Starting a business requires tenacity, creativity, healthy risk-taking, passion and insight. Now that you’ve taken that big step of starting your new business, what now? Here are 5 important steps to take once you’ve started your business. Flawless management, creativity and planning go a long way in your quest to run a successful business.
1) Create your brand identity.
Now it’s time to get your name and your business out there. You will need a professional logo, an engaging website, signage and possibly even business cards and apparel to match your brand. It’s important that your brand identity is professional, clear and provides a great message and mission statement to show what your business is offering. One common mistake new business owners make is creating a quick logo and slapping it on a business card and calling it a day. It’s vital to the success of your business to have a cohesive and creative brand identity from the logo to the website, to your business cards and storefront.
2) Set a marketing budget.
2) Set a marketing budget.
Many businesses don’t spend enough money on marketing, or even worse, they spend it haphazardly without a clear plan. Beesley (2013) states a general rule that small businesses with less than $5 million in revenue should allocate 7-8% of their revenues to marketing. If you’re business is not generating much to start, it’s still important to allocate funds to marketing. Be smart and plan accordingly. Never use just the money you have leftover after paying other expenses, marketing expenses should be a top priority.
3) Define your marketing goals.
Now that you have a marketing budget, how will people find out about your business? You can’t just rely on word of mouth to get started. You need to build up a reputation before people will start spreading the word for you. It’s important to have a strong marketing plan to advertise your business. You’ll need to know your target audience and where to find them. Are they on social media? According to Smith and Anderson (2018), roughly two-thirds (68%) of U.S. adults are on Facebook. Social media marketing is a great way to start acquiring new customers. You may also utilize direct mail, permission-based email, print advertising and even loyalty programs for new customers. Talk to a marketing manager and get a clear plan in action.
4) Consult or hire a professional.
Your business is not going to run itself, and you may not be an expert in all areas. You may have started a business because of a passion, but do you know how to market on Facebook? If not, hire a marketing or design professional to help you out. Consulting with professionals in areas that you are not confident in can make a huge difference in the success of your business. There are marketing and advertising professionals out there, as well as accountants and bookkeepers. You don’t have to do it all on your own.
5) Learn how to lead.
If you want to run a successful business, you must be able to lead. Growing your business means growing and nurturing relationships. Every successful business is built on relationships – relationships with customers, employees, contractors and other business professionals you will be working with. Learn how to communicate and delegate properly so you are not wasting precious time and money. Your business depends on your ability to hire, inspire and lead others.