The first question business consultants are asked is “what advice would you give to a new business just starting out?”. There are so many but my top five fall into the following categories:
1. Love What You Do, or Do What You Love
If you are a vegetarian, don’t start a butcher shop. If you find it difficult to sell, don’t start a business where you have to, at the very least sell yourself to clients or sell a product. Just because there seems to be money made in a venture, if you are not passionate in some way about the business you will fail. You don’t have to be in love with a product to sell it, just love what it can do for others.
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2. Make Sure There Is A Market For Your Product or Service
Before you even start designing your business, have a look at what need is already out in the market that is unfulfilled. If there is already an audience, why not play to that. This way, your marketing dollars can be spent showing why you are the best source rather than having to preface this with showing the market why they need the product in the first place.
3. Yes You Are Brilliant at What You Do, but Are You a Marketer?
Just because you build it doesn’t mean they will come. Marketing is not about dropping an advertisement in the local paper whenever they offer you a special deal, or having your teenager create a website for your new business. You need to accept that a professional, current marketing plan and its continued implementation are the key to effective business. If no one knows you exist, how will they buy from you?
4. Embrace New Technologies
Having a quality website, online purchasing (if appropriate), social media including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube etc are all crucial to being genuinely in the game. There is a huge chance your prospects will do a little prospecting of their own online before they even think of you. Keep your website optimised for search engines such as Google (this is known as SEO). Would it be helpful for your clients to be able to find you when they are on the move? Good examples are restaurants, entertainment locations, fashion retailers etc. If this is your market, invest in a quality mobile application.
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5. Build Relationships
You are in business to be successful, but you cannot be successful without great relationships. Make the effort to let your suppliers, customers, staff and service providers know you appreciate them. Follow the principle of treating these associates the way you would like them to treat you. Good relationships make your business more successful and your days more pleasant. If all else is not working for you, your associates may well keep your business afloat if the relationships are well developed and nourished in the good times.
You are the main ingredient for success for your business. Plan a strategy and run with it, just don’t expect miracles. If you follow your plan, maintain your integrity and keep a sense of humour, you will go a long way to achieving business success.
What factors do you think are important for starting your own business?
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