The Martha Rules: Rule 2
Rule #2: Focus your attention and creativity on basic things, things that people need and want. Then look for ways to enlarge, improve, and enhance your big idea.
I think this is great rule to think about when you are trying to start a business. Many times in my life I have come up with many, many, many business plans and because my plans are so massive and in a way vague nothing comes of it. In order to truly get the ball rolling on a business idea you really need to think about what it is you want to sell.
Do you want to sell an actual item? Will you sell it in shops or online? Will you have sales reps? What makes your products unique in the market?
Or do you want to sell a service. For a small business owner selling a service is a great way to start because there is not a lot of start-up costs. No need to get inventory on items, etc. You do need a presence though to let the world know you are out there. Whether it be a blog, twitter account or website. In most cases all 3 are a good idea.
Whether you are selling a service or a product you really need to sit down and take a moment to figure out what it is that makes you stand out. Why hire you instead of the person down the road?
This has been something that I have had to struggle with in my own business. I love budget design, but wasn’t sure if I wanted to be pigeon holed into it. After a lot of thought I decided that I wanted to offer a mix. I didn’t want to be the interior designer that charged 40,000 per room and a 35% mark-up on items, but I didn’t want to offer room packages for $100. This is a business after all and you hire a professional to help you achieve the look you want. It doesn’t seem right to have the designer end up making $2 an hour once all is said and done.
So while my counterparts in the NY area charge around $150-$350 an hour and around 25-35% mark-up on to the trade items. I charge less an hour to help the everyday person achieve a beautiful look to their home. For me it is exciting to mix some designer fabric in toss pillows with a thrift store lamp find that I scored for pennies that helps me achieve the perfect vintage meets modern look and doesn’t break the bank. I’m also full of DIY solutions that I offer my clients that enjoy hands on work. They get the idea and steps from me and then execute it on their own making both parties happy.
Some other tips for Rule #2 are the Seven necessities for assessing your business idea.
1. Is your idea better than alternatives on the market.
2. Is your idea simple for you to develop and simple for customers to understand.
3. Are you in a geographic location where your idea will work?
4. Is your idea affordable?
5. Is your idea too big?
6. Can you expand and extend your idea?
7.Does your idea make the world better?
I have to say that I’m really enjoying this book. It’s great to follow all of the steps that it took Martha to reach her massive success. Instead of being overwhelming it’s a helpful book that has been reassuring me being a small business owner is a dream job.