Business in general has taken quite a hit over the last year. Coronavirus has savaged varying industries, specifically tourism, and hospitality. Many have had to make drastic cuts including redundancies, while some have, unfortunately, gone bankrupt entirely. So where does that leave you and your business? By nature, most business owners are often puzzling out their next move. What project is up your sleeve?
You’ll be looking at how you can expand into new markets, protect your business a bit better, and draw customers to you. But what’s the secret to success? How can you ensure these ideas and projects work? Simple. Prior preparation. If you do the research and planning beforehand, whatever you’ve got planned has far more chance of success. It’s by no means a guarantee, but it hedges your risk. You might find something huge which wipes the plans off your board…saving you money and time. You may find easier ways to approach certain problems. Research is done in different ways of course, here are some of the items you may want to read into and research to help you hit the ground running.
Analyse Market Position
Where do you fit in in terms of the wider market parameters? No matter what you’re doing, and why, you need to know how it fits into the market position. Each industry may do this differently simply by nature, but it’s no less vital. You might want to start a business from scratch to supplement your other ventures. It may be that you’ve got a product you think will sell really well and want it to supplement other items you have. You won’t know if any of these work without analyzing the market.
Take Covid for example. As soon as it really blew up, you had people selling masks right away. These people quickly analyzed the market, saw a gap and exploited it. Those who came much later might have missed the boat. You want to look whether there’s someone doing exactly the same thing as your idea. Are their similar products? Or better ones? If you’re offering a service, is it already being offered and if so, by someone more qualified? Once you know there’s a place in the market for you, you can move onto further planning.
Leverage Freelancers For A Boost
Whether a new business or a new service, it can be hard to get extra people on board at the outset. This is because you won’t want to start employing people if you’re not 100% sure whether it’ll be a success or not. In the same vein, you may need the help, even if it’s just for a quick spurt. The beauty behind this is that you benefit from true industry expertise. You can’t know everything, and having someone on board to inject that knowledge is great.
It can be help selling on Amazon, health and safety experts, chef for consultation if you’re going into the food business, HR enquiries, you name it there will be someone offering help for it on a freelance basis. You use them and stop paying them when you no longer need them. No need to worry about any kinds of pension, employment tax etc. The downside is that you may have to do a little further research to ensure you get a great freelancer who can help you hit the ground running. A way to shorten this time is by using a platform where freelancers have been vetted, like Fiverr for example. You may already know great ones from previous work or word of mouth.
Consider Potential Overheads
Before you start something you need to know how much it costs. What kinds of overheads are you going to have and can you bear these? It might be months until you really start making money from your new venture. Try to think of business changes you can make to save cash, work from home instead of investing in an office. Order product samples before placing a main order. Use your current workplace, or even your home, for storage instead of hiring storage space. Your business will look much better if you can protect your bottom line for as long as possible.
Of course, this may be unavoidable. Overheads happen, it’s business. Yet if you can scope these out beforehand, it means you will have worked out the costing properly. It gives you time to save up so you’ve got what you need instead of panicking half way through your new venture and running off to the bank for a loan, with the interest being even more of a business overhead. There will always be costs. It’s whether you can bear them. It’s probably not good to push into new areas and ventures when your current business isn’t working too well unless you’ve got a cast iron idea and perfect research to accompany it.
Let People Know Before You Pull The Trigger
To really hit the ground running, you need instant sales. You’re not going to get any if people don’t know what you’re selling and doing. This means you need to let them know beforehand. You need to drum up that buzz around your business and offering. What makes you different and why are they going to use you instead of someone else? Once you’ve answered these questions, then you need to tell people about it. Social media is one of the better ways these days. When you harness the power of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc., you’re going to be able to hit swathes of people with targeted advertising. Just make sure your marketing niche is well researched.
First of all, create your business pages. You might already have these, which is great. But remember to include your new products and services. If these target a whole different group of people you may need to create a new page anyway. The content needs to be engaging and you can hire content writers to do this for you. Engaging content brings people to your pages, which holds that vital information regarding your launch. If you’re really thinking of something knock out, offer discounts. People love money off and free stuff. Give money off your new offerings and they’ll be popular, once that builds you can stop the promotion.
Ensure Your Website Is Up To Scratch
Whether you’re creating a new website or simply adding to it to include the new details, it needs to be slick and work exactly as you intend. Do this beforehand and make sure you stress test it. If you don’t, and the problem is experienced by people coming to your website, you may suffer a dip in reputation. You don’t want them to experience that. If you’re using a web developer, make sure they test it. Go to your website and imagine you’re a customer.
Can you navigate to your new product or service pages easily, as that’s what you’re driving people to. Are there too many pages to get through before you get to the checkout. Be sure you ask a few people to look at it too. If you’ve been looking at it all day every day, you may miss some of the issues. Fresh eyes see new problems. Remember, more people are going to be using it too, especially if you’re going to be advertising it heavily. If this is the case make sure it can support more visitors. If competitors have done the same thing, take a look at what they’ve done. That’s not to say you’ll be copying, instead you’ll be implementing.