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We're big fans of Ikigai, are you?

We all have a friend who followed their dream of financial independence, establishing their own business and building a successful brand. We follow them on Instagram, observing their lifestyle and freedom, feeling envious and awestruck. Rooted in creative energy and fed with passionthe idea of becoming an entrepreneur might feel daunting and overwhelming to some, but realising your dream of launching your own business and becoming your own boss is today more attainable now than ever before.

Inspiration, determination, application and sheer hard work are the fundamental ingredients of a successful business. Surrounding yourself with a positive community of like-minded individuals experienced in building brands can help feed your motivation. When it comes to embarking on your career as an entrepreneur, there are many unknowns that must be explored, from marketing to researching brand stories, unique selling points, and buyer personas. If every business plan element is carefully thought through and well structured, then growth and profit are more likely to be achieved. 

Here at Method, we are big fans of the Ikigai model, pronounced ee-kee-guy’. This Japanese business concept focuses on finding the belief and reason for being. Made from the Japanese words "Iki" meaning "life" and "gai" meaning "reason" Ikigai is built upon the belief that everything we need in life and business exists inside of us already and our purpose for anything and everything inherently grows from within. A positive force for goodIkigai represents the achievement of fulfilment in oneself when direction and inspiration are prioritised over all else. Positive purpose is essential to healthy, happy living. Ikigai combines passion, profession, vocation and vision. It provides a reason for being, based on self-realisation and determination. Founded upon the four principles - passion, skill, service, and community, when translated into business, Ikigai encourages us to focus on pursuing our full potential to discover enduring fulfilment, aligning what we love about our working life. We spend most of our lives working, so what is the point of not enjoying it? Why settle for an unhappy existence, begrudgingly watching precious time trickle away, when we could build our own business and enjoy achieving success and watching profits develop?

Have a listen to our new podcast, with strategies and tips to help your company  grow.

So now we've established the fundamentals behind forging your entrepreneurial launchpad, next comes the basic steps for actualising your brand new business. 

First up, analyse the current business climate and economic environment to establish whether or not it is favourable for your enterprise. Nextidentify a purpose-driven approach to positioning your product or service that will make it feel affordable to your target audience, in a way that will attract significant demand. Most importantly, do not allow yourself to fall into the trap of being tone death to the environmental and ethical issues confronting society. As a new business, you have the potential to establish yourself as a sustainable, woke brand with positive intentions with the potential to contribute to the wellbeing of the world whilst generating profit.

Next up, identify the potential to create and develop products that target a gap in the market appealing to those with the need for a product or service which they are currently unable to obtain. Creating a solution to a commonly experienced problem is a sure-fire way to success. Too many entrepreneurs are fixed on imitating the next best thing, from social network platforms to sports brands. Innovation based on thorough market research can be a far more sustainable and solid way of growing a product with a progressive trajectory. 

Here at Method, we provide a highly personalised space for design, marketing and growth. James capitalises on his expertise, presenting information via his own podcasts and Instagram. He has built an online community unlike any of his competitors, injecting personality and humour into his client's experience of his brand. By providing cartoon illustrations of his team to accompany the posts, readers get a sense of their authorship. By familiarising his audience with members of his team, James establishes a connection that feels identifiable, adding real value to his brand. Discover an individualised approach to providing a unique experience of the brand you are conceptualising. Personal touches go a long way in this vast, busy online stratosphere.

Finally, look for ways to make an offer something a little different in the market sector you are targeting. Many brands have a monopoly on specific products and services and charge a significant premium to customers for the privilege of buying into them. By providing your own unique and attractive alternative to aexpensive brand, you can help cater to the needs of your audience successfully, offering those who may never have been able to afford an item the opportunity to finally experience something they may previously have only dreamed of. An excellent example of this is Hewlett Packard. Many people could only imagine owning high spec technology such as an Apple Mac. However, HP devised a very affordable, efficient range of computers and laptops that allowed its customers to enjoy alternative software and technology with comparable functionality to Apple that they would previously never have been able to afford. This is not imitation, as the way HP’s customers interact with its technology is entirely different to that of Apple. HP has been able to revolutionise the world of technology by lowering the price tag on highly functioning devices that are comparable to those of Apple thereby compromising Apple's monopolyat a price that was attractive to its customers.

With your new business, you can be the reason someone smiles today. Don't think exclusively about demanding high-profit margins, but also consider how you too might shake up the marketchange lives for the better and help make the world a better place.

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