If you’ve been thinking about creating your own marketplace you may feel a little lost right now. Not only with learning a completely new language but you may also feel like you’re at a crossroad in your life. Maybe the 9 to 5 life isn’t for you or you’re a fresh graduate with more opportunities you know what to do with. If you’re reading this then you’ve started something. We’ll help you set things in motion!
Step 1: Create a Mission Statement
The mission statement is going to be the foundation of your business. When a decision has to be made that challenges the mission statement, you do not adjust the mission to appease what task needs to be done. Your mission statement should reflect your company values (up to 5 core values).
So what are the qualities that make a good mission statement? Your mission should be concise. Having a shorter mission statement works because it is direct, there is no need for interpretation. Your statement should also be open to future changes. What I mean by this is if your mission statement is “We aim to offer the fastest and most portable fax machines to the public.”, you would’ve been out of business in 1999. The constraint of the tern “fax machine” in your mission limits you to only make fax machines so you’re not counting for the advances in technology which we know are always changing. Replacing “fax machines” with something a little more interpretive like “content sharing” or “communication devices” allows you to change with the times while still offering the same service as a fax machine.
Examples of good mission statements:
- LinkedIn: “To connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”
- Alibaba: “To make it easy to do business anywhere.”
- ASOS: “To become the number 1 fashion destination for 20-somethings globally.”
Step 2: Acquire new customers and maintain existing ones
If you already have an idea for a marketplace, then you are probably in the social network you need to be in to make connections. Before anything even starts you can talk to friends and acquaintances to get their opinions on your idea. Feedback and support are extremely important when it comes to the beginning of a marketplace.
Forming the initial circle is the first task. After that you want to further expand. This is going to be done through marketing and word-of-mouth. The goal is to create advocates from your existing pool of potential customers. You’ll have loyal customers while also generating new ones!
Step 3: Be Your Own Spokesperson
Having a great product or service is just the beginning. Demonstrating to the why they should use your marketplace is takes more than reading from the description. You will or should be the biggest spokesperson for your marketplace. Share the value you know you’ve created that will in turn create more value in an individual’s life.
Be genuine and personable. People can tell when they sell something for profit or because they believe the product is worth the money. Showcase your product whenever the opportunity arises. Create social media accounts and take great pictures or incorporate some reviews! As long as you are excited about your marketplace it’ll show through your work.
Step 4: Analytics Are Your Friends
An analytics page is available for most platforms nowadays. Social media platforms, blogs, websites, it’s probably there. You can see when traffic is busiest on your page or what your main demographic is. All of this information is very valuable for the growth of your business.
It’s not just reading the analytics though, you must be able to find the areas of improvement you have and work on those. Suppose your high traffic times are around 6 o’clock every evening, maybe you could post interesting content at that time so people can have a fresh video or infographic to look at. Maybe your demographic is mostly male from 25-35. You can research some common similarities within this age group and post ads on a product the majority population uses. Options are endless with analytics!
Step 5: Expand Your Vision
The key is to not stagnate. Always be growing and learning about what trends are happening. How do you incorporate these trends, if appropriate? To maintain a good position within your field you must be willing to put in the time to observe competitors or watch that changing currents of the public. It may seem tedious to do something with incremental value but it’s well worth it in the long run to sustain your business.
This is going to be just the beginning for you! Every marketplace starts from somewhere and you have the first steps to get things started. Make connections and be excited for this new chapter in your life. While you’re at it, work on the mission statement embodies what your goals are. Good luck!