New businesses are welcomed into the industry each and every day. From law firms to online stores and natural beauty businesses, there is more scope to explore your vision than ever before.
The only problem is that many startup businesses don’t last beyond their first year. Usually, this comes down to a combination of factors; like a lack of funding, or marketing a product in an already saturated market. In any case, you want your business to have the best chance to be successful, and you will need all the help you can get.
To help you get your start-up off the ground, here are some golden tips which will allow you to secure your success in the future.
1. Create a Business Plan
Before any startup business begins its journey, it needs a well thought out plan in place. Even big businesses that now dominate the market were once small start-ups, including giants like Walmart and Virgin. You may start with a simple vision, but you must pad this out with finer details and budgeting. Not only will this plan push you to work towards a goal, but it is an essential part of bringing in investors.
Unfortunately, knowing what to put in your business plan is half the battle. At the very least, you should aim to include sections on:
This crucial part should go just after the cover page and should summarize what your business does, and how it will be a success in the current market.
In essence, this section should talk about who you are and the success your company has already achieved.
Three Stages of Analysis
Provide potential investors with analyses of the industry, your competition, and your customer base.
Marketing Plan and Operations Plans
An essential section for you and new investors, your financial plan will include how much startup revenue you have, and where your funding comes from as well as a liability insurance.
2. Fund Your Vision
Your business plan won’t feel complete until you have secured funding for your endeavors. Though you may wish to fund start-up costs yourself, there will be a limit on how much you can personally fund. This is especially true if you have a family to consider.
Instead, you may wish to turn to alternative funding options to give your business a boost. Currently, start-ups can secure funding from a range of sources, like angel investors and government funding grants. You can also harness the power of social media to begin a Kickstarter campaign, which can drum up excitement for the launch of your products as an integral part of your marketing plan.
Whichever funding options you go with, remember not to rely on them too much. When it comes to investors, you don’t want to give away a large chunk of your business to other people. With loans, you run the risk of offsetting any profit by needing to pay back the interest.
When it comes to money, funding isn’t just about what you borrow; it’s about where you can cut costs and save. For example, you may choose to protect yourself against future legal costs by purchasing professional liability insurance, or you might prefer to depend on freelance employees to help out with your marketing materials.
3. Establish Your Brand
The first thing clients and customers will notice about your company is your brand, often condensed into a small business logo. For this reason, it is best to make a positive, lasting impression that stays with your market for all the right reasons.
If you are unsure of where to begin, it’s a good idea to assess your chosen industry. Logos within financial services usually go with understated, slick logos which speak to their formality and professionalism. With ecommerce sites, you may benefit more from adding splashes of color. Bringing a design expert in on this issue means you can provide your market with a logo that matches their profile and draws them in.
Brands extend far beyond a logo. These days, it is as much about brand representation than it is about how it looks. In the modern world of business, any major PR mishaps or environmentally disastrous policy won’t swing in your favor. Yet, aligning your start-up with a transparent ethos and an ethical backing may do more to help your public image.
4. Perfect Your Product
Once you’ve got your target market to believe in your brand, you need to give them a product they can also believe in. Whether it’s financial advise packages, a revolutionary hair product, or eco-friendly cleaning products, the right one can garner much-needed attention for your brand. One of the best examples of this is the Australian company Coco and Eve, who’s hair mask cemented them as a cult brand in the space of a few, short months. In cases like these, your brand may be linked purely to the success of your first product.
Other brands may wish to develop a trustworthy platform before developing a wider range of products. Regardless of the path you choose to take, you must still undergo rigorous product testing to give your market exactly what they want. For material products, focus groups are an old but golden way of getting first-hand opinions from potential customers. Present them with a prototype, and make the necessary changes before you market it.
When it comes to offering professional services, your product will rely heavily on bringing in the best employees to deliver the kind of service people need.
5. Spread the Word
You may have the best product within your industry, but it is unlikely you will see any kind of success within your first few months if you don’t communicate this to your target market as part of your marketing plan. This is where multi channel marketing becomes the key to success. The more people you reach, the more likely you are to draw in new business and potential investors.
In the current economic climate, the most cost-effective way of reaching people is by utilizing social media. From getting in touch with social media influencers to promote your product, to running Facebook Ads campaigns, it is the most effective way of reaching a wider market. Just make sure you have the capacity to grow this quickly before you take the plunge.
Those running legal, financial, and PR businesses may see more success from traditional methods of campaigning. By writing SEO rich, B2B blog articles and gathering real-life recommendations, you can spread the word of being a reputable, trustworthy business that will do all they can for their clients.