The wizarding world is far from a business friendly environment. Most adults are either employed by the Ministry of Magic or rolling around in the inheritance. Then there are all the trade restrictions and a severely underdeveloped credit system … No wonder there is a thriving black market for people like Mundungus Fletcher to make a career in.
But these dire economic conditions did not deter Fred and George Weasley. Your career sure does make up some Forbes-worthy lessons on successful entrepreneurship.
1. Find your niche.
Not everyone has to be a Steve Jobs (definitely a Ravenclaw, by the way). The Weasley twins didn’t have a big, outrageous idea, but what set Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes apart was their innovations that filled the gaps in Zonko’s offerings. Often times, a great business idea is simply an improvement on previous iterations.
Take advantage of your strengths, no matter how silly. Who would have thought that unrest could become a lucrative source of income?
2. Know your market.
When looking for your niche, it is also important to consider your consumers’ needs / wants. Your idea could be brilliant in any way, but what’s the point if nobody cares? The trick is to bridge the gap between what you have to offer and what the customer needs.
The Weasley twins, keen jokes themselves, understood the needs of their colleagues and had built their own brand in their careers as Hogwarts-based jokes. Hence, it didn’t take her admirers much to turn into avid customers when they ventured into business.
3. Show, don’t tell.
Once you have a good enough understanding of the market, it’s time to prototype. You may have to spend out of your own pocket. Nevertheless, it is worthwhile to get your potential consumers and investors enthusiastic about your company and to demonstrate your commitment to it. Nobody gives you gold to just think about.
With limited resources, Fred and George saved by focusing on a small amount of sure hits, such as the trick sticks, which Ludo Bagman immensely amused. Bagman might have turned out to be a bad nut, but the twins’ talent showed in their creation.
Start small and keep it simple.
4. Guard your gold.
The capital crisis is a pain that almost every entrepreneur inevitably has to endure. While business is all about taking risks, rather than falling in love with a delicious business, it is important to carefully evaluate the payouts of your gambling. Resource constraints are all the more a reason to check the legitimacy of every transaction.
Little did Fred and George know that the deal with Ludo Bagman was going to turn sour, but their mistake was to put all of their savings into the bet. Never put all your eggs in one basket, especially if the basket is a shady maniac.
But the twins learned their lesson quickly. When Harry presented them with his Triwizard winnings, they used each galleon with extreme caution so that they could grow their business and save enough to do business in a prime property like Diagon Alley.
5. Prototype, test and replication.
Prototyping aims to get feedback and refine your offers. The earlier you involve your consumers in the design process, the more likely you are to get a more marketable product and, as a side effect, create excitement among your customer base.
Of course, when testing dangerous products, follow proper procedures and precautions and, under no circumstances, recruit unsuspecting underage candidates to test them. This type of gimmick only works in the wizarding world, where security concerns are extremely low and the legal system is an absolute joke.
6. Find the wow factor.
Once you’ve caught your customers’ attention, you’ll want to keep them updated. When your business shows potential, diversify the market and keep it moving. The best time to hit a market is when your arrival is already full – strike when the iron is, as they say, hot.
The Weasley twins continuously expanded their product line. When Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes settled in Diagon Alley, they had an extensive catalog of saucy products. Over the course of their business, they found greater potential at the Ministry for their Shield Charm products – something they hadn’t thought about much before – and inspired them to innovate in DADA products that turned out to be real money spinners.
In the end, Fred and George’s story is about hard work, perseverance, and an unwavering belief in their vision. If you believe in yourself and what you have to offer, no nagging from your mother can let you down.
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