Launching a business startup is no easy feat. Many startups don’t succeed, and that’s mainly because they don’t do the things outlined in this guide before doing business. If you’re serious about your business, the following steps should be imperative and put on the list of your top priorities. You can never do too much research or take too many precautions. Let’s take a look:
A Catchy Name
A catchy name is very important, but it’s not as easy as doing a few brainstorms and picking your favourite. You need to make sure that your name isn’t taken by anybody else, and couldn’t be misconstrued to mean something that it doesn’t. You don’t want the name to create a negative impression of your business, do you? You should also make sure that it’s easy to spell, as misspellings could lose you a lot of business. To put it simply, your name needs to be catchy, easy to spell, and relevant.
A Simple Domain Name
Your domain name will take people straight to your business website. It should be relevant to your business name, but not too complicated. Again, this is something that needs to be easy to remember. You’ll need to check online to see what’s available. You probably won’t get the exact one you want, but with some effort you should get a decent one. It helps if your domain name and business name are the same, so you’ll need to check domain names as you think of business names to see if they are available.
A Professional Website
Your website is the front door to your business for prospects. No matter what industry you’re in, you need a professional website. I can’t stress this enough. I recommend working with a seasoned designer with a knowledge of marketing to help you come up with the perfect design. Designing a website yourself will likely end in tears. Make this first impression count by investing money in it. This way, your design will be attractive, easy to use, and made to be indexed by search engines. Focus on making the experience amazing for your prospects.
Market research is a big deal in any business sector. You need to get in touch with your target market and find out as much as you can about them in order to target your services and products to them. Find out what they like and what they dislike. Find out what they expect from a product like yours. The more you know, the better. You don’t always have to follow market research: companies like Apple don’t. I bet everybody would have screwed their faces up at the idea of an iPad had Apple checked with them first. But then again, you aren’t Apple. If I were you, I’d play it safe and go with the market research. Especially if this week’s episode of The Apprentice was anything to go by.
A Big Budget
Running a business presents all kinds of expenses and emergencies. To cover yourself for these, you need a big budget. You won’t always be able to afford this yourself, so you may need to find funding from somewhere. You can usually apply with banks, or you could even apply for a show such as Dragon’s Den to get an investment and backing from a dragon.
Insurance is the only way you can protect your business. You can’t please everyone, and you definitely don’t want to end up with lawsuits against you or a claim. The right insurance policy will protect your building, employees, clients, and more. Weigh up the features of each potential option to see which is best for you. Don’t go for the cheapest deal, go for the best value for money.
Social Media Profiles
Social media is a powerful marketing tool. Getting social with your audience is essential in this day and age. Many customers expect a business to have social media profiles these days, so if you don’t, you’ll be missing out. Social media is a place you can share interesting and useful information, answer queries, and get feedback. You can even offer customer service this way. Many people find it better and easier than emailing or calling.
Your business logo will represent your business for the rest of its life. It should be easily recognisable, simple, and appropriate. It isn’t always easy to design one yourself, but there are professionals who pride themselves on their ability to design logos. Take a look on Google to get an idea of what you like and what is popular today.
You probably won’t want to work from your bedroom, so you need office space to be as productive as possible. Rent rates for London office space aren’t that bad if you look in the right place. You don’t even need a physical office if you don’t want one; virtual offices are available for use when you need them. Make sure you consider your office location, amenities, and transport links carefully before making your decision.
While online marketing is essential, offline is still important too. This way, you can get involved with your local community and build a great reputation. Here are some things you can do to market offline:
- Business cards.
- Sponsor a sport’s team.
- Flyers and brochures.
- Host competitions.
- Give away free, branded stuff.
Do everything you can to build a great reputation and increase your exposure and you can’t go wrong.
Having a successful startup is much about building a great reputation and brand. You want people to create positive connections with the thought of you in their heads. By making sure you respond to queries and problems in a timely manner, you can help your reputation. Do what you can to minimise the risk of issues arising, as the news of one bad experience could spread to up to 20 people. Concentrate on keeping your customers happy and your startup should thrive.
See you next time!