Starting Out In An Industry Filled With Big Players
In the past, figuring out a sensible business idea wasn’t too tricky. To start, you would think about what you enjoy and what you’re good at, striking a healthy balance between the two in the work you’ll be engaged in. After that, you might think about costs and your budget, looking for an idea which will be affordable. Once you get to location, though, a spanner gets thrown in the works. Unlike in the past, you don’t have the opportunity to find a spot where no one else is running a business like yours. Thanks to the Internet, you will always have competition, and shouting over the big players can be a real challenge.
Overcoming this sort of challenge should start in the right place. Standing out can be a real challenge when you’re first starting as a small business, as you won’t necessarily have the resources to invest in big marketing campaigns or flashy competitions. Instead, you will have to rely on the products and services you offer to show people that you’re different. There are a number of ways to approach this, with the best often being giving a better experience to your customers. Like a lot of the different jobs which come with running your business, you can save money here if you’re willing to spend some time.
Standing out is easier said than done, though. Simply being nice to customers isn’t really enough, and you have to go the extra mile if you want to make yourself look good. The benefits of a virtual office address are numerous, but include the chance to convince customers that you’re much larger than you are, making them feel far more comfortable about working with you. They will know that they can get in touch through a proper address, rather than having to work with emails or call centers. Along with this, you could also think about having someone who can manage social media messages, as people consider these to be very important, nowadays.
A lot of people assume that they won’t be able to stand up to the competition when it comes to marketing, and will often let themselves go unnoticed in some crucial areas. The key to true success in marketing isn’t money. While having a little bit of a budget helps, being creative will have a far bigger impact. Making videos, taking on good causes, and posting on social media don’t cost much at all, but will all take a little bit of work to get right. Don’t get put off if you find yourself struggling with something like this, as everyone needs a little bit of time to get to grips with the idea of free marketing.
Social media is one of the hardest parts of marketing for a small business. When you don’t have many followers, gaining more can feel like it is going to take a very long time. There are some tricks which can be used during the early stages of this process, though, and a lot of people have no idea that they exist. For example, there are loads of Influencers on Instagram who are happy to post on behalf of businesses in return for free products. Since they already have a good following, this will get you loads of exposure, without feeling like an advert to customers. This has proven to be incredibly successful over the last few years.
Learning from the mistakes of big businesses is important when you’re trying to take their customers. With their marketing campaigns being so large and widespread, being able to see where they have gone wrong should be nice and easy. In most cases, companies will focus on the wrong element of their products, creating a false sense of perfection which people have come to distrust. By showing a more human side in your marketing, you can make people feel a lot more confident in your products. To achieve this, it’s worth making sure that your advertising efforts look good, but they should present a world which doesn’t exist.
Filling The Gaps
When large companies are competing with one another, they will often get caught in a stalemate which involves working on exactly the same features to appeal to the mass market. This leaves gaping holes in industries, giving customers a big challenge when it comes to finding the items they want, while also presenting you with an opportunity to create something unique. To find a gap like this, it will be worth browsing the web a little bit. It won’t take long to find examples of complaints and requests from customers which have simply been ignored. Of course, you will have to do your research to make sure that there aren’t other small companies with the same plans.
There are plenty of different options when you’re taking this approach. If you wanted to sell bicycles, for example, going into the business of selling road and mountain bikes could be difficult, as you will have competition from big companies all over the world. Instead, it would make a little more sense to look into the idea of bikes which less people want, but nowhere else will sell. Fixies and trial bikes can work for this. When you’re running a niche business, it will always help to try and get involved with community groups and clubs which are related to the products you sell.
Quality Over Quantity
Starting a business is always an exciting experience, especially when you’ve never done anything like this before. Before you can find success, though, you have to make sure that you’re taking the right approach to your products. Investing in a huge amount of variety is usually a big mistake. It will be hard to tell which products will be popular, and a lot of people find themselves wasting money, as you might not sell everything. Even if this means only selling a single product, it can be well worth it. Customers will have an easier job of spreading the word for you when you go down this route.
This rule doesn’t just apply to your range, though, as you also have to be careful to make sure that you don’t find yourself with too many customers in the early days. It’s always worth working hard to sell a good amount, but this doesn’t mean that you need to hurt yourself in the process. Taking on a manageable workload will enable you to provide a better service to each customer, avoiding the risk of a burn out, and giving you the chance to grow your business at a speed which makes sense for you. There is never a good reason to rush a company into existence, even when you’re feeling excited about it.
With all of this in mind, you should be feeling ready to get started on your next business idea. People used to avoid ideas which were already taken in their area, but this sort of approach doesn’t really work anymore. Instead, you have to find other ways to make yourself stand out, using all of the tools at your disposal to create a business which customers won’t be able to ignore. If you need extra support with this, it will be worth spending some time working with a couple of professionals. There are loads of companies out there offering services which can advise and support you when you’re starting a new venture, and this is an excellent way to make sure that you’re going down the right path.
ContributorMiLLENNiAL is a lifestyle magazine profiling those who are shaping the world we experience. From business innovation and career strategy to sustainable health and cultural disruptors, MiLLENNiAL shines the light on the young change makers of the world.