Aveeno® | The Startup Collective Blog By Joi Wade
Joi is a Beauty YouTuber with her own small business, Joiful Bee. She shares tips on natural hair, branding, running a small business and adjusting from a college student to working full time & #adulting!
At some point, we all have an idea that we think would make for a great business. However, only a select few actually go down the path of entrepreneurship. In 2020, I saw hair salons closing and more women of color doing their hair at home. I decided to launch my hair care brand Joiful Bee and have since turned it into a 6-figure company.
Without mentorship or guidance, starting a business can be both thrilling and daunting. However, with proper planning, research, and strategic implementation, you can transform your idea into a thriving business. In this blog post, we'll explore 5 essential steps that will help you validate your product idea, involve your customers in the process, and confidently launch your business.
Paso 1: Research - Laying the Foundation for Success
The first step to turn your idea into a successful business is to conduct thorough research. Simply having an idea isn't enough; you need to ensure it is backed by market research and has the potential to succeed. Begin by researching your market and competitors. Identify existing brands or businesses in your niche and analyze their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT analysis). By doing so, you can identify gaps in the market and areas where your product or service can stand out.
Understanding your target customers is equally important. Consider developing an email list or conducting surveys to gather valuable insights from your potential customers. To gain valuable insights, I created an email list of individuals interested in natural hair care for my beauty brand. I then sent out a survey, allowing my potential customers to voice their opinions and preferences. This invaluable feedback helped me shape my product offerings to meet their specific needs.
Paso 2: Ideate - Solving Problems and Innovating
Once you have conducted extensive research and gained insights into the market and your customers, it's time to identify the problem your business aims to solve. Pay attention to the pain points expressed by your target customers. For example, if customers complain about potato chips being too salty or lacking desired flavors, you can consider developing a brand that offers unique and flavorful alternatives.
Evaluate your original business idea in light of your research findings. Determine whether you will offer a physical or digital product or provide a service-based business. Understand the market you're entering and tailor your idea to address customer pain points to increase your chances of success.
Paso 3: Plan - Mapping Out a Road to Success
With research and ideation complete, it's time to create a comprehensive plan for your business. Start by developing a business plan that outlines your goals, target market, competitive analysis, marketing strategy, and financial projections. This plan will serve as a roadmap for your business and provide guidance as you move forward.
Additionally, consider creating a launch and financial plan. Seek professional help from a certified public accountant (CPA) and a bookkeeper to ensure your financial affairs, such as setting up a business bank account and managing taxes, are in order. When I first started my business, I had no idea that there were so many steps just to make sure your business was set up correctly. By meticulously planning every aspect of your business, you'll be well-prepared to navigate the challenges and seize opportunities that come your way.
Paso 4: Securing Business Funding - Fueling Growth and Expansion
While starting a business often requires some initial capital, securing funding can be a critical step toward fueling growth and expansion. When I began Joiful Bee, I used money from my personal savings to buy inventory. However, I eventually started to look for funding like business grants and loans so I could focus on expanding my efforts across areas like marketing and operations.
There are various avenues to explore when it comes to securing business funding. One popular option is seeking a small business loan from a bank or financial institution. Another option is to consider alternative funding sources such as angel investors or venture capitalists.
Additionally, crowdfunding platforms can provide an opportunity to raise funds from a large number of individuals who believe in your idea. Nonetheless, one of my favorite forms of funding is grants and pitch competitions. Grants usually have a list of eligibility criteria and requirements, however, they do not need to be paid back.
Since I am a founder in the hair care industry, I always seek grants that are for women in underrepresented backgrounds and for those in the beauty industry. For the past 3 years, there’s an opportunity called The Startup Collective by Aveeno®. It is an initiative designed to empower Black female-identifying entrepreneurs with a product, brand, or technology that blends science and nature to deliver results that meet Black consumers' skin or hair care needs.
Paso 5: Cultivating an Entrepreneurial Mindset - Building Resilience and Embracing Growth
Building a successful business requires more than just practical know-how — it also demands the cultivation of an entrepreneurial mindset. Embrace a growth mindset, stay resilient, and commit yourself to continuous learning. Practice effective time management, embrace innovation, and remain adaptable in a rapidly changing business landscape. Celebrate your successes and maintain an attitude of gratitude. By developing the right mindset, you'll not only navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship with confidence but also unlock your full potential for long-term success.
Transforming your idea into a successful business venture requires careful planning, market research, and active involvement from your target customers. By following the 5 step plan from this blog—Research, Ideate, Plan, Secure Funding, and Develop Your Mindset—you can strategically launch your business and increase your chances of achieving early sales and sustainable growth. Embrace the journey, remain adaptable, and continuously seek feedback from your customers to refine and enhance your offerings. With determination, resilience, and a customer-centric approach, you can turn your entre.