5 Things You Should Know Before Starting a Business
When you first decide to create your own business, you’ve probably got loads of ideas in terms of products, and how you’ll serve your customers. But entrepreneurship isn’t as simple as having brilliant ideas. You have to implement them in the right way, and be able to attract an audience.
So what sort of things do you need to know before launching a company? The first thing to bear in mind is that becoming an entrepreneur is probably harder than you think! That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do it. Quite the opposite in fact! But the excitement of starting a new venture can often overshadow the reality of the situation, and you have to keep a cool head in order to succeed.
Trial and error can be a valuable approach – you can learn from your mistakes – but wouldn’t it be better to get it right the first time? We’ve looked at five things any entrepreneur should know before starting a business below:
1. Start With Your Brand
As a new business, you’d probably want to work on the credibility of your business first, so that potential customers trust your brand. But you can’t really do this without working on the brand itself. Consider the identity of your business – what do you represent, and what is your overarching vision?
Try not to get too attached to any of your original concepts when deciding on your business strategy. For instance, if the name of your business doesn’t tell a potential customer what the organisation stands for, it may be worth changing it. Making the company name short and easy to remember is also crucial for your brand identity.
Other things to consider include your tone of voice, and overall message. What are you trying to convey to your audience? How will your brand identity be communicated? Your logo is furthermore something that needs to be thought about. Just like your business name, it has to be easy to recall, and not too complicated.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Finances
What you spend and where you invest the money can make a big difference in the early days of your business. It’s therefore important to keep a close eye on your finances. You’ll probably have created an initial budget, for the first few months of your business, but this is unlikely to prove accurate. Regularly reviewing this budget will prevent you from overspending too much!
As to what you’re spending your budget on, this will likely change over time. At first, you’ll need to spend quite a lot on marketing, ensuring that people get to know about your brand. After this, more money can be invested in things like your website, refining it so that the customer journey is as smooth as possible.
If you’ve got investors, you’ll have more than just yourself to account to with your spending. You’ll need to do a lot of research to determine how much you should be allocating to different aspects of your organisation, and where there is room for flexibility. Return on investment (ROI) is key here – you have to justify why money needs to be spent on certain things.
3. Hire the Right People
Getting friends and family to help you while you’re finding your feet, having just launched your business, is all very well and good. But after a while, you will need to hire employees! And because you’re unlikely to have a huge amount of starting capital, it can be tempting to settle for unqualified employees, until you’re able to bring in experts.
This is not a great approach to take. You might get lucky, and your staff could quickly build up the relevant skills required. But it’s better to just hire professionals right from the start, staffing your business with people who know what they’re doing!
4. Consider Your Digital Presence
Your online presence is just as important, if not more so, than your physical presence. If you were looking into a business, the first thing you’d generally want to do is Google them, and check that it’s a legitimate company! So if you don’t have a website, potential customers may be less inclined to use your services.
When you start out, you could probably get away with setting up a cheap or free website, just paying for the domain name. But over time, you’ll want to custom build the site, finding an expert to build it and make it fit for purpose.
Your online presence also includes social media. You’d be missing out on likes, shares and mentions if you don’t set up social accounts for your business! Social media can be a great way of reaching a wide audience, and you can target specific audiences too.
5. Do Market Research
It’s unlikely that the product or service you’re offering will be completely unique. So it’s important to do some research on your competitors, finding out the strategies they use to grow their business. Try and learn from their mistakes, rather than falling into the same traps!
It’s also good to do market research so that you can discover any gaps in the market. Is there a product or service that you offer that others don’t? Or could you create something new, once you find a gap in the market? Thai is normally a surefire way to make your business a success!