Pro Tips for Starting a Business
Starting a new business is exciting, but it can be challenging without the right guidance. We often find ourselves walking alongside business owners and giving them direction on how to get running effectively from the start. Here's the "Vast Strategies Pro Tips to Ensure Business Success."
Bitsy McCann (branding/design) and Tammy Vasbinder (owner/strategy) with Dr. Heather Henry (center), owner of Wags to Whiskers Veterinary Clinic in Carlisle, PA.
Do Your Market Research
Before diving into any business venture, thorough market research is essential. Identify your target audience, their needs, and preferences. Use surveys, focus groups, and online tools to gather valuable data. According to a survey conducted by Small Business Trends, 42% of businesses fail because there's no market need for their product or service. Understanding your audience can help you tailor your offerings to meet their demands effectively.
You can absolutely hire a firm to do this research for you, or you can conduct it yourself. Put together an online poll, throw up a social media survey, or have one-on-one conversations with someone who is your ideal client. Be systematic, objective, and open to diverse perspectives.
Invest in Your Brand
Incorporating design and branding considerations into your business strategy from the start can significantly impact how your brand is perceived in the market. A well-designed and consistent brand identity not only attracts customers but also helps in building a strong brand presence and long-term customer relationships.
Consistency in branding is key. Establish a cohesive visual identity that includes consistent colors, fonts, and imagery across all your marketing materials, website, social media profiles, and products or services. Consistency breeds recognition and trust among consumers.
Build an Online Presence
In the digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial. Create a professional website, optimize it for search engines (SEO), and establish a presence on social media platforms where your audience is active. According to Oberlo, 89% of shoppers research products online before making a purchase. A compelling online presence can significantly impact your business's visibility and credibility.
Utilize digital marketing strategies like social media advertising, email marketing, and content marketing. According to HubSpot, businesses that blog receive 55% more website visitors. You know we love our blogs! Quality content can establish your expertise and engage your audience, leading to increased sales and brand loyalty.
Focus on Customer Service
Happy customers not only return but also recommend your business to others, leading to organic growth. Exceptional customer service involves understanding your customers' needs and exceeding their expectations. Actively listen to their concerns, empathize with their situations, and demonstrate genuine care.
Going the extra mile, such as offering personalized recommendations, hand written thank you notes, or after-sales support, can create a memorable experience. Additionally, promptly resolving issues, being transparent about policies, and valuing customer feedback can further enhance the trust and loyalty your customers have in your business. We are constantly changing when our customers provide us feedback, and we think every business should, too!
Network and Collaborate
Networking is a powerful tool for business growth. Attend industry events, join professional organizations, and connect with other entrepreneurs. Collaborations and partnerships can open new doors for your business. Did you know that 85% of small and medium-sized businesses say that word-of-mouth referrals are the best way to acquire customers?
If that's the case, you should be out there making new professional friends every week! Picture confidently extending your hand, offering a well-designed business card that embodies your brand's essence. This new connection visits your website, where they are greeted by a seamless blend of exceptional design and functionality. In that moment, you've not only made a lasting impression but also significantly heightened the likelihood of being enthusiastically referred. This is the magic of professionalism coupled with an incredible brand aesthetic – a combination that propels new businesses into trustworthy territory.
Build a Reliable Team
If your business requires employees, hire individuals who align with your vision and values. A skilled and motivated team can drive your business forward. Invest in employee training and create a positive work culture. Research from Gallup shows that engaged employees are 21% more profitable - that's a huge amount! Sales training contributes to an additional 20% as well. Have a good culture and train your team, and you'll see a huge ROI.
Stay Adaptable and Innovative
The business landscape is constantly evolving. Stay updated with industry trends and be willing to adapt your strategies. Encourage innovation within your business. Companies like Apple and Amazon continue to succeed because of their ability to innovate and adapt to changing market demands.
Maybe you started your business offering X, but along the way, you realize there is also a demand for Y and Z - which are both adjacent services to what you're currently offering. Offer all three. As time goes on, maybe you eliminate one. The most successful companies find the gaps in their markets and fill them.
Keep a Positive Attitude
Starting a new business successfully requires a combination of careful planning, dedication, and adaptability. We also think it requires a positive attitude! Yes, you have to put in the work, but if you do it with an upbeat outlook, you'll find more success in it. A study of one million people closed the case on it, too: happiness makes you dramatically more successful.
Remember, every business starts small. With determination, hard work, and these tips, your new venture can flourish and become a testament to your entrepreneurial spirit.
And if you're stuck with any of the above or just need a cheerleader, let us know.