Entrepreneurial personality types are best at creating a business that becomes a cash cow (see The Entrepreneur, The Consultant, and the Technician). However, being self-reliant, motivated with a white-hot passion, although helpful, is not crucial to success. To build a successful startup, you must think like a scientist, not a dreamer.
Every successful enterprise starts with an idea. But, unfortunately, we have all heard the phrase “Ideas are a dime a dozen.” So if you are wondering if whether or not you have a winning concept on which to build that cash cow, there are only two ingredients that are the base of a dynamic and successful business. Of course, that does not diminish the importance of having sufficient capital, a good business plan, building cash flow, or hiring good employees. Still, if you don’t have a winning concept, the other parts are academic and won’t be the driving force to success.
Over the years, I have seen many startups fail, and many less succeed. The most critical winning ingredient that will define success is that your business offers a uniquely superior product or service in the customer’s eyes that can deliver unique benefits to the customer. That is the Product Differential Advantage. Launching a “me too” product is never a good idea. Differential advantage can be defined as superior in meeting customer needs, much higher quality, significantly reducing costs, unique features that mean something to the customer, solve a big problem, or highly innovative, new to the market. The other key to success is early and sharp definition of the business and product or service. Before the launch of the business, you clearly understand, based on evidence, precisely who the intended user is, what the business will offer, and the marketing plan and requirements.
A scientist will develop a hypothesis based on empirical evidence and then research and test the evidence to prove or disprove the hypothesis. Before you launch your business, you will greatly enhance the chance for success or avoid failure by working like a scientist. The dreamer develops the idea, and the scientist makes it real and finds the pathway to achievement.
Demographics and psychographics are two essential pillars supporting a successful business launch. If you know who your customer is – demographics – you can determine why they buy – psychographics. Having done so, you can then begin to construct a business to satisfy their conscious or unconscious needs, but scientifically rather than arbitrarily.
Demographics is the science of marketplace reality. It tells you who buys. Psychographics is the science of why certain demographic types buy for one reason while other demographic types buy for another.
A scientist with an entrepreneurial drive can research and plan their way to success. Ideas are a dime a dozen – people who put them in action are worth millions.