There’s no escaping the fact that it’s hard out there for a small startup business and new entrepreneur; however, as a total girl boss, you’ve got this! You need to hit the market fighting so that you can make a positive impact and succeed where many have failed beforehand. Whether you’re selling products or services, it’ll be the first impression you leave a customer with, that will count the most. You’ve probably already realized that you’re at a crucial stage, so, why not ensure that you’ve got a thorough checklist, and are ready to go through it.
If you have a team of any size, it’s time to rope them in too. Everyone will need to be on board with what’s happening with the business, and how you’re going to progress. It’s tough, but so are you; keep pushing forward with careful thought and planning, and you’ll be heading towards your goals in no time. The following are some things to consider when starting on your business path and will help to navigate you through the obstacles that the market will throw your way.
1. Finding Your Space And Squeezing In, In Style
You need to carefully consider where you’re aiming to jump into the marketplace, and if your service or product has the appeal to stay afloat or be swallowed up by the heavily saturated surroundings. If you feel you’ve found a substantial and definite gap in the market; congratulations, you’ve found the holy grail in business and should be able to progress in leaps and bounds with the help of the upcoming steps. There are plenty of women out there who created their brand of something due to the fact they felt there wasn’t enough choice for themselves out there. To get stocked in some national chains, and to continue to grow in success; you’ll need to find something you can relate to and would invest in yourself. Self-belief, and belief in what you do, is the best starting point your company can have.
However, if what you’re producing has an array of counterparts to contend with, then you need to ensure that you have a point of difference or can offer an upgrade to what the consumer is used to. If you can provide a fresh take on an old classic, or your product and service is better than the rest; this will stand you in good stead at the start of your business journey. Take a step back and look at your product from a customer's position, who knows nothing about the story behind the item, or any of your journey to get it to market. By looking at what you can offer without any sentimentality, you’ll be able to understand if a person is likely to buy into it or not.
If investing a ton of money into market research isn’t an option for you; utilize the internet, organize focus groups locally or online, and ask an in-depth list of questions. Taking your market research into your own hands can often lead to a better understanding of which direction your small business is heading in, which will prove vital in the tentative first months of starting.
2. Focus On Your Audience, So They’ve Got Your Back
Your customers are the ones who will determine the longevity and success of your business; so bear in mind how important they are at all times. The free communication tools you have access to through social media are excellent ways to gauge what your patrons are feeling towards using your business. You should engage them as much as possible by asking regular questions through your Twitter account, or by sending out an email monthly or every couple of months.
Listen to their feedback and run with it; shoppers are savvy and will notice the changes you’ve implemented to iron out your company’s creases. Let your consumers know when you’ve made these changes and tell them it’s because you listened to them; effort is always appreciated.
If your customers become your brand’s biggest fans; they’ll become your loudest marketing tool, ensuring you’re on the path to giving those bigger businesses a run for their money. You’ll need to be present and contactable so that engaging and communicating with those that matter is straightforward. Whether you set-up a landline number, fax online, or invest in the means to have a live pop-up chat on your website, your means of communication needs to be a priority. Questions, feedback, and contact are what will build the trust with each visitor to your business, so it’s worth concentrating on how to ensure that they return.
You’ll never know where you’re going wrong unless you listen to your consumers and their feedback on your products and services. Ensure that you give every customer the chance to leave feedback, whether through an email, fax,l or a website so that you can continue to improve and your business will be a success. Collecting data will mean nothing if you’re not listening to your customers and making the right changes, so ensure that you take their comments on board. Remember that now is the time; listening at the beginning of your brand’s journey will help to shape its success in the future.
3. If The Competition Is Fierce, Be The Fiercest
As talked about before; you need to scope out your company's competitors and find out as much as possible about their routes to success. Don’t ignore the big guys just because you’re small; they got to that size with good reason, and you’ll be able to downsize many of their techniques and implement them within your business.
The great thing about looking into the larger brands is that their ambassadors and consumers are easily found through social media. By discovering a big corporation’s patrons; you can figure out what they expect from the brand’s services and products. Comparing these consumers to the ones you hope to attract (maybe they’re the same), will ensure that you’ll gain a clear plan of where to aim your products.
Another reason to research into what the big guys have been up to is to learn from their mistakes. There is no doubt that each business will have made costly mistakes, but, if a company is still alive and kicking; they’ve dealt will them accordingly, and more importantly, with success. Therefore, looking into what happened within the business’s history, and how they got over each hurdle, will help you make informed decisions for your small brand. Keep pushing to be unique; it’s not about copying anyone, just getting as much inspiration on what to do and what not to do, as possible. Having an array of points of reference will give you the knowledge (and power) to grow as a business, and the skills to make savvy decisions.
4. Remember That Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
As the fresh new business that’s new to the market, you’re unlikely to have a vast herd of employees. Therefore, you need to ensure that those you pick to work for your brand are dedicated and right for their role. The qualifications that a potential employee has on paper don’t always translate into a strong fit for your company. If you’re hiring a small team; make sure that you can all work successfully nearby, as well as when everyone goes to complete an individual task.
Look into productive ways to interview candidates, even if they’re an intern; often, if you can see a diamond in the rough, you’ll have someone who will grow with your business and work hard each step of the way. Trust is essential, and using recruitment specialists will help to ensure that you’ve got a strong team around you so that you can delegate work without worry. Invest your time into getting to know your employees once you’ve hired them and find out what makes them tick. By understanding how your team works best, both alone and together, will speed up processes and you’ll reach your business targets with ease.
5. Be Ready For Change: Never Fear It
Business success will favor those who are nimble and can adapt to the ever-evolving technology and strategies on the market. Take time each week to read up on what’s happening in the business world and how the latest in tech is helping brands to bring in revenue. Even if you’re a creative soul, full of ideas; it’s worth having an understanding of how some of the latest techniques and processes will benefit your business long term.
If you don't think you can manage to spend time learning new things in seminars or at the universities, you can try online courses such as MBA program in Canada that you can take from the comfort of your home. You won’t necessarily have the means to jump on every invention bandwagon. However, by staying up to date with how companies are targeting their customers and using the technology to enhance their shopping experiences; you’ll be able to see more of what’s expected on the market and strategize how to implement any changes to your business. Take a look at the benefits of adaptability so that you’ll be a force to be reckoned with, oh wait; you are already!