You have had that eureka moment. Your business idea is buzzing around in your head and you are keen to make it a reality. Before you jump right in, just take a moment to take into account these 7 key considerations for start up small businesses, so that we can help you get off to a flying start.
Customers are your everything
Your business can succeed or fail thanks entirely to your customer base. Customers are your everything, and as such, you must make sure that you deliver to them 100% of the time. As you develop your idea, always keep in mind the customer that you are hoping to attract. It is worth drafting up a profile of your ideal customer and then you can consider what they will and will not want from you and your product or service throughout the whole process.When you are ready to launch your business, pay attention to early feedback, in fact make a point of asking for it regularly, and act upon it. Always strive to make the customer experience better and better, whatever industry you are working in. Repeat customers, loyal customers, customers who spread the word and recommend you are priceless so do work hard to develop these relationships.
Focus on your online presence
Whether your business is wholly online or exists through face to face contact and a high street presence, you will need a strong website. Your website should be clearly branded, well designed and easy to navigate. Potential customers should be able to find out about what you do, how to procure your services or buy from you, and find the website easy to navigate. You want it to look interesting and if your business is all online, this is the place to invest as a professional and easy to use website will be crucial to your sales.
Be present on social media
If you choose to set up social media accounts linked to your business, then you need to ensure that they are active accounts. Whilst it is tempting to open accounts on every single platform to get the word out about what you do, you need to stop and think about the platforms that will best serve you and go with those ones only initially. Running your social media accounts can be a full time occupation in itself, in fact you might choose to outsource this, and with everything else that you are juggling you need to be careful that you do not bite off more than you can chew. Perhaps start with just two or three social media accounts best suited to your business needs and make sure that you post on all of them at the very least once a day. Take a look at other businesses in your niche and their social media accounts to get an idea of which platforms seem to work best and gain the most engagement. Check out their content and consider how you could do things differently to make you stand out amongst the competition. When you are sharing and updating these accounts, you can be as ‘you’ as you want to be, just ensure that you always remain professional and friendly in all interactions.
Make payments easy to make
Sometimes it can feel like you have to jump through hoops just to actually buy something on a website. This can be really off putting for your customers so do ensure that it is an easy process that makes the experience a positive one.
If you are running a store or stall, do look into using a smart pay card reader as they can be useful for processing micropayments and as such are great for small businesses. Cash only payments are just not viable business options any longer and you will find that everybody expects to be able to pay by card, with few people carrying cash these days. Don’t lose out on sales by not having the technology to process them.
Pay attention to your branding
Take the time to pay attention to your branding. You might not realise it at the outset of setting up your business, but getting the branding right is critical. Think about the design of your logo and signs, the colors that you use, any tag lines that sum up what and who you are. Your signage, stationery, web design and merchandising and marketing materials all need to tie in to make this a strong and coherent brand. Think about your favorite stores and brands and the chances are that you can picture their logos, colors and possibly even their fonts in your mind. This demonstrates how much we do process and remember companies due to their branding, so spend some time getting yours exactly as you want it, and do ensure that you are original.
Create your advertising strategy
In the early days, it is absolutely key that you do all that you can to get the word out about your new business and then you will need to hone your advertising strategy so that it can best serve you. There are three main routes here; traditional advertising, word of mouth or digital marketing and the chances are that you will want to adopt a strategy of using a combination of all three. How much you rely on each of these elements will depend largely on the type of business that you are running, so consider where you feel your time and funds will be better spent and develop your plans around this.
Get your admin in place
You will need to keep your books and taxes up to date, arrange a suitable business banking account and create clear and focused business plans. This can often be a step that can take up a lot of time and is a lot less interesting that actually developing your business or leaping right in and serving customers, but please do not ignore this one. You must spend time on each of these areas and ensure that you fully understand your obligations around your bookkeeping and taxes.
Now that you are all ready to go, good luck and enjoy it!