Starting a business in this day and age is commendable, the competition is more than ever before and with the advent of the internet there are more businesses active. However, with the right attitude and drive you can still forge your path and make your business succeed.
To ensure you build a great startup there are certain things you must do and follow, otherwise you’re leaving your business open to vulnerabilities and missed opportunities. The advent in technology over recent decades has changed the way the world works, but you can harness this technology to catapult you towards success, it means that you can launch a business with a limited budget, depending on what you want to do. The countless software facilities out there allow you to do things that years ago would have taken a team of people. This article can help you get started with the right aspects and thought processes that can help you succeed.
At the beginning you’ll want to draw up a plan. The plan needs to be well drafted and presented, primarily for yourself, but also for the bank. There’s a likelihood you’ll need a business loan at some point, and they won’t grant you one unless you have a solid plan which involves cost margins, projected profits and extensive research on the business location, equipment cost, etc.
The research involves your target market, market research, and feedback but remember they are investing in you as much as your business, so dress smart and be passionate. If they like you they may give you the loan with the thought that you’ll lead your business to success. If you don’t need a bank loan, you should still draw up a plan because it will help you in the long run. There are people who can do this for you but it can be better to do it yourself because you’ll get a wider appreciation of what you need to do and when. They say if you fail to plan you plan to fail, so give yourself the best possible chance to succeed.
With the plan in place you need to get to grips with your premises. If you already decided on this in your business plan then it is time to go ahead and purchase it along with all the internal furnishings and equipment that will make your business viable. This could be the stock for a shop or the expensive cooking equipment for a restaurant.
Only buy the internal components when the sale or leasing of the premises has gone through. You should also decorate. If you own a restaurant you may want to create focal points such as pieces of art or fish tanks. You get the drift, having some form of talking point hypes your business up and allows it to succeed.
If your business runs out of an office then you need to find office space. Your commitments need to be different here and you should strive to ensure the space has everything you need. Powerpoints, parking, enough space to incorporate a break room and good internet speeds are a must. You should also take into account the overall location and ease of access for employee needs.
You also need to purchase the equipment for your office such as computers, desks and chairs but you’ll also need to purchase the right software you’ll need for your business to do what it needs to do. With all of these computers, servers and software available it can sometimes be worth seeking a technology partner to help out if things go wrong, this way you can ensure business continuity and quickly resume usual service if something goes wrong.
With these computers in place you’ll likely be using a server to manage them all, but consider cloud computing. It takes away some of the risks including accidental damage to the server tower and protects your data from hacking attempts, fire, and it even frees up some space in your office. Cloud computing also offers the benefit of being able to access your business data from anywhere where there’s internet. This can be hugely helpful if you or your team visit clients at their places of work or away from your office. It means they can access the data without carrying USB sticks or hard drives around with them. It is certainly worth considering and can bring your projected costs down, helping you with your loan application and freeing up funds for other areas of your business.
In conjunction with your premises, or indeed if you aren’t using a premises and are operating from your own home then you need a website. Websites, in line with technology have changed the way in which business operate. No longer do you even need a physical premises for customers, simply you at home or in an office with a team. But, for your business to be truly successful your website needs to be brilliant, even more so if your business runs from it solely.
Getting your website perfect is tough. First, research competitor websites. Check the links and click through to payment pages. Ask yourself, what works and what doesn’t? Is there anything that annoys you or doesn’t appear to be well thought out? Your website needs to be impeccably designed. It can’t have any glitches because they will lead to bad publicity and it can’t be too complicated because if customers can’t find what they need quickly they will just switch your competitor.
As well as making sure it is easy to follow you need to make sure it is well designed and attractive. You may want to hire a web designer for this to give it the expert look. You can either approach a company or someone working freelance. Getting the input of a professional limits the risk of glitches and issues and ensures everything is working correctly. Use colours that reflect your brand and your business to foster a sense of remembrance.
When you launch you’ll also need to be thinking about marketing. This can be physical marketing, such as samples of your product if you own a restaurant or the posting of flyers and attaching posters around your city of operation. Or virtual marketing, in which you attract people to your website or market your product and services online.
Just think, if nobody knows about your business then they aren’t going to purchase what you offer. You need to target social media. Be clear about your target audience and post quality content from your business page, don’t make it spammy, otherwise people will just get annoyed. In the content you need to forge links back to your website. You can do the same for blogs, on blogs you can find really niche areas where people who are likely fits for your products frequently visit to read content.
Post content here too, again with links back to your product. You can pick key sites to advertise on too, but make sure you keep a track on all of your online marketing. Google Analytics allows you to observe where the traffic is coming from. If you see no traffic coming from one of your advertising avenues then pull its funding and spend the cash elsewhere. You can also see from where the traffic is coming from, meaning you’ll know which countries to advertise in to increase your opportunity and sales potential. Startups are increasing hard to keep successful, but if you stack the deck in your favour you’re giving yourself a much better chance of being successful.