There’s no escaping the fact that it’s hard out there for a small startup business and new entrepreneur. You need to hit the market fighting so that you can make a positive impact and succeed where many have failed beforehand.
The following are five (5) things to consider when starting out on your business path and will help to navigate you through the obstacles that the market will throw your way.
1. Find Your Place in the Market
You need to carefully consider where you’re aiming to jump into the marketplace, and if your service or product has the appeal to stay afloat or be swallowed up by the heavily saturated surroundings. If you feel you’ve found a substantial and definite gap in the market; congratulations, you’ve found the holy grail in business and should be able to progress in leaps and bounds with the help of the upcoming steps.
Liane Weintraub and Shannon Swanson created their own brand of organic baby purees, Tasty Brand, after realising how little choice there out there for them and their little ones. Tasty Brand is now stocked in a number of national chains, including Wholefoods and Fairway, and continues to grow in success. Check out the company’s road to success here.
However, if what you’re producing has an array of counterparts to contend with, then you need to ensure that you have a point of difference or can offer an upgrade to what the consumer is used to. If you can provide a fresh take on an old classic, or your product and service is simply better than the rest; this will stand you in good stead at the start of your business journey.
Take a step back and look at your product from a customer’s position, who knows nothing about the story behind the item, or any of your journey to get it to market. By looking at what you can offer without any sentimentality, you’ll be able to understand if a person is likely to buy into it or not.
If investing a ton of money into market research isn’t an option for you; utilise the internet, organise focus groups locally or online, and ask an in-depth list of questions. Taking your market research into your own hands can often lead to a better understanding of which direction your small business is heading in, which will prove vital in the tentative first months of starting out.
2. Check Out the Competition
As talked about before; you need to scope out your company’s competitors and find out as much as possible about their routes to success. Don’t ignore the big guys just because you’re small; they got to that size with good reason, and you’ll be able to downsize many of their techniques and implement them within your business.
The great thing about looking into the larger brands is that their ambassadors and consumers are easily found through social media. By discovering a big corporation’s patrons; you can figure out what they expect from the brand’s services and products. Comparing these consumers to the ones you hope to attract (maybe they’re the same), will ensure that you’ll gain a clear plan of where to aim your products.
Another reason to research into what the big guys have been up to is to learn from their mistakes. There is no doubt that each business will have made costly mistakes, but, if a company is still alive and kicking; they’ve dealt will them accordingly, and more importantly, with success.
Therefore, looking into what happened within the business’s history, and how they got over each hurdle, will help you make informed decisions for your small brand.
Take a look at some of the biggest mistakes ever made in business.
3. Develop A Strong Team
As the little guys that are new to the market, you’re unlikely to have a vast herd of employees. Therefore, you need to ensure that those you pick to work for your brand are dedicated and right for their role. The qualifications that a potential employee has on paper don’t always translate into a strong fit for your company.
If you’re hiring a small team; make sure that you can all work successfully in close proximity, as well as when everyone goes to complete an individual task. Trust is important, and using HR recruitment specialists will help to ensure that you’ve got a strong team around you so that you can delegate work without worry.
Invest your time into getting to know your employees once you’ve hired them and find out what makes them tick. By understanding how your team works best, both alone and together, will speed up processes and you’ll reach your business targets with ease.
4. Be Adaptable and Quick
Business success will favour those who are nimble and can adapt to the ever-evolving technology and strategies on the market. Take time each week to read up on what’s happening in the business world and how the latest in tech is helping brands to bring in revenue.
You won’t necessarily have the means to jump on every invention bandwagon.
However, by staying up to date with how companies are targeting their customers and using the technology to enhance their shopping experiences; you’ll be able to see more of what’s expected on the market and strategise how to implement any changes to your business. Take a look at the benefits of adaptability here.
5. Enjoy Your Customers
Your customers are the ones who will determine the longevity and success of your business; so bear in mind how important they are at all times. The free communication tools you have access to through social media are excellent ways to gauge what your patrons are feeling towards using your business.
You should engage them as much as possible by asking regular questions through your Twitter account, or by sending out and email monthly or every couple of months.
Listen to their feedback and run with it; shoppers are savvy and will notice the changes you’ve implemented to iron out your company’s creases. Let your consumers know when you’ve made these changes and tell them it’s because you listened to them; effort is always appreciated.
If your customers become your brand’s biggest fans; they’ll become your loudest marketing tool, ensuring you’re on the path to giving those bigger businesses a run for their money!