The time has come for you to be an entrepreneur and start a business. No more clocking in to work for a nine to five job that you don’t even want to be at. You have a vision, and it’s time to execute. However, there are some things you need to remember before you jump into the lions den.
Before you decide to start a business, you need to be able to answer the question of why. Why are you deciding to begin a new business? Once you answer that question, then you need to figure out why you are willing to risk losing it all. Is this business worth your time, energy, and potential stress? Running any organization is not easy. When it’s good, you get all the credit. However, when something negative occurs, you have to be comfortable with all the fingers being pointed at you. What is the purpose of your business? While you might have a name, how is your business going to be unique and different from the next person?
Research Your Industry
How can you break into a field, industry, or a new study without any prior knowledge? It will do you justice to know who is already successful in the field you’re trying to knock the door down in. What works for them might also work for you. Researching early can also give you insight into what consumers already want. It makes no sense to design a product that nobody is attracted to. Now you wasted your time, energy, and finances. Learn how to maximize your efficiency before starting your business. Research the best ways to make a profit, and what companies are bringing in the most revenue in your field.
Who’s Your Audience?
Great news! You have a purpose for your business. Your first step is complete. Now you need to define your target audience. Who are you making this business for? Is it for millennials or middle-aged adults? Is your business super serious, or fun and light-hearted? The way to answer these questions is to remove yourself and think as an outsider for a few minutes. If someone told you about the business you’re making, would you participate in it or say that’s too young for me. If a normal advertisement about this business wouldn’t move you to purchase or participate, then your target audience probably isn’t for your age group. If you are shooting for your age bracket and have an issue, then you probably need to redefine your purpose.
How Will I Market?
There are several different ways to market your business, and yes, you need to utilize all of them. It goes without saying that you’ll need a website. Once you have a site up and running, you can now collect data. Google analytics allow you to track site traffic. You can see what keeps customers on your page the most. Include a page for them to subscribe. This will lead to you being able to market more through emails. Customers can receive newsletters, offers, updates, and more.
Optimize Social Media
These days, people interact with you on social media before they meet you in person. For a business, this means several things. If you are trying to sell them a product, whether it be clothes, food, furniture, music, etc., all of your profiles need to be organized and efficient. This is the purpose of optimizing your social media. By definition, optimize means to make the best or most efficient use of something.
Online software such as HootSuite allows you to do this very thing from their single website. Through HootSuite, one can schedule posts, create captions, engage in comments, receive updates, and more for all of their social media profiles. The more organized your business is, the more professional it will come across. Nobody wants to buy from a chaotic brand.
Create A Visually Engaging Media Presence
Customer interaction through social media is also important for another reason. Your business must have an appealing page! Marketing Associates points out that having a general color scheme is one way to make your page more engaging. In other words, pick colors that go together. You don’t want a page that has a million different colors that don’t coordinate. Another way to make your page aesthetically pleasing is to take amazing photos.
High quality, 4K camera photos are the best. If you don’t have that, take pictures on your phone. However, make sure that whatever picture you take, you never upload a blurry or low quality image. This will turn potential customers off.
Keep It Simple
Nonetheless, keep it simple. You are just starting a business. Handle what you can handle before adding too much onto your plate. Prioritizing your responsibilities, and delegating tasks to specific days will make your job easier. Sometimes we want to accomplish so much in a small time period, but it ends up hurting us in the long run. Master one task at a time. Make sure your social media is scheduled. Learn how to keep your site up and running 24/7, because you cannot sell anything with a faulty website.
Always Prepare For The Unexpected
Please, Please, Please, Prepare for the unexpected! You never know what can happen. Your site can have a glitch in coding that shuts your business down for a few days. The manufacturer you buy your clothes from can randomly shut down their production site right after you ordered a huge shipment, and customers already paid. What if you have unexpected costs you never foresaw? The bottom line is, you need to have a safety net. There are numerous startup costs when beginning a new business, and it can take a financial toll. Have money set aside to hold you over until you bring profit in.
There’s No Substitute For Excellent Customer Service
What people remember most then a good meal, or the nice shirt they just bought, is how you treat them. If customers feel valued and appreciated then they will come back again. In addition to that, they will recommend you to their friends and family! Customer service cannot be an afterthought. At the end of the day, you are asking for them to spend their hard-earned money at your business. Every transaction is an investment into your business. How can you not treat the people correctly who are contributing to your profit?
Always Reply To Comments
Another part of making sure customers feel valued is by engaging with them on social media. We can’t stress this enough. You night be tired, frustrated, or annoyed, but the customers always come first. Every direct message, email, subscriber, or comment has to be replied to. Not only does this show that you are active on your social media profiles, but it also proves that you care about those that you service.
Build Relationships With Customers
Lastly, don’t be nervous to build relationships with your customers. No we are not saying that you need to become best friends. A work and life balance is healthy and necessary for any owner. However, people do need to feel as if they can approach you if they see you in the store. Interacting with customers can help you alleviate concerns before they lead to negative reviews, establish loyalty, and find out how they truly feel about your business. Get somewhat personal with your target audience. Building a relationship with them can also teach you what they are expecting from you on a weekly basis.