Setting up a business is a hard ask in this day and age. Around 20% fail in their first year and 50% fail in their fifth year. Those are harrowing statistics for anyone wanting to make a real go of it. First, you need to get over that 20% hurdle. How can you ensure your business doesn’t fail? The truth is, you can never absolutely ensure it doesn’t fail. You just have to get to the point where you can tell yourself you gave it everything you had, so that you hedge yourself against regret. For true success, you need real preparation. Research is key. Make sure you put all the effort in beforehand so there are no nasty surprises waiting to ambush you when you’re at your most vulnerable. Vulnerable means when you’ve got business loans, maybe a mortgage, staff to pay, raw materials to procure. Looking ahead in all things is key, and these tips can make you do that. Some might remind you of things you’ve yet to think about or do, others might not apply to you directly, but although business streams are all different there’s always something to learn from another.
Nail Your Online Platform For Launch
This is never easy and is always time consuming, but having an online platform means everything. Whatever business you operate, having an online presence makes a huge amount of difference. It opens your business up so many more people. Your best bet is to launch online a little before you start trading, to try and drum up some hype around your business and bring in any potential customers. Doing this before you start trading is of huge importance because if you do it the other way around you’re going to end up with too much to juggle. If you save the capital, it might be right to hire a digital marketing agency to help. If you want to do it yourself, great, just give it more time. Remember, your online platform needs to include a website, which links in with social media pages. You need content for these outlets to pull in web traffic. Get to grips with search engine optimisation. When everything is set up make sure you have the time to maintain it, especially if your website is going to account for all or a significant portion of your trade.
Launch With The Right Staff
The decision around whether to hire staff or not is one of great magnitude in itself, but hiring the right staff is of even more importance. Staff can either kill your business or make it thrive. You need to do the right thing when you’re looking for them. Use a hiring platform, one that can weed out what you need and don’t. This way you won’t waste people’s time, also, you won’t waste your own by sifting through dozens of applications that aren’t suitable. Get staff on board before the launch, and train them up in what they need to know. Then you can hit the ground running instead of having to divert your time to train them during key trading periods. Clue up on your employment law. Know what you need to give them by right, make sure you’ve got cash for salary and you’re good to go.
Zoom In On Your Target Market
Getting this right is paramount because it allows you to focus your efforts in the early periods. You might think your product applies to everyone, or that your service can be used by all ages and types. Some are aimed at certain demographics and there are ways to tailor your business model accordingly. Younger people respond better to videos and easily digestible media. If you’re looking for customers in the local community it might be worthwhile going old school with your advertising. Posters and billboards can make a real impact if used in tandem with online advertising. A great way to capture the market is with samples. Find your demographic, if they’re students, go to student town and offer samples of your product. If it’s food, offer direct samples. If it’s a service, then interact with them and really let them know how what you’re offering can help them out.
Never Underestimate The Power Of Reviews
Reviews matter. Think about when you shop on Amazon or Ebay. How much do the reviews guide you? You need to think about how you’re going to solicit reviews. Better to do so before you launch. What are the biggest blogs and websites that operate in your field? For example, if you’re going into the food industry what are the biggest blogs and websites concerning food in your area? Invite them to your establishment. Same with the magazines. If you’re selling tech gear or something similar then find the best reviewers you can take a look. If they don’t like it, you can iron out the kinks before you launch. If they do, then you’ve got your first review which can help catapult your product into the high sales. Word of mouth is a huge seller. If you build a hype around your product using reviews and industry experts word of mouth can inflate sales, and as a business just about to launch it might be just what you need to stay out of the dreaded 20% failure rate.
This is supremely important. If you’ve got a detailed budget, stick to it. Don’t go over it. Once you begin trading make sure you have the right programmes or software on hand to properly calculate VAT. You need to make sure you calculate your tax properly too. If you’re really unsure then there are software out there like quickbooks which can really help. Alternatively you could hire an accountant to do this for you. It might be worth it if they know of certain tax breaks or deductibles which you don’t know about. In fact, it could end up saving you more money. Especially when you factor in any potential mistakes you could make when attempting it yourself.