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1. Fill a gap in the market.

Do not sell popcorn if everybody is selling popcorn. Sell what people would love to have with popcorn, after popcorn, or before popcorn. Mineral water? Softdrinks? Ice cream? Or is there a shake you can invent. Find opportunity in the gaps. Me-too businesses are hard to get in motion, since you are locking horns with businesses who are in the game longer than you. As a startup, you get an unfair advantage if you are starting a new category of business altogether.

2. Do it full time.

Part-time means you are either uncertain or unwilling to put yourself on the front line. Nobody wants that. What people need is an experts. Quit that job. Sell that farmhouse. You won’t regret it. Giving your 100% to your passion is the sexiest thing you can ever do!

3. Build a team.

It doesn’t have to fill a stadium. Two people who understand your work and share your vision are a good team. Remember: 1+1=11.

4. Make yourself accessible.

Your perspective clients should not have trouble finding / contacting you. Make yourself accessible on twitter, email, facebook, through a website, on phone.. i.e. via any conceivable channel. Try to answer querieswithin minutes.

5. Decide your marketing strategy.

Putting out random ads on social media, distributing flyers, putting up billboards… it doesn’t help unless you have a crisp marketing strategy that is based on some concrete market insight. After the strategy is in place, your marketing and advertising efforts are much more effective.

6. State your USP in one line.

If you cannot make your business sound awesome in one line, you need to do some homework.

7. Focus on customer experience.

Right from the time a customer sees your ad somewhere, or hears about you, till the time he actually buys your product and starts using it, his experience with you is of prime importance. It has become especially more important in recent times.

8. Decrease waiting time.

Wait is something that nobody wants to do. Focus on your internal processes. Redesign your work flow to minimize delays and maximize efficiency.

9. Collect Customer data and utilize it.

Your customers are human beings. They like to be wished on their birthdays and anniversaries. They like when you remember their preferences. They love it when your solutions and customized according to their specific needs. And they reward you with giving you business again and again.