If you’ve got a great idea for a new business, then there’s a good chance that you’re eager to launch it. You must hold back before you rush into something that ends up failing due to a lack of preparation. There are lots of things that can go wrong when you launch a new business model, and with more small businesses failing than succeeding, you must get everything right before you even make your first sale.
Fail to tackle your business launch in the right way, and your new venture could fail before it even gets started. Plan right and your business could be the success you’ve been hoping for. If you have a business idea that just won’t go away, then here’s what you should be prioritizing.
1. Know the Industry
No matter what sector your business will be in, you must develop a strong understanding of that industry. Whether it’s ecommerce, a new restaurant, a new app, or a dog-walking service, the more that you know about the industry, the more likely that you will succeed in it. Look at current trends, future trends, and connect with industry leaders on social media. Get involved in conversations so that you become a recognized member of that industry, and your business will have a firmer footing.
2. Do Competitor Research
Regardless of how niche your business idea is, you can be sure that you will have competitors. You must do your research into the competition. Not only will this give you a better insight of what to do right, but it also highlights where those competitors are going wrong. If they have an overly complicated website or one that’s too sparse, then streamlining your own will give you an advantage. The more that you know about your competitors, the easier it will be to plan ways to outshine them.
3. Always Consider your Online reputation
Reputation management is one of the most important aspects of modern business. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your online reputation should only be addressed once you’ve been up and running for a year. You should start building your online presence long before your business launches because the longer before launch that you can be in the public eye, the better. If you’re not sure how to set about protecting your reputation, then consider using a leading online reputation management firm to do this for you. Always consider how potential customers will see you if they Google your brand name.
4. Explore Your Funding Options
One of the main reasons for a business to fail in its first year is due to a lack of finances. Don’t cross your fingers and hope that you have enough savings to see you through until your new business starts generating a profit. There are many ways to get some investment capital, and you probably have more options than you think. SBA loans can be very useful, but they can take a lot of time to process, and you’ll have to do a lot of paperwork. Options like Angel Investors can be a good option, but they may cost you complete ownership of your business. Always do research into your funding options.
5. Name Your Business
Never underestimate the value of a good business name. Don’t be too quick to decide on one either! You will need to give critical thought to what you name your business, and there are some key aspects to think about. As well as avoiding hard to spell names, you should also pick a name that doesn’t limit your business growth as you expand and diversify your products and services. Brainstorm names that have meaning, and don’t forget to do both a Google search of that name and a trademark search too.
6. Plan Your Marketing
Marketing will play a big part in the success or failure of your business. Fail to market, and nobody will know that your business even exists. Marketing can be a very complex subject, but even knowing some of the basics can have a dramatic effect on your online and offline presence. Make sure that you know the fundamentals of SEO, how to use content to grow your brand and your best offline marketing options. Never overlook the importance of marketing and start your marketing strategy long before your business launch.
7. Build a Team
While you should never rush to hire people in your early days, that doesn’t mean that you can do everything yourself. It takes many skills to launch and run a business, and you probably don’t have all of those skills yourself. If money is too tight to make hires, then offer alternative benefits in those early days. Shares in the company, or even just work experience for students, can give you access to whole new skill sets that improve the chance of your business being a success.
8. Ensure Legal Compliance
All businesses have specific responsibilities, and there are legal frameworks to ensure that you, your business, your employees, customers, and even members of the public are as protected as possible. You need to ensure that you have all of your legal obligations in place long before your business launches.
You will need to decide if your business is going to be an LLC or a corporation, and you’ll also need to register your business name. There is your Federal Tax ID number to get, as well as any necessary business permits. Don’t forget the bank account that you open in your business name. There’s a lot of legal hoops to get through, and you must do them all before you start trading.
Launching and running a successful business is extremely satisfying, especially as you watch that business grow. However, with more businesses failing in the first year than ever before, preparation is vital. Plan right and plan as in-depth as possible, and it is far more likely that the business idea that’s been on your mind will be something that will succeed.