When starting a business for the first time there are a million things to think about. It can be easy to get confused and overwhelmed. It’s a good idea to follow a checklist of all the important factors that will affect the success of your business and make sure you do the necessary to get it off the ground. The main areas to consider are the different ways you can market your brand image, by reaching out to your clients and your staff. It’s important to make technology work for you and find ways you can make money while being as efficient as possible. It’s recommended to think about how you can bring your business into the 21st century and fit into the current climate and trends. Here are some simple tips to get your business booming in no time.
- Keep it simple
It’s not a good idea to overcomplicate things. Focus on one idea and what you are aiming to do. Your product or service should have a clear function and fulfill a specific need, or gap in the market. Ask yourself questions like; Does it make sense? What does your target demographic need and does your product provide this? When marketing your brand, focus on one clear idea, and don’t try to tick too many boxes. There is too much choice for consumers and people will get bored if they don’t understand what you’re trying to sell straight-away. The audience of today can be very impatient.
You should also simplify your working process by avoiding putting too much responsibility on your own shoulders. Many small business owners avoid taking on employees because of the added commitment and responsibility. But remember there are freelancers out there who can help you too! Outsource administrative work to a transcription company, answering service, or other third parties to free up your own time and allow yourself to focus on helping your business to progress.
- Research the competition
Look into the existing market and figure out what your competitors are doing right or wrong. Talk to experts and study testimonies online. They might bring up something you hadn’t already thought about. Speak to as many people as you can about your business. Find out if anyone you know has been through similar experiences and can give you advice. Read literature and biographies written by experts in the field and really build up your knowledge on the subject.
- Find your niche
Don’t be afraid of appealing to a particular niche market. This is an easier way to simplify things as well. Research your customers. What do they do for a living? How old are they? How will your product change their lives? The more you can do to understand your customers the better. There are several apps that can help you with this which do the leg work to report your sales and stats.
- Get technology working for you
Using more advanced technology will give your business credibility, as well as making your life a lot easier. Consider investing in augmented reality, or AR software. There are apps that allow you to create a virtual mock-up of your product which your customers can view, for example for landscaping or architecture you can see a virtual representation of how a house or room would look. There are many other AR apps that can be utilized for your business.
There are many other business apps that can basically act as different departments such as Quickbooks for accounting, Square for instant payments and a virtual point of sale, and Gusto to deal with your staff and payroll. Do some research into what your company needs to save time without relying on manpower, let technology do the work for you.
Aside from apps, look into ways you can improve your image and efficiency. Be accessible wherever you are. Upload all documents onto the Cloud as these will then be available to view by clients and collaborators in real-time. Make sure you use software that is compatible with smartphones rather than websites. If you set up your own app or website, ensure that it will work best on smartphones as this a proven way to be more successful.
Wireless conference rooms and video communication technology is also essential. You want to be able to take your business on the road and not to miss an opportunity by not being available at any location.
- Social Media
Use social media to your advantage as well. Get an Instagram page for your business as 70% of customers look up business pages before investing. Post frequently and share as much information as possible. Instagram has grown to have over a billion users in the last couple of years so you can’t ignore these stats. The more followers you build up the more links to your business will be re-shared and this will greatly increase your popularity and credibility. Use Facebook Pixel to advertise on Facebook and create targeted ads. This is also proven to increase success.
- Bloggers and influencers
Another way to guarantee success by marketing online is to get your business endorsed by a blogger or influencer. This will improve your web traffic and help to spread the word about your business. Bloggers use affiliate links as well and you could consider starting an affiliate program yourself.
Communicate with other businesses and clients online and share ideas. You could consider starting your own blog as well to keep the world updated with the latest news and promotions from your business. Another way to make connections is by using LinkedIn. This is the best app for networking as you will rapidly increase your client base as well as getting in touch with other business owners. The best way to understanding the market is by learning from each other’s experiences.
Increase your search engine optimization by following criteria online. Your URL will appear more frequently on online searches. See here for more SEO tips for your website. Another way to get the message out if with automated email sequences. These are automatic emails sent out to both your existing and potential client lists.
As you grow as a business it’s important that you understand your investments. If you’re ready and prepared for international trade and to make a profit on the stock market check out a curated list of brokers to help you figure out the benefits and restrictions of the trade.
- Employee Morale
It’s just as important to think about your employees’ needs as well as those of your clients. There are many ways you can increase morale at work. Depending on the size of your personnel it’s important to have a close relationship with them and develop a system for communicating their requests and feedback. Hold video workshops and conferences remotely and get in touch as often as possible. Get as much feedback as you can and actively respond. Offer promotion and reward for good behavior and results. You want your staff to feel like they’re going somewhere and have prospects in your company, as this will make them more motivated and productive.
Think about what you can do to brighten up the workspace. If you have an office space make sure you install the necessary ergonomic equipment to keep your employees comfortable and safe from repetitive strain injuries. This means taken care to ensure that desks, chairs, keyboards, and monitors are set up to create a comfortable space. Look into lighting and decor as well as these can have a varying effect on the mood. Make sure the office or workspace is well lit, heated and clean.
Go through the necessary health and safety checklists as often as possible and make sure your staff is free from the risk of fire, falls, and other hazards.
- Stay sustainable
This is vital to your company’s image, not only the environment. It creates a much more reliable brand image to show that you and your business represent “green” ideals proudly. Prove that you are environmentally conscious through your social medial and digital marketing as well. There are many simple ways you can make your business run in a more sustainable way. Consider the source of your supplies and try to invest in local businesses, to reduce the emissions caused by manufacture and transportation.
Look at smaller ways you can reduce energy consumption. In factories and offices cut your bills in half by making certain changes. Switch indoor and outdoor lightbulbs to more energy-efficient LEDs. Keep your building insulated and regulate gas and electricity consumption as much as possible. Educate your staff to recycle and reuse everything. Ensure that you dedicate time to enforce this.
Become a “B” corp. This is a certified eco-friendly business that has been proven to make a considerable contribution to the environment. The B Corp community also strives toward reduced inequality, lower levels of poverty, a healthier environment, stronger communities, and the creation of more high-quality jobs with dignity and purpose. If you can get affiliated with a non-profit organization you can improve your chances of becoming a “B” corp.
If not, it’s a good idea to do some volunteer projects involving not only your staff but yourself higher-level managers as well. It’s great publicity. It can also be a good example of a team-building exercise. All in all, it’s win-win, because you’re working towards a good cause while creating a positive image for your business.