Image source: Futureshar.com
Thanks to the internet, starting a new business has never been easier. From thinking up a concept to setting up shop, the journey to making your dreams a reality has become substantially streamlined thanks to technology.
Unfortunately, that does not mean it is any easier. According to recent statistics, 50% of start-ups in the US will fail after four years and 10% will fail within the first year. So how can you make sure that your venture avoids becoming just another statistic? Here are a few essentials you need in place to give your start-up a fighting chance.
A top tier website
If you are going to have your business compete solely in the online marketplace, then you need to make sure that your offering is of the best standard it can be. There are many services out there which can turn around a simple e-commerce site quickly, however, these often omit the attention detail which will make your business stand out from the crowd.
A slick design, great user experience and a strong Point of Sale system that feeds into the stock availability etc. of your site are must-haves for any e-commerce destined to succeed. Adhering to Google’s guidelines when it comes to the technical set up and copywriting will also allow you to compete from a search engine optimisation perspective, although significant gains in this field can take time to achieve.
Knowing who you want to sell to and how is key. Create a list of buyer personas, this will help you identify the kind of person your customers are, where they hang out online and what interests them. With this information, you can formulate your marketing messaging, brand identity and tone of voice.
This research can be obtained in a variety of ways, but the most effective places to start are from sales data (which can be pulled from your Point of Sale system), website and social media analytics or focus groups and customer surveys.
A strong social media presence
Getting yourself heard these days is tricky, but one of the best places to do it is through social media. Engaging on social media platforms is a great way of spreading the word of your business to a wide audience. Nowadays, there are literally dozens of these platforms, so it’s important to ensure you are spending your time on the ones your desired audience interacts with.
For example, if your audience consists of primarily over 40s then perhaps TikTok is not the right vehicle for you, you’d be better placed on Facebook. Dedicating time to appropriate social channels can reap big rewards and help build a loyal and dedicated customer base.
The final point and quite possibly the most important.
If you love what you do, you will never work another day in your life. A cliché of a quote perhaps, but one that nevertheless has an air of truth about it. Starting up your own business is a labour of love, and will no doubt keep you busy around the clock. Ensuring that this does not feel like a chore and brings you fulfilment will help prevent feelings of lethargy creeping in and give you the best chance of succeeding.