4 ways to get your small business off to a strong start
Starting a new company is an exciting and busy time, and it's easy to become swept up in the process. However, with the number of actively trading businesses steadily increasing year by year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, how can you get yours off to a strong start and stand out from the crowd?
Here are four methods to guide yourself through the chaos.
1. Research, research, research
The most successful companies are always researching ways to improve. Small businesses should follow their lead.
While a working crystal ball might seem the best way to ensure the success of your business, thorough and consistent research comes in close second. Find the news sources for the industry you want to enter and read what they have to say. Look at the market as a whole, and spend time studying what other businesses have done that's helped them succeed.
Don't dismiss any information that you encounter. Listen to anything your friends and family have to offer, and talk to others that may have already gone the entrepreneurial way. Don't take everything they say to heart, but use it to build a solid foundation of knowledge.
Pitch your idea to everyone you can convince to listen, and watch their reactions. Are they interested? Are they sceptical? Getting feedback can let you know if your brilliant idea is actually that, or a dud in disguise. And the right critique can let you know how to adjust course to better aim for what you're trying to achieve.
Never stop researching. The most successful companies out there, such as Google, Microsoft, or Apple, are always looking at ways to improve, and watching market trends. Small businesses can learn from them, as the principles remain the same.
2. Meeting a need
Work out why people need your business. Make this as simple as possible, and try framing it within one short sentence. Knowing the purpose behind a company reveals who the customers will be, and allows your business to be built around meeting this need.
You don't need a grand, complicated reason behind a company. Take coffee sleeves for example. The idea is simple – a way to protect fingers from burning when buying coffee to go. And yet go to almost any cafe today and you'll see them slipped onto every takeaway cup sold.
Understand the people who you are aiming your solution at. Create a profile based on the completed research and figure out how best to create touch points with your potential customers. Then make it clear how you're there to meet a particular need.
3. Invest in the right areas early on
Keeping costs down when first starting off may be smart, however weighing up long term benefits against short term ones is essential when deciding what to sacrifice.
Good advice is often worth the pinch you feel finding the resources to pay for it. Whether it's developing a business plan, forecasting cash flow, managing tax and legal requirements, or reviewing how you're structuring your business, the insights that the right advisors provide can influence long term success. Partnering with them from the beginning can set the correct course for the business, and allows you to focus on building and steering it.
4. Be aware of the brand you're building
Consumers and employees are looking further than just solutions when it comes to businesses. Across all industries, over 75 percent of people believe that the citizenship and social impact of a company is important, according to Deloitte's 2018 Global Human Capital Trends study.
Understanding overarching trends like this can help your business create the right image to attract goodwill from the offset, strengthening the company and its brand. Instead of being just another small business, focus on what makes you different, and how your brand can show the value you're adding to the community.
If you're entering the small business world and want more advice on how to achieve your goals, check out our blog or get in contact with us today to see how we can help.