Starting a new business can be scary and overwhelming, there are so many things you need to remember to do, and that’s before you even launch it. And then there’s the period after you launch, the hard work, the worry about whether it’s going to succeed. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but it can be incredibly rewarding. Follow our top 7 tips to help you start a successful new business.
Make a plan
You’ll need some structure, there will be so many things you need to think about doing; business administration, bank accounts, legal obligations, your product or service, staff, cashflow…. So make sure you create a plan at the start, for finance, time management and a business plan. This way you have a way to keep track of progress, make sure you’re always meeting your original goals and you stick to your brand identity.
Network, with both other businesses in your industry and with your customer networks. Know where these are, are they on LinkedIn, is there a local business group or chamber of commerce (are you based on locality?), do you need to see your customers in person or can business be done remotely? All of these questions will help you to find the places that will work for you and help your business’ name get out there.
People will need to know you exist in order for you to get customers. There are many forms of media in the marketing mix so do your research, work out your budget and get started.
Understand your capacity
Are you a one-man band (at least to start with), do you have employees, how many hours a week can you devote to the business, how long will all of your tasks take, can you find flexible staff, can you only operate in certain hours? Answer these and you’ll start to work out what your capacity is. Whilst you’ll feel like you need to take lots on to start, to save and make money, that’s not always best for your business because you could be compromising the quality that you offer.
Respect your customers
Customers are the lifeline of any business, new or established. They’re the ones that will make or break you, so make sure you respect them and they’ll respect you. It’s no secret that repeat customers have a higher ROI and are more valuable than acquiring new customers, and the more respect and better service you provide them with, the more likely you are to succeed.
Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Stick to what you know and what you’re good at and you’ll fly. If you don’t manage expectations and start to offer things that aren’t relevant to your business’ aims and core values then your customers aren’t going to know what to expect from you. Consistency is key, quality consistency.
Make technology work for you
Use technology to its advantage, but don’t let it rule you. Social media can be an example, whilst it can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool, let it rule you by spending too much time on it and you can compromise what you’re doing in other areas, manage your technology effectively.