Home Startup These 5 Skills Will Help You Build a Profitable Business
Startup - September 28, 2020

These 5 Skills Will Help You Build a Profitable Business

Have you thought about why some businesses thrive and are profitable while some others struggle so hard to get a bite of the market share and barely succeed? New entrepreneurs can relate to this. It’s the most important question anyone who is starting a new business asks all the time.

Research and critical thinking are crucial requirements a 21st-century entrepreneur needs to build a successful business in the highly competitive global markets. But, as it seems, the culture of band-wagon business ideas and models is producing more frustrated entrepreneurs, especially in the eCommerce space.

The problem is, before most people start a business, they look at what their friends and admirers are doing or what product seems to be lucrative and jump right in, without proper market surveys or any data that validates their desire. Hence, they invest in an already saturated sector of the market, and the never-ending struggle for profit begins.

Here are five tested and trusted skills that we guarantee will help you build a profitable business.

1. Spotting Market Opportunity

Unless you’re selling a unique product to a niche market, you will struggle to make a profit. That is the cold truth. For example, if you sell food, waist trainers, clothing, shoes, body care, etc. your chances of breaking even would be twice as hard, except you find a way to differentiate your brand from the pack. It could be in terms of offerings, distributorship or a smarter business model. You must do something others are not doing for you to survive the brutal competition in this space. 

In the business world, this type of competition, as you would see on social media these days, is called the RED ocean market. This is because it’s filled with a bloody race for profit. Hundreds of brands are outbidding themselves for paid traffic in the same space. There is a high chance that a customer would choose your competition over you because you’re all the same to him.

However, the only way to win in a red ocean market is if your marketing skill is impeccable and your product is different from your competitors’. It’s also an advantage if you have more than one product line. Unfortunately, most new businesses lack these advantages. That’s why they hardly survive.

 On the other hand, there is also what is called the BLUE ocean. The blue ocean market is not saturated. You can succeed in this space with little marketing skills. You’re either the first in the market or one of the first, so your chance of success is very high.

The difference between the entrepreneur who trades in the red ocean and the one in the blue ocean is ‘eyes for market opportunity’. To play in the less saturated market, you must be able to spot market opportunities before others do.

Here are the questions that will point you in the right direction: where is the market and the less populated opportunity gap? Who are the underserved individuals and businesses in the market? What unique product or service can I bring to the market?

2. Copywriting

Copywriting is the art of selling, using creatively coined words (whether written or spoken) that can persuade and convince a stranger to trust and buy your product. It even becomes easier and simpler to write a copy if you have a blue ocean product. Remember the blue ocean concept we explained in the first point? Backstep to catch up.

You would have probably read a piece before – maybe on the internet, in the newspaper or a magazine – that stimulated your interest in buying a product or patronising a service, without suspecting you are being psyched. That’s what copywriting does. It has been used by salespeople for years and it works every single time if it’s well done.

You can’t build a successful business without good copywriting skills. That is, if you are a business owner, this is one of the most important skills you should possess. If you don’t have time to do it, outsource it. There are professional copywriters out there you can contract to handle your copywriting for you. 

It is however recommended that you understand the basis of copywriting even if you have to hire someone to do it for you. It’s a superpower!

So, how do you strategically deliver words that can drive people to take action? You can’t become a good copywriter overnight. You should take a copywriting course online, read sales books and consume copies written by the best copywriters of all time, such as Gary Halbert, David Ogilvy, Joseph Sugarman, Joe Coleman, Brian Clark, Claude Hopkins among others.

And then, you need to write, write and write. You need to practice by attempting to sell something by putting words together. Do this over time, and show your work to someone, probably a stranger. Your piece will elicit three reactions from the person: 

  1. “Wait, what? I’m confused.”
  2. “Hey, you know what this sounds pretty good.”
  3. “Here’s my credit card! Take my money.”

If the response you get is the first and second, your copy is bad but if you get the third response, you can confidently say you’re a copywriter – you passed.

ALSO READ: Cashbox: How This Fintech Startup is Helping Nigerians Curb Excessive Spending

3. Closing a deal

In business, this is what it all boils down to – getting clients to pay you. Experts believe that closing a deal is beyond speaking and write, it’s an art and a science at the same time.

Everything has to align – the tone/tonality of your voice and writing, your body language; are you shifty, like you’re trying to hide something? Are you being too pushy? Are you unconsciously creating fear? At you putting people at ease?

Every time someone tries to make enquiries about your product and you reply, you are trying to close a deal – and if you get it right, they would make a purchase.

Also, know this, if your product is expensive, like real estate, for example, you should not try to close a deal online. You should move to a face-to-face situation to close the deal successfully. You can start the conversation online but when it gets advanced, switch to offline interaction. If your product doesn’t need to be examined or inspected before a customer makes a buying decision, then offline meetings may be unnecessary.

4. Networking

You are probably thinking this is just about attending events, networking with your contemporaries and people who have higher social ranking than you, then striking conversations with them, exchanging contacts and creating a business relationship. There is nothing wrong with this but that is not what we are talking about here. It’s beyond that.

We are talking about networking with smart people who can create products. Do you know why small businesses always get called out on social media for bad customer service? It’s mostly because the person doing the sales and marketing, which is usually the business owner, is the same person building the product.

It is incredibly hard to be multiple things at the same time and not experience lapses in some parts. It’s either the marketing part suffers or the product creation falls short.

Understandably, small businesses have limited funds, it also important to invest anything that can aid the growth of your business. Find people who can focus on creating your products and packaging them while you focus on the marketing. You can either hire them as staff or broker a sort of partnership arrangement.

Don’t undermine the positive impact of this type of networking. It’s huge and your business will thank you for it.

5. Mastering Advertising

If you get all the points outlined above right and you fail at this, there is no way your business can grow. No way. Advertising is the soul of a business; you MUST take it seriously if you want to experience exponential growth in your business. What’s the point of your business if you’re reluctant to spend money on showcasing your goods to the world?

There are different types of advertising you should learn – Facebook/Instagram ads, Google Ads and YouTube ads are a good place to start as they represent at least 50% of the world’s internet traffic. You can start with one of these for now, preferably Facebook/Instagram and use the Direct Response Adverts format – this is the type of adverts where the person seeing it can respond immediately. The adverts call out to potential customers and invite them to contact the business immediately by either clicking a link in the advert, or calling a phone number, or filling a contact form.

Bear in mind that your ads will not start converting to sales immediately but it will once you master it. You’ll make a ton of money from selling your products and you may even help others run ads and get paid for it.

Now that you have this information, what are you going to do about it? Start buying and consuming the online courses relevant to your business and begin to implement immediately. Some of these courses are also free. Use Google to find suitable options available.

The most important decision you would make after reading this is to TAKE ACTION.

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