Often, the hardest part of growing a business is getting started. However, once you’ve overcome that first hurdle, everything else seems to happen much more smoothly. The question is, how do you make those first few sales to get the ball rolling? With the number of new businesses popping up every day, it’s not easy, but it is more than doable with enough determination alongside a fresh idea. Use this guide to get your new business off the ground.
Figure Out Your Target Market
You must know who your target market is to perfect your product/service and market to the right people. This part requires a fair amount of research, so prepare to spend some time looking at your competition and researching different types of consumers. Once you know who your audience is, you can link that into your business plan.
Prioritize Great Customer Service
As a new business, the first few impressions from customers can make or break you. While a one-star review for a multi-million-dollar company won’t make a difference, for a small business, it could completely tank your reputation and put off new customers from giving you a chance. For this reason, you must prioritize excellent customer service.
A business answering service will help you stay connected to your customers without having to be available twenty-four hours a day. For small businesses, this allows you to focus on building the business while knowing your customers are receiving excellent customer service.
Cut Costs Wherever You Can
People rarely start businesses with unlimited funds to throw at it, so it’s essential to cut costs wherever you can. For example, if you’re hunting for office space, choose the one that costs less (at least in the beginning). You don’t need a huge, spacious workplace to get your business off the ground! In fact, in the early days, your garage or even kitchen counter could suffice.
Build an Online Presence
An online presence will help consumers find you, which will boost the number of sales you make in the early days (and it will only grow from there). To build an excellent online presence, focus on creating a user-friendly website and getting on social media. For your website, you need it to represent who you are as a brand while ensuring it’s easy to navigate. Don’t forget to make it mobile-friendly, too, as many customers use their phones to browse these days. For social media, remember to post regularly after setting up your accounts to draw more people in.
Making Purchasing Easy
The last thing you want to do is draw customers only to find purchasing from you difficult. Whether your store is difficult to find or your eCommerce site is difficult to navigate, having a challenging purchasing process will scare away many otherwise interested customers. To make buying from your business easy, have a clear website with easy-to-find basket/purchasing options, and if you have a physical store, spend some time on your signage (and include directions on your website/social media pages).
Start with a Simple Product or Service
No matter how many ideas you have running through your head, it’s always better to start simple. First, you want to understand who your consumer is and what they want, so test the waters with just one or a handle of products or services. That way, you can learn at a steady pace, giving your alterations and newer products a better chance of success.
Ask for Reviews and Feedback
Reviews are crucial for new businesses. People who Google a brand tend to look at customer reviews to see if it’s worth their time; if there are none, they might look elsewhere. This is why you should encourage each customer to leave feedback on Google or your website. Remember to reply to each comment, too, as it’ll show that you are connected to your customers.
It is hard to feel passion every single day, but you should try. Enthusiasm is what will keep you going even during the challenging days, so make sure your product is something you genuinely feel passionate about and let yourself feel excited about getting it out there.
Learn from Your Setbacks
Every business goes through setbacks. Some might overhaul an entire business, whereas others might just provide a simple lesson. No matter what bumps in the road you experience as a new business owner, you must learn from each of them. That way, you’ll build a great wealth of business knowledge that’ll help you come back from them better than ever.
Create a Rigid Schedule (that You Stick to)
It’s easy to work when you feel like it as a business owner. After all, you are your own boss! That doesn’t mean you should, though. Creating a rigid schedule for yourself and sticking to it will help you reach goals in a timely manner. If you’re used to a regular working week, try to stick to your usual Monday to Friday nine until five. Once you grow enough to hire employees, you’ll likely need to work these hours, anyway.
Know When to Hire Staff
Hiring staff is a huge step for any new business – it’s the moment you know your business has left the ground and is thriving enough to provide others with a living. You must know when to hire staff, though, as doing it too early or too late could put the success of your business in jeopardy. If you’re pulling in a decent profit, spending too many hours doing too many jobs, and have tasks that you personally struggle with, it’s probably time to send out job applications.
It is rare for new businesses to earn a huge profit within the first year. In fact, it can take a few years before you see steady growth. For this reason, you must be patient and not give up when the going gets tough. Instead, work hard, know your goals, and give your business room to grow, and you’ll see it take off before too long.