Today we will introduce our Business Blog, geared towards helping you get your startup off the ground! Make sure you go back and read our first blog post, The Idea, to find out what made us get this whole thing started.
Business Blog – Chapter 2
Once you have the idea, what’s your next move? Research. This seems pretty obvious, but there are so many people that choose to ignore this crucial stage. Before you have a company, you have to know your competition inside and out. Think no one has thought of your idea? Think again. In this day and age, when starting a company is easier than ever before, you’ll find that there are similar products out in the world. The key isn’t to be the only company with the idea, but instead to be the best company with the idea. If you have the skill and patience to analyze your competition well, this will help you in developing your own product. You’ll be able to turn their weaknesses into your competitive advantage.
When I first had the idea for MyClyq, it was supposed to be a staffing platform primarily for freelancers in the entertainment industry. I remember feeling this excitement because I thought I had this amazing original idea. Then I started looking online and talking to other people in the entertainment industry. My excitement rapidly turned into fear. Fear that someone else had already come up with this idea and failed… or even worse, succeeded before I had the chance. I quickly heard about sites like productionhub.com and backstage.com that have similar functions. To really analyze these sites, I used a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a tool used to identify the strengths, weaknesses, external opportunities and threats of an organization. The more research I did, the more my idea started to change.
After speaking to several entertainment freelancers I decided to see if my idea would be useful to freelancers outside of the entertainment industry. I spoke to a lot of creative and tech freelancers and they all mentioned that they find work on UpWork (formerly oDesk +Elance), Freelancer.com and Peopleperhour.com, to name a few. I went back and did SWOT analyses on all of these companies, and even created a little questionnaire that was designed to find out where these companies could improve.
This room for improvement was my opportunity. Using this research, I started to define my company. I wrote out exactly what we would aim to do and how we would do it. Now that I had a general idea of my company, I also wanted to do a little research on the industry.
Looking back, industry research played a critical role in helping me decide to expand from entertainment freelancers to all freelancers. When I first started researching, I began by outlining the entertainment industry and the freelance industry separately, and then looked at overlapping statistics between the two. I learned that although both industries are doing well, the freelance industry is booming.
Currently, one in three Americans (roughly 42 million) are estimated to be freelancers. By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the full time workforce. These statistics were mentioned in multiple articles I researched, and I realized that this was the best time to create something for all freelancers, rather than simply focus on the entertainment industry. So that is exactly what I decided to do.
Now that I had a fully defined idea, backed by hours and hours of research, what was next? Naming the company.