plan? I did, only because my mentor at the time told me to. When I think back to that many years ago and what I “thought” I was in for, is not at all where my life took me. Now, I am not saying, just jump right in. Having a strategy and doing some research can certainly help. One thing to ask yourself, what problem does your business solve? Here’s a look at four business-planning lessons from some of today’s biggest business success stories (and some of my favorites BTW):
Uber: Solve a common problem
The ride-hailing company now valued at more than $50 billion was first envisioned when tech entrepreneurs Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp were attending a tech conference in Paris on a snowy night. They were trying to find a taxi, but none were available. The two friends quickly thought up a technological solution to this problem: Create a mobile app that allowed people to easily hail a comfortable ride. Who would have thought?
They noted that the same cab shortage was common in San Francisco and figured an on-demand car-hailing service would help ensure cars were available when and where people actually needed them. The friends took several years to get it going and started with only a few cars and a few employees.
Amazon: Market Research
According to Success.com, Jeff Bezos, quit his job and pursue a dream: Starting an Internet retail business. In the few months before leaving his job, the Amazon.com founder conducted lots of research and brainstormed on a few items he thought would sell well online including CDs, videos, books, computer software and computer hardware, according to a profile in Success magazine. He then thoroughly researched each of his ideas and settled on books, because he figured many bookstores were only able to stock a few thousand titles while there were millions of titles available. Amazon officially launched in 1995 selling books only, but within a couple years branched out into other types of products, including CDs and electronics, now you can even get your groceries straight from Amazon. Amazon Prime is my absolute FAV and the 1 touch APP is everything!!
Apple: Identify tech challenges
If you are in the creative world, you should know that Apple is like your BFF! Before Apple launched its famous Macintosh personal computer in 1982, the company put together major business plan. The plan, now on display at a museum, shows that these boys knew they were taking risks. You see, being a business owner, is all about taking risks, because you don’t know what you don’t know. The main thing that was on their plan was asking themselves if the schedule was realistic in launching the product. That launch led to a company that is now valued at over $1 Trillion (I don’t even know how many zeros that is! LOL)! Amazing!
Burt’s Bees: You have to experiment
Burt’s Bees natural skin-care products did not start out that well known. It wasn’t until they started to focus on candles, furniture polish and lip balm and this all came from participating in a craft fair. Testing those products at a craft fair was far less pricey than putting products in stores not knowing if the consumers would purchased. Years later, Burt’s Bees was sold to Clorox for $900 million, can you imagine just by starting at the craft fair.
These are just a few stories I wanted to share with you to show that you never know what is in store for your business. As entrepreneurs we can learn from one another and work towards being wildly successful.
You’re busy. We get it. A problem we often solve for creatives is how to make money doing what you love and getting paid what you are worth and for the value you bring to the table. I have created this system that has educated so many business owners; it’s call The Profit System. Click here to learn more!