So you’ve just started a business. You’ve got to ensure that over the next year, you’re sensible and following the best practices possible – otherwise, you might find yourself in the same position as many other startups – with a business that’s fallen at the first hurdle.
It’s not an easy feat by any means – so you need to be fully prepared, organized and aware of what the future of your business holds before you start operating. But as well as forecasting the potential revenue, conducting market research, etc. you need to have the following:
1) A Product/Service People Actually Want
Before you start operating, you need to ensure that you’ve conducted thorough market research into the industry you’re looking to enter. Without doing this, you could introduce a product or service that won’t appeal to customers – or something that they have seen many times before.
You need to look at your competitors and see how your product or service will stand out from the crowd. Nowadays, it’s all about differentiation and seeing the gaps that you can fill. You need to inspire people into spending money and buying into your idea.
Alongside market research you should:
- Put yourself in your customer’s shoes – see what you have to offer, understand it and make sure that it fixes any pain points they might have.
- Test out your product/service before pushing it out the world – this will give you a clearer insight into how successful it could be. This way, you won’t be blind sighted.
2) An Extraordinary Logo
This might be an obvious one, but it’s still worth mentioning. As part of your branding, you should make sure to create an extraordinary logo that differs to anything that your customers have seen before.
If you play it safe, chances are that your customers won’t notice you. So spend some time testing out different designs and ensure that your final design matches your products/services. To do this, you can use Custom Stencils or a similar application to help you to decide what font that you want and if you want any icons.
3) A Killer Website
Nowadays, you need a killer website in order to attract new customers. If you settle on a traditional website with little functionality, chances are that customers will look elsewhere. As it’s often the first thing that they will see, you need to make a great first impression and invest in a website that they’ll remember.
4) Motivated Staff
Yet again, this might be a given, but it’s still something that people don’t fully consider until after they’ve set up their business. If you’re looking to expand your small business, you’ll need to have a motivated and skilled team. Tackling various aspects of the business, it will ease the responsibilities off you and ensure that your customers’ needs are taken care of.
To make sure that they remain dedicated and are enticed to stay, it’s a good idea to not only offer competitive salaries if you can, but also perks throughout the years. You’ll also want to create a welcoming office for you to all work in every day.
5) The Right Funding
To be successful and to start you off on the right foot you need appropriate business funding. Whether you acquire the money for starting your business through a loan, crowdfunding, angel investors or venture capitalists, it’s an essential step that you’ll need to take.
Having that awareness of where the upfront costs (or finance that you can use for your first year of trading) is vital.