Starting a business in the past was a complicated matter, reserved for only the wealthy and those in high places. Fast forward a couple of decades into the future, and anybody can have their own company, quite literally. You don’t need as much capital or resources to do so in the age of globalization that we’re living in- and you’ll definitely have more exposure than 50 years ago, courtesy of social media.
You might think that made things easier –– and it did –– but it also made things much harder. You’re not going to be the only one with access to those resources, and you can rest assured that the competition is going to be fierce. Still, there are some things you’re going to need when you’re planning on starting a business in this day and age with the hopes of success.
- Study the market
Before you even take any steps towards starting your business, you need to do a thorough market study to understand the field, and more importantly, your audience. We live in an age where few, if any, ideas are innovative or new. This means that the plan you have in your head probably has been done before- but that doesn’t mean you should drop it. Instead, you need to know who exactly provides that service or product and in what way. This will give you the knowledge you need to either develop your idea and tackle the business from a different angle, or drop it altogether. People always have unfulfilled needs and you need to spend a lot of time studying your target audience to discover those needs. Whether it’s via asking friends, conducting surveys, or just researching, get a feel of the market and find out if people really want or even need that service or product you want to provide.
- Get funding
You can’t possibly hope to start a business without getting funding. What you need to consider, though, is where you’ll get that funding from if you don’t have the money yourself. First of all, you need to set an estimated budget so you can understand your options. You have the typical sources like your friends and family from which you can borrow money to get you started –– always a good option because most likely, they won’t be charging you any interest rates. If that doesn’t work you have the option of taking a loan, whether it’s from a bank or any other place- and that always works- but you have the downside of paying interest rates. Another very important direction which has become very popular over the past few years is accelerators, companies that fund rising businesses in exchange for a share in their stocks, and it’s a very good option to consider.
- Leverage the power of the internet
If you plan on starting a business in today’s world, you’re going to have to leverage the power of the internet to spread the word about your brand. Most people look online for any service or product that they’re interested in now, and this is why you need to invest in creating the strongest online presence possible. This starts with creating a website that can draw in customers and keep their interest long enough so that they can complete the action you need.
Having a website also means investing in search engine optimization to ensure that your brand appears high in the search results. If you live in Australia, for example, Melbourne in particular is a great place to look for search engine optimization professionals to help with the process, as many local businesses thrive off of SEO optimization. Over 80% of all Australians go online to find their local product or service, and 92% of them don’t even go beyond the first page of google search results, which is why, using SEO services Melbourne would be of big help to any business who seeks this goal.
The numbers will not vary that much from country to country as the world turns to the internet for any and all kinds of services and products. You should definitely utilize social media and the massive exposure it grants to promote your brand. People spend huge amounts of time on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and all the other platforms. So, create campaigns and post ads to reach your audience.
- Create a brand identity
Before going off and posting on social media platforms and sharing your website everywhere, you need to ask yourself a question: does my brand have a distinct identity that people would recognize and identify with? It’s crucial you create this identity before the world knows of your business, and you have to take your time creating it. Brands with a mediocre or hastily made identity rarely make it, and they make an awful first impression –– which is the worst thing that could happen to a business just starting out.
- A strong team
A business is only as powerful as its team. You need to create a strong team on which you can rely on to get you through your journey to success. Try to find resilient people who won’t give up at the first roadblock, because businesses in today’s competitive world face a lot of challenges before they can really make it.
A growing business should focus on three things: funding, exposure, and connections. To get those connections, you need to do a lot of networking. The people you meet and form relationships with will definitely be of use for your business in one way or another in the future, so it’s something that really needs to be taken into consideration. Go to conferences, attend social events, and mingle with people you have never met before. They might just be your next big partner or client –– or even just someone who spreads the word about your brand.
A lot of things are needed to start a business in this day and age, and honesty has got to be the most important of them all. When people are getting to know an up and coming business, they have certain expectations and impressions. If you don’t deliver what you promised for any reason, or if it was less than expected, you can be certain your business will be doomed.
People don’t deal with companies that lose their faith early on in their life cycle, and you’d do well to maintain absolute transparency with all your future clients. First impressions are key to starting a business, and you want to nail that.