Starting a business at the moment can be a little tricky. Covid-19 has changed the business landscape for countless industries and so many businesses have had to either shut up shop entirely or scale back on what they do. For a new entrepreneur, this might mean you may be able to launch into an area recently vacated of many competitors.
However, it might also mean you’re launching into a period of change where your business could be hit particularly hard. If you are going to launch, or are at least in the initial planning stage of your business, then these tips can help you. All businesses are different. Even the industries are different.
This is because humans are completely unique, so what might work for one person simply won’t for another. This is based on health, work ethic, knowledge, etc. Because of this, you need to be careful what advice you take or read. The right advice can help you soar, bad advice will set you back in time if not money. Always apply it in a bespoke way to your own business, never just as a blanket approach. Good luck.
1. Premises Analyses
Sometimes, businesses need premises to operate from. These can completely vary dependant on the business type of course. You might want an office. Or maybe you need to work on a restaurant. It could be retail space that you want to sell your product out of. Whatever it is, you need to make sure that you upgrade it where necessary and make it suitable for you, your work staff and of course your customers.
If you’re using somewhere where customers won’t use, like a warehouse, you need to ensure it’s safe for the people working there. This means making sure people have the right training, on, for example, forklift trucks. You also need to ensure any spillages are cleaned up right away if there are any so people don’t slip, and if you think visibility is an issue consider an emergency light inspection.
Getting the presmise right in the first instance is incredibly important. Realising you have the wrong building requirements or location after purchasing or signing a lease contract may ruin you. Analyse exactly what you’ll need, including the floor space, and ensure you make sure that everything is above board and safe.
2. Let Others Make Mistakes Before You
Everything has been done these days. Most people launching into businesses are launching into spheres which are already saturated or occupied. There might be a USP, hopefully, there will be, but even so it’s probably been tried before. Look at these competitors. Can you work out what worked and what didn’t? If you can you might end up saving yourself from a terrible mistake and collapsing.
If you let others make the mistake for you, you can push into the right sphere on the right plan. If you don’t, then you’re doomed to fail unless you, by chance, dodge the pitfalls of those before you. In terms of ethics, some might disagree with this. But, at the end of the day business is quite often a cut throat world. Be someone who does the research and knows what will and won’t work, rather than one of the ones making a mistake.
For example, say you’re starting a restaurant business and you notice a prime address in what you think is a great location. What was there before? Was it a restaurant? Why did they fail? Do things differently or the same thing will happen time and time again. This should be built into your business plan as best possible. Especially if you’re going to apply for a business loan or an investment.
3. Budget Right
Failure to put together a proper budget can lead to serious issues for you and your business in a myriad of forms. For a start, you might run out of money and leave you without key items your business needs to start. Secondly, you might overspend on something which simply didn’t need it. You can see this in new offices sometimes where the owner will invest in software or hardware they simply didn’t need.
If you’re in this situation and find yourself struggling consider using a business analyst. What you pay for them may be saved elsewhere. Get a budget for everything and stick to it rigorously. It might be good to have some spare money for overs, just in case something unexpected comes up but if you’ve got things going the right way you would have done the research and will know exactly what’s coming up.
A business budget is a bit different to a personal one, so make sure you know the difference. Use business overdrafts if you need to, just be sure that you remember they exist and like most things you’ll be paying interest on it. You might have already taken out loans to start your business, so remember exactly what you’re doing with your money so you don’t max anything out.
4. Build The Hype
It’s important to build the hype for any business launch. Get people interested. For this you need to have a platform. For a restaurant, you may want to showcase the food you have in samples and build hype that way. If you’re starting a clothing line you might want to somehow ensure people know about it. Build the hype and everyone will want to go. Everyone will want to experience what you’re offering especially if it’s in a local environment.
There are a few different ways you can do this…essentially you’re leveraging your unique selling point. Doing this well is tough, but do it right and your business will reap the benefits by a strong start. Word of mouth will get around and you’ll soon find yourself soaring in success. You can recover from bad starts, but in the current environment it might be a lot harder to succeed properly in the long term. It might even hobble you so that you can’t grow properly.
To build hype properly you need to know who your demographic are so that you can properly target them. Once you’ve got your target in mind this will become a whole lot easier as you’ll know where to divert your advertising resources too. If you’re worried, let some people have a free product, particularly if they’re influential or a reviewer. If they don’t like it, so what? You can take their feedback and make things better for the future.
5. Get Staff Right First Off
Hiring staff is tough. Especially if you need them to launch your business right. You need to ensure that you bring the right people in. People who will benefit and grow your business over the ones who will bring it down. First off, nobody will care about your business as much as you do. It’s just impossible. So don’t expect them to. What you want to do is advertise in the right way.
If you need a particular experience, don’t wait until the interview, instead ask about it on the application and make it a requirement. This will save your time, as well as the interviewee’s. Get help if you need it. You might need to use people to help you. Do you have friends and family who are used to interviewing people? Can they help? You need to leverage their experiences.
If you’re starting a restaurant and are recruiting someone who has worked in the industry for a long time then you’re going to be able to tap into those experiences to properly make the most of them. Doing this right can grow your business, doing it wrong can bring in the wrong sort of person which will just end up costing you money.
6. Get Online Right
Every business has a website these days. No matter what industry you’re in. If you don’t, you’re missing out, simple. If you miss out then the people searching for you online will go somewhere else entirely. Be online. Not only that, but get online before you launch. Get the website in perfect condition. This means there has to be a logical flow from landing page to checkout. Too many pages will annoy or confuse people and they’ll simply go elsewhere. Make sure product descriptions are obviously laid out for all to use and see.
Don’t make anything overly complicated. Don’t use annoying advertising too. Try to keep it natural if you are going to use it. Your website should be bold and eye catching. Work with a developer to get it in the exact shape you want. Anything means you’ll be doing yourself a disservice. Hold them to account and get what you want.
Remember, if you launch your business alongside your website and there are problems with it, your reputation might not recover. If you’re struggling for ideas consider checking your competitors websites out. What do they do well and what bad? This can be where you start off from. Once you’ve launched, remember to garner feedback so that you can improve it even more in the future.