We know it can be a challenge figuring out what is best to do when it comes to starting up your first business. The majority of our clients start off as small businesses and grow over time. We’ve had an influx of start ups ready to take the leap so this blog post is for anyone who isn’t quite sure where to start. We have put together 10 of our best tips for starting up a business.
1. What Makes You Different From Your Competitors?
So you’ve got an idea for a business but it’s nothing new…well the fact is, it doesn’t have to be! It’s hard to think of a completely innovative idea. There are a lot of people doing the same old thing but to be successful you need to understand how and what makes you different from your competitors, and why this makes you superior. Maybe your service is highly personalised, or maybe it’s your company’s philanthropy and culture that sets you apart. Whatever it is, own it and make sure your customers know about it! It could be the difference between choosing them or you!
2. Be The Solution
If you are entering a market which is already pretty saturated, think about a specific problem you encounter which other people might also encounter. Doing this can help you to identify your target audience’s challenge and address it head on. There’s no point jumping in at the deep end and then having to wait for someone else to cash in on fixing the problem. Let that person be you.
3. Understand Your Market
By understanding who your clientele are you can better position yourself within the market. Market research is very important. Who is going to use your product and why? Some points to consider might be the lifestyle habits of your customers, their age and purchasing power. Think about how all of these factors translate in your products or service.
Once you have established your target market conduct your own research. It’s all very well pulling facts and figures about similar products from the internet, but make sure you test the waters with your own, focus groups. This will give valuable insight into how people will react to your product, what works really well and could be better.
4. Knowledge Is Power
The phrase ‘no one likes a know it all’ does not apply here! There’s no point going to a business blind-sighted. Make sure you have thoroughly done your research as it can help to identify and minimise risks, identify your competitors and find your place in your sector.
5. Find A Mentor
Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your field who have been successful. We wouldn’t recommend choosing a direct competitor, but by contacting business leaders in the same industry you might gain valuable insight into your market. You can also learn from their mistakes so you don’t have to make them! If you’re not the type of person to reach out yourself, have a look online for future industry events; that way you can be sure that everyone attending is looking to network and you can build relationships without feeling like you are stepping on someone’s toes.
6. Learn From Your Mistakes
Make all the mistakes you can while starting out. When you’re just starting out come to terms with the fact that some things won’t turn out the way you plan. Suffering a setback can be disheartening but remember that perseverance is key. When something goes wrong turn the experience into a positive one! By focusing on WHY something went wrong you can learn HOW to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
7. There’s Always Room To Grow – Focus
Don’t spread yourself too thin as it could result in making silly mistakes you’ll later kick yourself for. At the beginning of your business venture it’s best to stay focused on one or two things you are really good at. Having too much on your plate can become overwhelming. So once you’ve got these elements down there’s always time to branch out.
8. Work On Your Digital Presence
This is the digital age! Your company’s online visibility will be an important part of your success. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will be valuable in gaining a loyal customer base. Thinking of weekly media content might be difficult in the moment. One way to get around this would be to plan a time each month where you schedule things for the month ahead. Also, think about how to increase your following and page’s traffic. For example running a promotion where a participant enters a prize draw by following your business account, liking and sharing your photo. The reward might be that one participant wins something.
9. Know Your Costs
Be sure to budget and keep tabs on your spending. If you have a set amount which you can afford to spend, try to come in under budget so you have room to make some mistakes. Understand that sometimes it doesn’t pay off to go with the cheapest option. Your brands reputation is important and while you can probably get away with cutting some corners others you definitely can’t, so invest in yourself.
Develop a theme for your brand and be consistent, perception is everything. Choose a colour scheme, logo and visuals which are both professional and representative of your brands identity. All of these elements are integral to the authenticity of your brand which is valuable in gaining trust of prospective customers.