Launching my Business and Accessing Funding
Once you have got all of your ducks lined up in a row, ( Getting your ducks in a row means organising your tasks and schedule so that you are ready for the next step. There are a number of theories behind these ducks. Real ducklings, of course, walk in a line behind their parent, and the expression ducks in a row certainly bring that image to mind!) and we know this sounds really obvious, but it is surprising how many businesses do nothing – Make sure your message is loud and clear!!
Set up a yearly promotional calendar for marketing your business to your target customers and review it every month. So many businesses switch on their website to go live and think that the customers will simply turn up!
They will not unless you make a lot of noise – throw a launch party and gather feedback on the services and products you sell online, ask your customers for their advice.
Top tips before you press the go-live button!
1. Spread the Word!
- People don’t buy what people don’t know.
- Exposure, especially for a new business, is key to generating sales.
- Don’t dismiss traditional marketing/advertising and PR, print is now cheaper than ever and will help you stand out from the crowd.
- Tools such as social media, viral videos, blogging and vlogging are effective and sometimes more successful.
- Digital Marketing and Email Campaigns will help you spread the message.
- Build a database of potential internal or external customers.
- Partner with other events that target your demographic, reach out to bloggers who cover your industry, find ways to tie your product or service or experience to something newsworthy to create excitement and a buzz.
2. Plan, Plan, Plan – But be Flexible
- Planning saves on costly mistakes.
- Write a business plan.
- Line up your financing and over-budget not under-budget.
- Get professional help – Talk to solicitors, accountants and business consultants with a proven track record to start your business the correct way.
- Just remember that even the best plans can change depending on the reality of running a business. Be flexible and adapt to change as needed.
3. Know your Products, Services or experiences & Your know your Market
- Know who will use your products, services or experiences and why they will chose you.
- Before you start any business it is imperative that you’ve done your homework.
- Research the market, your competitors and how they launched their businesses.
- Is your product priced competitively?
- Is there a best time of year to launch your product?
- Who is your target customer?
- Asking and answering these questions will provide you with valuable information when launching and promoting your brand.
4. Stand Out Among the Competition
- For anyone looking to launch a business, it’s essential for the business to stand out from the rest.
- A business that’s unique is one that has a much greater chance of succeeding.
- Does your product have a unique history or back story to tell?
- Did you invent a product based on your own needs and a hole in the market?
- Tell this story to set yourself apart from other companies
5. Build a Successful Team
- It takes a team of professionals to build a successful business. Every member of your team brings experience that’s invaluable to your success.
- Create a network of people who you can call upon when you need help.
- Use LinkedIn or other business networking sites to build a database of professionals you can connect with.
- Joining groups and organisations in your industry will allow you to promote your business and meet key people who can help you.
- Go to networking meetings in your area, initially, you might be on your own, but there are so many small businesses in your area that will be in the same boat.
- Never be afraid to ask questions and never think you know it all or can do it all.
- Being your own boss means you are always learning something from someone!