By Julian Hooks

It takes more than just vision to start your own business. While a good idea can go a long way, bringing that to fruition is a whole different story. You do have to assess yourself if you are equipped with the right amount of drive, interest, natural ability, and everything essential in between to emerge as a winning entrepreneur.

There is a wide range of external factors that can make or break your startup business. Here are the five most important aspects to consider before you embark on the daunting yet rewarding journey of launching your own business.

1)   Value Proposition

A value proposition is also known as a positioning statement that exemplifies what benefit you provide for whom and how uniquely well you do it. This aspect puts due emphasis on the problem you solve, your target buyer, and why you’re better than your counterparts.

Everything begins with an idea. Come up with a business concept that you are familiar with or passionate about, and from there, you can decide on what product or service you can offer to the world. Then, size up the competition and think about what makes your product or service stand out from the rest. Take time to assess the market, targeting consumers most likely to make a purchase. And lastly, present a minimum viable product (MVP) to friends and family members so as to generate early feedback on your item.

2) Channels

One marketing strategy that has been proven effective by millions of entrepreneurs is multi-channel marketing. This is based around the concept that consumers are more likely to purchase when they are to use their preferred channel. For instance, a shop may present both offline and online alternatives for different customers in order to boost its sales.

To get your product a good spot on the market, you must decide on which distribution method to use.  Your options include using an online store, a physical store, or maybe even both, to sell your product.

Channels such as your social media account, email, and website prove to be highly beneficial. If you’re thinking of venturing into ecommerce, then a detailed review of Shopify and other online platforms may give you enough information to decide on which channel matches and reinforces the goals and objectives of your marketing plan.

3) Customer Relationships

This aspect best reflects the ways in which your company establishes contact and builds rapport with new customers, and communicates with existing ones.

Creating demand for your product requires you to have a good understanding on your market. Once you’ve achieved that, you’re on the right path to lasting customer relationships. The next thing you want is to catch their attention by promoting your product through various platforms such as advertising, public relations, emails, newspaper publications, conferences, and social media. Make sure you creatively communicate the unique benefits and features of your product to as many potential buyers as possible, engaging with the people in ways that show you care.

4) Cost Structure

This refers to the relative proportions of variable and fixed costs any enterprise incurs. A thorough research on the standard cost factors within your industry not only helps you manage your business more effectively, but also provides your investors with the information they need to partner with you. These cost factors include cost of sales, professional sales, technology costs, administrative costs, sales and marketing costs, and wages and benefits, depending on the type of business you’ve ventured into.

5) Revenue Streams

A revenue stream is a company’s single source of revenue. A company can have a varying number of revenue streams, depending on its size. Based on your revenue stream, choose a revenue model that you can use to generate your first sales. Some models you can use are ad-based, affiliate, transactional, subscription, web sales, and direct sales. The size of income you receive from your sales relies on how good your model is.

While the idea of starting your own business is always filled with hope and excitement, there is also the fear of risk and the unknown. If you are a natural-born risk taker and are constantly craving for adventure, you will find this similar to taking your much-coveted wild ride. On the other hand, if the thought of this endeavor leaves you rather fearful, carefully considering these five aspects before you launch your own business can help you overcome those fears and lead you down the path to success in no time.

Julian Hooks the brains behind the Advertising Commissions digital marketing agency. Helping businesses grow their presence on the web is one of his many passions. Check out his Ultimate Guide to Local SEO or the Shopify Review Guide for eCommerce.