Top 10 Business Tips For Startups
Starting a business is an exciting adventure with ups and downs. By investing in marketing and following other useful tips, new business owners can help ensure they have more ups than downs. Doing so keeps the business profitable and reduces the likelihood of shutting its doors.
1. Build a Dream Team
Every business needs a team to support it, no matter how small it is. Even if you start a micro-business, such as freelance work, you may need a babysitter to watch the kids while you work and an accountant to file your taxes. Determine your needs early on, so you can keep an eye out for talent as your business grows.
2. Be Accessible
How does your target demographic prefer to communicate? You will need to adjust to meet their needs. Make it easy for your customers to reach you in different ways:
- Phone call
- Facebook chat
- Twitter replies
3. Reinvest Profits
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is pulling profits out of the business too early. If you have no other source of income, you may have no choice. This is one of the reasons that holding on to your old job or a part-time gig isn’t always a bad idea when starting up. Reinvest in marketing, product development and hiring the right talent.
4. Keep Learning
No matter how much of a guru you are in your industry, the name of the game in business is “change.” Technology, new laws and the economy can drastically change the industry as you know it, almost overnight. Commit to learning new ways of doing old things and you’ll stay one step ahead.
5. Provide Transparency
Today’s customers barely resemble the ones before them. Companies are not just companies to them. They are living, breathing reflections of the people who create, manage and staff them. By being transparent in operations, you reduce the likelihood of shady transactions that may threaten your brand.
6. Invest in Branding
If your customers see your emails or social media posts without seeing your logo and company name, do they know it’s yours? Create a brand so cohesive that your customers can spot it from a mile away. This makes your marketing campaign ten times more effective by allowing you to leverage brand recognition and capitalize on its effects.
7. Choose Organic
Organic marketing methods are healthy for your business. For instance, pay-per-click ads will give you a boost, but the returns on investment stop coming in when you stop running ads. In contrast, search engine optimization continues to generate organic traffic, long after you’ve published the content.
8. Get Social
Companies join social media and immediately start selling products to customers. Remember why people are on social media: to be social. Talk to your target demographics. Ask questions. Provide answers. Share content. Engage with them. Then, when you have built a strong relationship, sell subtly.
9. Know Your Competitors
How well do you know the top players in your industry? You certainly shouldn’t be spying on them, but you should be paying keen attention. If their businesses are currently out-performing yours, there are lessons to learn. Also, look for where they fall short. That’s where you’ll find the gaps you can fill with your own product offerings.
10. Track ROI
Don’t let anyone talk you into taking their word for your return on investment. Ask for objective results that you can see and track. If it’s SEO, did your website traffic and conversions improve? If you issued coupons, were there more sales? Can they tie cause to effect by direct means?
The fact is that business is a risk, no matter what tips you follow and how much you try to mitigate it. Enjoy the journey, plan for success and accept all failures as tough but necessary lessons.