Launching a business is an exciting, monumental time and fresh out of the gates everyone has dreams of replicating the likes of entrepreneurs Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates. Whilst passion is often seen as an essential ingredient capable of breeding success because it leads to conviction and drive – important factors in making any business succeed – sometimes this passion can lead you blindly past other key inclusitivities that could give your business both unparalleled success, and longevity.
Here are some tips for any wannabe successful startup business owner to consider.
#1. Don’t dismiss a business plan.
In today’s digital world, it can be very easy to log onto a domain hosting site, choose a name, buy a domain, register your chosen name with your country’s legal system, and then the next thing you know, you are a business owner fuelled by adrenaline rushing to find your clients.
However. A concise, carefully crafted business plan or even an executive summary can give not only you, but your business direction, focus and achievable goal markers to head toward. In its early stage, the idea does not need to be extensive, but your plan or summary should capture the essence of your company, identify its market niche, ideal customer and plans for both success and failure.
#2. Build a good website.
Just as we mentioned above, the internet makes it easier for not only consumers to search and connect with businesses, but also for any competitors in your chosen industry or niche to get started and get client hunting.
You need something that will stand out. Start early with your internet presence, and do background research. Look at potential competitor websites from a consumers point of view to identify gaps that you could fill. What’s missing? What would tempt you as a consumer to engage with your website over another’s? The absence of a thought out, well designed website can damage businesses early by creating missed business opportunities that could have previously been captured by an ideal customer’s search.
#3. Invest in an accountant or bookkeeper.
A majority of accountants or bookkeeping professionals today work online, which means they’re an extra arm to your business that you won’t even know you’ve got.
Accountants deal with the day-to-day finances, like filing tax returns, making up accounts, property tax or rent and utility payments, whilst also using accounting software to analyse cash flow, stock management and pricing. All of this can be overwhelming at first and if not completed correctly could leave you at risk of legal fines or audits.
Plus, accountants have a secret weapon: They can provide invaluable insight into how to grow your business through findings from their financial analysis. Such analysis helps to forecast things like when the best time would be to introduce a new product or service to your business, and can get you ahead of the game.
#4. Make a Marketing Plan.
Just like the business plan, once a website is up and running and you’ve signed up for all the latest social media platforms, it can be very easy to assume that you can execute successful marketing strategies correctly. That’s often not the case.
Your marketing plan should contain an in-depth, actionable blueprint that makes use of marketing methods such as SEO, pay per click campaigns, social media strategies and content marketing. All of these factors should be working together to not only acquire customers, but also engage them and build a sense of brand loyalty. If the campaigns are not properly planned, they will not work, which leads to the same missed business opportunities as the wrong website.
#5. Nurture customer service.
Customer service is how one business stands out from another. If your customers are happy and satisfied, you will often benefit from the best type of marketing: Word of mouth. Customers are more likely to recommend businesses they deem satisfying and trustworthy to their friends or acquaintances.
This works twofold because customer feedback is a vital sign of social proof and can help engage new customers by building trust. It is well known that new customers will always read reviews to help decide whether or not to buy your product or service. Additionally, reviews can help you understand what’s working and where any improvements are needed.
Lastly, as your company grows, always be open-minded to taking on advice or reaching out to external services for advice or just to help you redefine your strategy for future success. The best businesses are those who constantly adapt and evolve to the growing needs for their consumers.