Most people dream about having their own businesses and being their own bosses, working from home and making their own schedules. Most of them think it is going to be easy and the work hours will be minimum. As them, so I did think all of that before setting my own company. Well, at least, tried to. Not that I did not end up working by myself and earning money, but the processes required to fully set up a company involve lots of planning and time, not to mention the huge amount of money, but depending on the scale of what you want, it is possible to get things set with little to no money, but planning is essential. Here’s a guide to get your company up and running.
Start with a business plan
You have an idea. You think that it is the best idea on the market and no one can beat you. Well, you might want to think again.
Almost all ideas are good when in you think on them, but when bringing it to the reality, about half of them fall apart. Whether because the operating costs are too much, because the target public is not as big as you thought or because you won’t have a way to wait for the ROI, Return on Investment.
To avoid wasting money and going bankrupt, a business plan is mandatory. As this is not an in-depth guide to the business plan, I’ll just inform the basics of it, and you can read more about it when actually going to make it.
The business plan has the following steps
Executive Summary: This section shows an overview of the analysis of all the other sections of the Business Plan, and it is used to convey the right information to the desired target public. Different target publics need different Executive Summaries. For example, the information that a Risk Investor needs not necessarily is the same that a Financing Bank or Fund of Investments needs.
Market Analysis: When planning your business, the first thing you must do after having the initial idea is to question yourself: who is your client? It doesn’t matter if the idea is brilliant, if no one is going to buy it, you have a problem.
Marketing Plan: If you have a good idea and you identified your customers, you need to make sure they know about you and your product. Knowing your selling points and effectively communicating it is vital for the success of your business.
Operating Plan: Determining the way your business will work, with which tasks and responsibilities each individual will have in your organization and how things will be handled will have a huge impact on the planning of your business, as you will be able to give accurate estimates of delivery times and prices to your customers and investors.
Financial Plan: Knowing what costs you will have is essential when determining the selling price of your product of service.
The business plan is a complex, yet easy to do the task, once you get the hang of it and will definitely help you to avoid the traps of along the way and can get you the money you need to establish yourself.
Even though this article is not about the whole business plan, it is indeed about the marketing plan of your business.
How to effectively communicate with your customer
Let’s assume you have everything set up. Your machinery is bought and installed, your employees are working in their roles, you got the investment needed to survive for at least one year, and everything else is going according to the plan.
Now is the time to get yourself known to the public with these strategies.
Getting a website
This is one of the crucial parts of the modern companies. They must be online. If your company sells things, you must have an online shop. If you sell your services, you must have an online portfolio of your activities, therefore having a website is mandatory.
But having an ugly website is worse than having none because the image you will be passing to your customers is not the one you want. Get yourself a proper website by hiring a professional to do it and maintain it for you. Remember, marketing is key.
Getting your Google My Business set up
Even if you don’t have the budget to hire a web designer, the first thing you should do is to set up a Google My Business page.
The GMS page is not a fully functional website that you can tailor to your own needs, but it is a start. The page is very well designed, and you can customize it a bit and also insert your business information, such as phone number, open hours, address and even photos that you might want to share, like the façade of your building, to help customers to get to you more easily. Once the address you provided is verified, you will appear in the Google Maps and Web search results.
The process itself is self-explanatory and will not be covered in-depth here. To get to Google My Business service, click here https://business.google.com
SEO is an acronym that means Search Engine Optimization and is crucial to make your website appear in the best spots possible in the non-paid search results, like in Google’s or Yahoo’s online tool.
To do that on your website, you need to understand what content you are posting and how it is relevant to your customers. To achieve the best results, the content you publish should include the keywords that you want to be linked to. For instance, if you have a bakery and you want to appear on the first page of a web search result, you probably should be posting about baking, using keywords like bread, flour, etc., that are relevant to your market. Also, there are keywords that are inserted specifically in the header of each page of your website in order to make it appear more in the results. Consult your web designer for more details about this practice.
You can take additional steps to communicate with your public that is called Social Media. This kind of service is specially developed to connect people, hence social media, but they are very effective to make your business visible, as they can follow your daily routine and get informed about promotions, discounts and giveaways easily.
Blogging is another type of Social Media, but its uses are limited. Blogs should convey information about things your customers do not need to know to buy your product, like the new employee that was hired, but is a way to be transparent to your public, that is, to show them that you have nothing to hide and that if someone have interest on what you do outside of the business sphere, they can still get the information they want. If you need more help about this, let us help.