It all starts with a bright idea. Sometimes appearing from nowhere, while you’re doing something mundane. It can come to you after receiving poor service from a company—or purchasing a product that wasn’t all it was made out to be. It’s also quite possible that your idea was born via methodical planning and years of preparation. However your new business idea was created, one thing is for sure: you will have to work hard to make it a business venture that is successful and profitable.
With that in mind, we decided to compile our best “starting a new business venture” tips to help you on your way:
- Take only good advice – don’t give credence to advice based on the fact it came from Uncle Bob and he is a really nice guy. Of course, take on board any information given to you, but then look at it in the cold light of day and ask yourself, is this advice suitable for my business?
- KYC (know your customer) – it doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or offering a service, you should research your customer base. Research your competitors’ advertising and see what services or products are currently being offered. What is popular and in demand?
- Evaluate the competition – in order to be successful, you may have to bring something different into your chosen industry sector, depending on the popularity. Maybe you can bring a service or product to the market at a more affordable price. Quality goes a long way; can you provide a better quality service or product than what is currently available? Not only should you research your competitors, but also engage them. Purchase a product from them and learn what the customer experience is like, and then work out areas of improvement that you could possibly offer within your new business.
- Get an accountant – it may seem too early to be bringing the services of an accountant on board, but you will soon need advice on what is claimable. You will also need someone to keep your business bookkeeping in order.
- Spread the word and get social – embrace a social network like Facebook or Twitter, get active and spread the word. It’s free, it works and you can easily interact with your customers and get news out on your business services or offers.
- Strengthen your brand – good branding sells; how strong is yours? Have you allotted budget to get a logo designed and a website that rocks? Arranged delivery of your new business cards? Especially if you’re selling online, good branding brings trust to a potential customer. Get that right before bringing people to your website or customers through your door.
- Lay the foundation – trying to grow rapidly by cutting corners and not laying the foundation for your business is a no-win approach, Don’t do it!
- Service the customer – don’t lose sight of how important customer service is to the success of your new business. Don’t take regular customers for granted! Treat them like a new customer every time they return to your store or website. Good customer service brings positive word of mouth referrals, great reviews, new customers and returning business.
- Stick with it – the long hours and weekends will be worth it. Don’t give up!
Many people who start a business say that the first year can be the hardest. Not only are you dealing with steep learning curves, but most people will be working on tight budgets and experiencing different types of pressure. Most of all, you should try to enjoy the experience; it’s your business venture and you are in the driver’s seat.
What other tips do you think are important when starting your own business? Let us know!
About the author: Karl Bilby is responsible for web content at The Accountancy Partnership. The firm provides a range of business accounting services for sole traders, contractors, Ltd. companies and partnerships throughout the UK.
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