You are confident that now is the right time for you to start up your own business, you have had a brilliant idea and you are beginning to pull your plans together. The question is often what to focus on next with your business. This is where we come in today as we share with you 5 steps for your startup business.
Branding and image
Assuming that you have got your business plan and funding in place, the first thing that you need to do is create your branding and image.
This is not an area that you should rush as your business brand needs to communicate all that you do. Think about what will be important to your business, how will it serve customers, what values will you want to be aligned with?
Once you are clear on all that you wish to convey, you need to do so through your design, logos, retail packaging, website and all communications.
It is crucial that you carry out customer research before you launch, when you launch, and from that point onwards and forever more. Many businesses fail to move much beyond ‘before launch’ on this point so you can get ahead of them here.
You need to test the market to ensure that your product or service is hitting the right note with customers prior to launching. This should include your branding, so that you can gather feedback on that along with your business concept. Doing this will allow you to make any alterations and amendments early on in the process which should lead to a more successful business at launch.
The key is then in continuing that customer research. Take the time to regularly chat to and survey your customer base to ensure that you are offering the best service that you possibly can to them. Invite them to give their feedback at every opportunity and open yourself to any suggestions. Your customer base could be instrumental in helping you to positively shape your business.
You will need to create a website for your startup business, irrespective of what it is. People expect to be able to find businesses online, even if it is just a couple of web pages sharing a little about what you do and how to get in touch with you.
We know that websites can give you a few dilemmas, as you attempt to rank highly in the search engines and strive to improve its speed. Unless technology is an area that comes easily to you, it is probably worth involving an IT expert here to ensure that it is all set up correctly and running effectively for you.
Build a strong team
If you are going to need more people working with you to run your business successfully, then you are going to need to prioritize building a strong team.
This will start with your recruitment process, so ensure that you are confident that you are hiring the right people for the role. They need to have the skills that you require along with the personality to fit well within your business.
You then need to ensure that you are delivering training so that everyone can perform their jobs to the best of their ability. They need to know what they are doing and the part that they play in the bigger picture. You should then be on hand to provide ongoing support and coaching.
The key to building a strong team is then in working with them and valuing them. Seek opportunities to praise and recognize good work and take the time to thank people for their efforts regularly. Provide your team with direction and celebrate with them when you achieve those milestones and targets.
Now that you have your website up and running, you will need to set up some social media channels to promote and support your business.
Your social media, along with any digital content marketing, will probably form the bulk of your communication strategy so it needs to be effective.
Choose a few social media channels to begin with and start communicating your brand values and products and building relationships with others in your industry and potential customers. You can use these channels to communicate with your customers and engage with them regularly.
It is then essential that any face to face and telephone contact as well as written communications are clear, honest and professional. They need to all stay true to your branding and image.