Every business person goes into business with the aim of making a profit… that is the only way it makes sense. But what is profit really?
Profit is the amount of money that is left in your pocket after you have taken off all the costs that are associated with delivering the service or selling the product to the customer. This sounds simple enough, right?
Value proposition is a description of your product with a focus on what it is, what it does for the customer and what the experience of using your product is. It is highly centered on the value provided to the customer and NOT on the innovativeness of the product.
You need to be able to concisely explain what your market looks like. This includes showing an understanding for your competitive landscape, the key products being sold as well as how your product will fit into the space.
Knowing your customer is about understanding your customer's buying behavior: what they use the product for and how they are likely to buy it. You need to be able to describe your target customer incl. age, life-stage, potentially marital status and their behavior with your product.
Every business needs to be solving a distinct problem that the customer has. This can consists in either solving an old problem in a new way (e.g. Uber) or solving an emerging problem (e.g. password management apps).
You need to understand this problem intimately in order to communicate your solution effectively. Knowing the problem you are solving gives you a competitive edge as you are able to make your customers understand exactly what they will be getting from you and why it will help them.
Like many SMMEs, in the beginning we were very low on cash and didn't have the money to pump into the business. We were, thus forced to find more cost-effective ways to build our business.
Being a small business has taught us that there is no such thing as a job title in a start-up (especially when you are strapped for cash). We were all involved in everything from marketing, negotiation, web design, packaging design, logistics, supply chain… you name it, we did it.
These are our tips and tricks on bootstrapping (starting a business with your own money).