Entrepreneurs are good at commercialising ideas and turning new products and services into must-haves. Before long their business has structure, systems and staff as well as a sustainable revenue stream, and they make everything they do look easy. However, behind that calm exterior lies a hard-working creator who has made sure their new business is well prepared for the long journey ahead.
One day you’ll feel invincible as everything in the business is going smoothly, sales are coming in, and bills are being paid. However, the next day, something unforeseen will challenge your very reasoning for starting a business in the first place. It takes many years to say you have a mature company.
Evidence of poor preparation is in the statistics that most businesses fail within the first five years.
A lack of preparation and knowledge of how to run a business is the key cause of business failure. Stop worrying that a delay in opening your doors will give a competitor the chance to beat you to it. Take the time to understand what makes a business successful. Once you’re satisfied you can tick the box of these important issues then it’s time to start operating.
Find Your Target Market
Your first step has to be thinking about your target market. Where are the prospective customers? No product is universal and finding the right target market is going to increase your chances of reducing pre-sales and marketing costs to secure sales and a profit. Your target market is going to impact everything about your business model from how you promote your company to where you choose to promote it, from PPP advertising to SEO initiatives.
Name And Logo
Next, consider the name and logo for your business. The name and logo need to be memorable and dynamic. It should stand out amongst the sea of competition that you’ll face online. You may want to pay more attention to the logo rather than the name. Research shows that consumers are more likely to remember images rather than words. Consider hiring a professional to create your logo too. That way, you can avoid it looking as though it came out of a cookie-cutter. Once you have decided on a name and logo, trademarking is vital. You must make sure other businesses aren’t able to piggyback off your potential success. Also have a look at Branding Considerations For Your New Business.
Build Your Site
Where are you going to display the name and logo of your business? A key area of your campaign would be your website. Again, you should hire a professional to design and website and make sure you host it yourself. By hosting it, you can increase your potential ranking online, thus attracting more traffic to your site. You need to think about what your site is going to be used for. It could be a place purely for marketing purposes, or you may want to set it up for purchases. If the latter is true, you must invest in secure sales software to protect customers data.
Set Up Social Media
No company will survive in the modern market without a social media presence. You need to set up profiles on everything from Facebook to Instagram and Snapchat. This will give you a wide range of options when choosing how to interact with potential customers online. More importantly, it will enable users online to find your business, updates, and information easily. These profiles can have a specific tone and consistent. You can also republish any content that you produce across all your profiles. This will ensure that you get the largest reach online.
Get In The Green
Starting a business is always going to be expensive, and it will damage your credit score at the beginning. You will need to borrow a lot of money for everything from inventory to employees. Increasing your credit score before you open your company will ensure you can borrow money with low-interest rates making it more manageable. At the start, most business owners pay for expenses out of their savings and quickly run out of money. At this point, you will have no choice but to borrow. It is crucial that lenders trust you to pay the money back or interest rates will quickly push your company into unmanageable levels of debt.
Pick Your Business Model
There are lots of business models to choose from when you decide how to run your company. For instance, it is possible to set up a company and run it from home, online or tap into an established brand via a franchise model. You might also consider using freelancers or outsourcing agents rather than hiring permanent employees on contracts. It all depends on the type of business that you want to run and the cost-cutting schemes that you want to use. Another good post to read is What Is The Best Legal Structure For My Business?.
Hire A Legal Advisor
A legal advisor is always going to be a beneficial hire for your business. It should be one of the first individuals you think about recruiting. They can help you with everything from paying the right amount in tax to forming contracts with business owners for suppliers and stock. They will ensure that you are up to date with important regulations and laws that will affect how you run your business. Also read Why Its Important To Engage A Lawyer ASAP When Starting A Business.
Form Contacts In The Industry
No business owner is an island, and it’s important that you have people in the industry who you can contact for help and support. A mentor to help guide you and provide skilled opinion is also highly recommended. You also want to make sure that you have clients set up, interested in your service before you open your doors. Early guaranteed customers will be crucial for keeping your company profitable in the first few months. You might already have contacts from a previous position in a similar business. Also consider tradeshows and exhibitions to give you a natural way to rub shoulders with investors, suppliers, and buyers.
Consult With An Expert
You won’t be an expert in all the areas of running a business. But you can hire someone who is. There are consultants for every sector of a company who can aid you in marketing, accounting or employee management. With someone by your side who has experience in these areas, you can avoid some of the common early pitfalls new owners endure.
Prepare Your Escape Plan
Finally, make sure you have an escape plan or an early exist plan should things not go your way. If your business struggles to sell enough to be profitable have a plan to quickly sell your inventory and make any money you spent back as quickly as possible. Selling down assets and stock will prevent you debt spiralling out of control and your business becoming insolvent.