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Define your business

You’ve decided you want to run your own business. Maybe you already know what kind of business you would like to own, or maybe you just know you are ready to be your own boss and take charge of your financial future. No matter what type of business you go into, you need to have a product. Your product could be a physical item or a service you are selling. Examples of physical products could be baking cookies, refurbishing antiques, or customized clothing. Services include social-media networking, internet researching, landscaping, transcription, and auto-detailing. The options are endless and depend on what you are passionate about. Whatever you want to do, you need to research your market and find a way to stand out above the competition.

What Your Product Should Be

Ideally, you will start a business doing something you are passionate about. It would also be nice if it takes an acceptable amount of money to begin it. Make it something that can make a positive impact in people’s lives. Also, make it something you look forward to doing, not something you dread having to face. Finally, it should be something you have some experience with. Think of what you want your customer to gain by buying your product or service? What business model will suit you? Is it better for you to provide an affordable natural acne-treatment service in your local area or provide a natural acne-treatment product through a traditional distribution system? Do you want to be the best wedding planner in your local area or expanded area through internet? Everything you do is to set the WHAT in your mind before thinking of the HOW. If you don’t know what you are trying to do, your customers and potential future employees won’t either.

Define Your Objectives and Goals

Objective and Goals are key important in any aspect of business and life. Without them, you can't set the destination to come.

Objective is wider in meaning than Goals. In any strategy model such as VOST and OGSM, Ojective is always before and higher level than Goal. Goals are details of Objective, so that they can set the direction to do. VOST means Vision - Objective - Strategies - Tactics. OGSM means Objective - Goals - Strategies - Measurement.

For example:

  • Your objective: to penetrate 80% local aesthetics clinics and spas

  • Your goals can be: 100 medium-size aesthetics clinics through salesforce and 50 small-size spas through online redemption.

  • Your objective: to own the attribute "safe for skin" in consumer mind.

  • Your goals can be: to get the 80% score of the attribute "non-GMO ingredients", 70% score of attribute "reliable natural herb sources", and 65% score of attribute "good feeling of usage"

Define your competitive advantages

My organic skin care brand Orskin as an example, in 2014, I established this brand which aimed to own the attribute "safe for your skin thanks to non-GMO ingredients". This proposition was welcomed mainly from Aesthetics clinic owners and some from the end users. Actually, the problems are that building trust is so important but so difficult in cosmetics industry in Vietnam in that period because of many scandals related to "Corticoid in products", "fake products", so the conversion cost per shopper was so high, in regardless of the conversion rate between trial to BUMO was also low due to many international brand choices. There is several room to do it such as online MLM system, or through aesthetics clinics and spa system and I chose Aesthetics Clinics and Spas. Key message of this story is you need to know which competitive advantages are and set the objective and goals to do it. My competitive advantages are owning 200 aesthetics clinics and spas before, so I need to leverage.

Name Your Business and Brand

The name of your business provides the first impression people will have of it. It is important to put thought into it, however, you can change it down the road so do not let it be a roadblock that prevents you from moving forward. You want a name that customers can easily associate with what you do. You will also need to check to see if your name is available to register in your state and the URL that ends in *.com is available. Your name can be anything.

One strategy would be to link the key attribute or feature of your product to the brand name. My brand is Orskin which is combined by Organic and Skincare. My two other brand examples are which means Today Nutrition is essential for your health, and shoppingtaigia which means shopping at your home. The key is easy to remember and easy to link with key attributes.


One of the most important first steps in starting your business is establishing what makes you different from everyone else out there. Is your product unique? In what ways? Can you offer it at a price or with a warranty that makes it stand out from other similar products? If you are offering a service, what will make your company memorable? Will customers always be able to speak to a live person? Will emails be responded to in a set time frame, ideally 24 hours or less? What makes your business desirable to customers or clients will be what makes it different from everybody else.

For example: Tien Vua Instant Noodle is a "Good for Health" with the yellow noodle due to no oil recycle usage, ensure your family health. Previously, no one thought that noodle is good for health.

Identify Your Target Market and How to Reach them

Who are your target shoppers and consumers? It is really vital to any business, especially start-ups and new businesses. It will lead you to the execution including the design style, where to sell, where to communicate and advertise, how to talk to them, how they use the product, how often they use the product, etc. If your product is for children, your customers are going to be parents. If your service is for people with age-related disabilities, your customers will be the elderly. Additionally, if your product aims at a certain interest or“crowd,” you will need to identify that.

Where do these people tend to congregate? Let’s say you are going to start detailing cars as a business. You could focus advertising at a concert or a bookstore, but odds are you will have more success if you attend car shows and races. This is where people with a passion for your product will assemble. If your business is going to be customized tutus, you would probably be wasting your time at the car shows but advertising near schools and dance studios would be very effective. Obviously there is going to be overlap in interests and you could find some of your target market anywhere, but it is best to invest your time and money where you will get the most bang for your buck. You don’t usually find a lot of arthritis medication commercials during children’s programming, just as you don’t see toy commercials during the news. This is because big business knows how to target their market.

1 comment

1 Comment

Can you recommend a brand name for my business? I sell flowers online with a 2-hour delivery commitment.

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