Starting a new business can be both scary and thrilling. You now have your own business that you have worked hard to develop from your initial idea to a working company, but there are still many things you need to do. Just because you have started this venture, it doesn’t mean it will be a guaranteed winner. There are a few fundamental things that you need to have before you can call your start-up truly a success.
The one thing that every new company needs is customers, and most importantly, customers that buy something from you. You might think that attracting customers is fairly easy, but the truth is it can be a struggle in the early years to get enough sales to survive. That is why so many new businesses fail in the first year. Getting customers is not just about finding them or helping them find you, it is also about having something that they like enough to buy. In some ways, although you need customers to survive, you need a great product, good marketing, and good sales to get the customers to buy. Your initial set-up won’t be perfect from the beginning, but it needs to work well enough to support you until your sales increase.
The reason you are in business is to sell your products or services to your customers, which means your products must be something people want. It doesn’t have to be unique or the first of its type, but it needs to be different enough so that customers cannot get it from anywhere else. You need to be completely focused on your product and what it offers to your customers. You don’t want to overly complicate it, or people might get confused about what it does. Keep it simple and tell your customers how easy it is, and how it differs from any other product of its type. For example, cars are all pretty much the same type of product; they get people from point A to point B. However, there are many companies all trying to sell their brand of car, and that is where you need to innovate and choose an area to exploit. It might be that yours has more gadgets, or that it's safer for families.
The Timing of Your Launch
In business, everything is about timing - when to launch a new product, when to start a sale and when to start a business. There is a small window of opportunity when it comes to starting a new company. You need to be there at the right time to capture the public imagination and start a trend. If you arrive too late, then you might find yourself hitting a downward curve that won’t get you many sales. At the same time, you don’t want to be too early, or your product might be too far ahead of its time. That means you have to wait, which many start-ups don’t have the funding to do.
If you want to truly make it in business, there are certain things you have to know before you start, and one of those things is your competition. It is vital that you do as much research as possible on the companies that are selling similar products to you. Even if they are not the same, they are still a possible alternative to your products in the eyes of your customers. It is especially true in the early days when you haven’t yet developed loyal customers that love your products, so you need to tell them why what you offer is better. When determining why your product is better, you need to focus on that area for your marketing. For example, if your product is created from higher quality materials, then tell this to your customers. In the same way, you need to know what your competition is saying about their products.
Finance is crucial to any start-up, because you need money to set-up your business and develop the products that will generate an income. How you raise this capital depends on the options available to you at the time. You might have to seek funding from family or friends, the bank or perhaps from a company like Bonsai Finance. As well as the money to set up your company, you also need money to keep your company trading until you start making sales. It is this part that often causes the most problems because you need to balance running the company against losing too much money. If you have chosen the right strategy, then this gap between outgoings and incoming will be short.
How good is your team and how much can they do for you? You need to be confident in your team and in their ability to fight for your company. If you have limited resources, then this might mean you need to pick your battles wisely and save your money for more appropriate battles. You need to have someone on your team that knows the market inside out and knows how to pitch your product so that your customers are interested. You also need people that can balance your finances to the smallest degree and do the best possible job with what they have available. As well as the management team, you also need to have reliable workers that can produce your products quickly and with precision and that are loyal to your new enterprise.
How you appear to your customers is almost as important as how your products perform. Your marketing needs to be targeted at those that are likely to buy your products and remain with your company. You need to find out where your customers are and what they need before you can tell them you have the answer. There are many marketing opportunities out there, and you need to use as many of them as you possibly can.
Starting a new company is something you should be proud of and determined to do well. With the right strategy and team in place, you can turn your small business into something big.