Starting your new business?
We’re here to help you along the way.
Lets face it starting your new business is downright stressful. Especially if it is your first business. Not knowing what tomorrow could bring. The extra responsibility or even the fear of leaving the security of weekly paychecks the dreaded weekly grind allows us to make. Typically is what keeps the unmotivated, complacent in their current positions.
But that’s NOT you, and that is not why you are here. You have decided to start your own business in hopes of attaining what all of us dream of. Financial freedom, the ability to provide for our families and make our own futures. I would like to say Congratulations! I wish you the best of luck in your new business venture and would like to extend my help whenever you may need it.
I’m sure you have probably heard this before, Opportunity typically comes from WHO YOU KNOW, not what you know and unfortunately in most scenarios this is true. So what is the small business owner to do if he/she has not already built a reliable network from which to draw leads from?
For instance, When I was starting out I found it difficult to juggle everything I needed to accomplish, I found myself spread too thin and stressed out. I was trying to handle too many things at once. Simultaneously complete a project, follow up on a lead, start a new estimate for a prospective client and still meet my other daily obligations or in my case a full-time job.
The most important thing I wish I would have focused on BEFORE taking on too much was to establish a system that would allow me to quickly complete tasks that I would be inevitably be doing everyday in my business. These tasks typically include but are not limited to:
- Replying to daily emails
- Creating a plan to call prospective customers
- A way to quickly write up an estimate / invoice
- A simple plan to build my network
- An easy way to promote my new products or services
- Establish an effective email list
5 Important Steps
1) Make a Plan – By far the most important step of starting any business is to plan out how things “should” work and easily the most often skipped step. Setting up a pathway that clearly describes how to to go from where you are currently to where you want to be. First start with a list of goals.
- Why are you starting your new business?
- What is your new business?
- What will your new business do?
- What makes your new business different?
- What are your goals?
- What is it you want to achieve by a specific date?
Then describe how you intend to answer these questions. Try to be as detailed as possible. This is important because it will simplify your thought process when you get spread thin and feel as if there is too much going on to handle. Often referring to this plan will allow you to re-focus on what needs to be done. Don’t Worry – I assure this plan will not be set in stone. As you and your new business move down the road plans may change. Unforeseeable obstacles may inevitably force you to make certain changes and it may be almost impossible to stick to this plan.
2) Create your “Brand” – Okay, You have your plan now it is time to look the part. While you do not have to spend an arm and a leg to get the latest and greatest website, it is important to start with a solid foundation. You have heard the expression that “You only have one chance to make a good first impression”, this is even more critical when it comes to online advertising and marketing.
A website is a very important and helpful tool. A properly setup website clearly defines what you do, how you do it and why a potential customer should contact you. It’s the ONLY form of advertising that can work for you 24/7. Too many times a businesses website is underutilized. If you are paying to have a website created make sure it works for you!
Make sure that the image you want to portray is spread equally throughout ALL of your marketing channels both online and off. Consistency is key here as this will help differentiate you from your competitors. Now fortunately there is no MUST HAVE’S in this category but it is generally a good idea to have a few of the main things covered.
Business cards or some form of print marketing materials to continuously hand out. Possibly company t-shirts or other branded apparel. If you are interested in community events or trade shows, perhaps have a couple banners designed and printed with your company logo and contact information.
It’s easy to create a newsletter or similar process that enables you to begin building a potential customer email list. Starting a social media account may or may not be necessary for some start-up businesses. However, if you do not have a strong network to start with I would venture to say this may be one of the most beneficial marketing tools to have AND USE regularly.
3) Set Up an Easy to Follow Process for Gathering NEW Leads – There are numerous ways to gather new leads. Create a newsletter, give-away a product or service for free or at a discounted rate. Require an email address to enter. This will allow you to begin building an email list. Promote your new business on social media or other community forums and direct them to your entry page.
These are only a few. There are many ways you can begin promoting. Whatever you choose to do, it is important to set a plan you can follow. Create a process you can continuously build. This will help you find new potential customers for your product or service.
You quickly discover that multiple avenues will ultimately be needed in order to get the amount of leads you will need to succeed. Select a couple options to start and focus your efforts to meet those needs. To get started you could simply begin by asking friends and family for referrals.
One of the easiest ways to begin promoting your new business is to pay for it. PPC advertising enables you to specify exactly how much you want to spend. It also guarantees your exposure to an interested field of potential customers.
4) Get Active in Your Area of Expertise – For new businesses starting out networking in your local community is probably your easiest way to get the ball rolling. Most communities have a “Small Business Page” on Facebook. If not a Google search can point out somewhere on the web that will allow you to start meeting other business owners or people who are interested in your product or service.
These community portals can often prove to be an extremely valuable resource. Many times getting a new project or making a new sale can be as easily as asking around in the forum or groups Facebook page. Either way, begin networking throughout your local community and or specialty niche.
5) Stick to the Plan – By now you have spent a great deal of time and energy massaging out the details of your new business and you are ready to go. It’s easy to get sidetracked or take shortcuts simply stick to the plan you have created and you will have a much better chance at success.
Once again I would like to Congratulate you on your new business venture. If you would like to receive email updates subscribe to my newsletter.
I try to write one descriptive email each month that focuses on a specific form of marketing.