The idea of starting a small business or a solo operation is an attractive one for many dads. But, of course, it’s tough, especially if you’ve got kids to deal with.
There are upsides, though. For one, you can escape the drudgery of the day job and do something that is truly for you. And second, you actually get to pursue your own agenda, finding out what it is that customers want, and looking for new ways to meet their needs.
Unfortunately, it’s not always plain sailing. Here’s what dad-preneurs wish they’d known before they got started.
Lesson 1: Start With The Problem, Not The Product
When starting out life as an entrepreneur, most dads think that they have to build something or make something. Their whole focus becomes around inventing an object that will take the market by storm and make them rich.
But the quaint idea of a lone inventor coming up with something truly unique is a far-fetched one, especially in the modern world. While it’s true that there are inventors out there, like the guy behind GoPro cameras, it’s a rare occurrence, and one that you’re unlikely to emulate.
Instead, dads need to focus on solving a problem that their customers have and then designing a solution around that. Ultimately, people don’t want “products,” they want to pay money for whatever they are struggling with to be solved. Find a way to solve their problems, using your existing skillset, and you’ll go far.
Lesson 2: Protect Your Intellectual Property
Many dad-preneurs who have been entombed in the corporate world for many years don’t often consider matters of intellectual property. After all, it’s always been something that somebody else took care of.
They soon realise, however, that other people are keen to piggyback off their success whenever they can. That’s why things like trade mark registration should be a priority: you don’t want anybody else using your branding to enrich themselves. File your trademark and other IP sooner, rather than later.
Lesson 3: Know The Market Price Tolerance
Dad-preneurs want to sell their products for as much as possible: that’s only natural. But some dads go off the rails and start charging prices that are way outside of their customers’ budget range.
It’s a good idea, therefore, to do some research first before finalising a price. Find out what your target market is currently paying, and then work out if it is worth your while to charge the same. Neil Patel, the New York Times bestselling author and blogger, says that if dads raise their prices too much, then their customers either won’t buy, or they’ll regret buying and return whatever they’ve bought at a later date.
Lesson 4: Advertising Is Essential
Many dads think that all they have to do is build a website and people will come. But now that the internet is so saturated with company websites, they need to do more. The advice right now is to use paid advertising platforms and get the word out in other ways, like blogging, to create a buzz around your products.