There is so many different things to think about when starting a small business. Aside from the details about the products or services you will offer the business owner needs to wear several other hats to deal with finances, advertising, and marketing, recruitment, premises. To help you on that first step to becoming your own boss take a look at these pro tips.
Starting a business can be a daunting prospect – we all know that a huge percentage of small businesses fail within the first year so getting it right from the outset is essential if you don’t want your fledgling business to become just another statistic. It doesn’t matter how innovative or ground-breaking your idea is – if you can’t manage the finances or attract enough customers and staff then you will be heading for failure.
So consider the whole range of factors that contribute to a successful business and either learn how to manage all those aspects yourself (that can be pretty tough) or employ someone with the right experience to do it for you. Here is our breakdown of what every small business needs in order to prosper.
- Products or Services
Products Or Services
While a great product or service alone won’t guarantee success you still need to be sure you actually have a great product or service. Do some market research – preferably using an expert market research company – to determine the need for your product/service. If competitors are already in the market how will you differentiate your offering from theirs.
Don’t plan simply on under-cutting competitors at a lower price. Well-established businesses can, and do, match discounts from newcomers and they will be in a stronger financial position to do so until your business goes under. Instead, think of another way to compete with existing products or services – particular technical expertise might be one way or a higher quality product for the same price as competitors.
As the business owner, you will probably already have a good idea of how you want to position your brand but consider getting a branding expert on board because they will have a wider view of what has and hasn’t worked for other start-ups in the past. Branding isn’t just about colors, logo, and images, although they are, obviously, important aspects.
Especially if your target market is a younger generation you will need to carefully consider your eco-credentials and corporate social responsibility. Your logo and brand image may initially attract customers but it is your credentials that will keep them coming back.
Another thing your new customers will judge your company on are the premises. If you are selling high-end products then the premises must reflect that. If you are offering expert service, again, the premises must be of a suitable standard. Definitely don’t scrimp on the interior of the premises or, crucially, the location if you are expecting to attract a high-quality clientele. Your business environment will play a huge part in attracting and retaining customers.
One way for start-ups to benefit from a great location and business interiors is to lease small premises in the right location and create appropriate high-quality interiors. The smaller size will make the cost of this cheaper – both the lease cost and the fit-out costs.
Then use off-site business storage for stock – saving on the costs of back-room space that customers never see. Keep the costs even lower in the early months or years by using cheap self storage instead of warehouse space. Some self-storage facilities will even handle deliveries to help businesses offer better delivery services to customers buying products online.
A business is only as good as its people – it’s an old adage but still true for every type of business. The people you employ are the ones that will come up with new ideas to grow the business, keep your technology running smoothly, and, most importantly, will be the people who deal with your customers and clients. Value the people who work for you and your business will reap the benefits.
Train existing staff so they can see they have some potential career progression and if you can’t find the right people with particular experience for a role then train existing staff that you trust and who have the right attitude. Investment in people will be repaid with loyalty and a skilled workforce.
While it might seem like some start-ups have easily gained investment through crowd-funding or angel investors, in practice, they will have put a huge amount of time and effort into their fund-raising campaigns. Even for crowd-funding expect to make high-quality, engaging videos, produce professional documentation, and be able to “sell your vision” to strangers when there are hundreds of other businesses competing for the same cash. Many a small business has gone under because of cash flow problems – don’t let yours be one of them.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.