One would say that with all the information we can find on the internet and all the exciting new offerings from the tech world available to aspiring entrepreneurs, starting a business has never been easier, and one would not be too far off the mark. The thing is, no matter how much today’s business environment may appear welcoming to startups, the first steps are as hard as ever, and the factors that eventually determine the fate of some business have nothing to do with its environment. Let us see, then, what are the things your business needs in order to survive its infancy and eventually join the major league.
A great understanding of starting a business
The greatest businesses are not necessarily the ones that have the best products. The best businesses are the ones that know how and to whom to sell their products, and the fate of your business will be largely determined by your ability to find an answer to these two questions. Of course, finding the target audience will be virtually impossible without the great understanding of markets, so do your best to conduct the most thorough pre-launch market research your budget can afford, and find the ideal customers your initial marketing campaign will be aimed to.
Speaking of the budget, no matter how frugal you may be, starting a business is not a cheap endeavor, and if you do not secure your business a long-term funding you will find your well depleted as soon as the first crisis arises. To prevent this, you will have to determine what funds you already have on disposal and how much more money you will need (taking into consideration all the unpredictable situations and worst-case scenarios), write a rock-solid business plan and pitch it to investors as long as you are finally sure that your business will be able to survive a rocky start.
And by that we are talking about business attorneys, accountants, and other experienced professionals that can be of immense help in the time of crisis. If you leave the things like determining the business structure, legal issues, and record keeping to the people who excel in these areas you will be able to devote yourself to the things you excel the most. Also, representatives with years of experience in some of the mentioned areas will give your business more credibility, strengthen your professional network, and, potentially, open you new business opportunities.
Branding is a process that never stops, and the one that is only partially under your influence. That, however, does not mean that you should not do everything in your power to keep this process under your close control. Find the answers to the questions how your brand should look, what does it stands for, to whom it should appeal, and what is its personality long before your business enters the market arena or you will eventually lose control over that personality and leave the audience to seek the answers to these questions on their own.
Promotional material is the mean you will use to “sell” your brand to the audience. There are two things you should keep in mind, though. The first one is that the sooner you start distributing the material the better. When your business finally becomes ready for its launch people should already be familiar with its name and portfolio. Second, promotional gifts should always try to redirect people to other marketing assets (business website, social media profiles, etc.), and motivate recipients to share them with their friends (coupons, gift cards, etc.) or redeem them at your shop. If you manage to pull of these two things, you can count on a very strong start.
Although they are usually overlooked in the grand scheme of things, office supplies are the small rock that can bring your entire business machinery to a halt, so make sure that your employees never run into a shortage of toner cartages, quality whiteboard markers, paper and other small expendable things. Although you should not be too excessive, you should stockpile enough material to be able to survive extended periods without fresh supplies (few weeks) without compromising your employees’ productivity.
After you check all of these things, your business will finally be able to take advantage of the favorable circumstances in today’s business environment. How far you will be able to go, starting a business, will depend only on your will and your determination.