Recent studies suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a small business boom, with a lack of job security forcing people to take their professional careers into their own hands. In fact, it’s estimated that 440 thousand businesses were launched in June 2021 alone by entrepreneurs across the country. These figures are a testament to the fact that hard work, determination, and vision can go a long way in paving out a better future for yourself and your family.
However, it’s also important that you do not underestimate the work that comes along with running your own business. After all, being a company owner means that most of the responsibility lies on your shoulders, making your success that much more vital.
Nevertheless, with proper planning and research, there’s no reason why you cannot turn your business ideas into a profitable company! With that in mind, here are seven questions you should be asking yourself before launching your business.
1. What will your business bring to the table?
With new businesses launching every few minutes, it’s important that you can stand out from the crowd and distinguish your brand from others that operate within the same industry as you. Failure to do so means that you’ll struggle to bring in customers or make the kind of name for yourself that is required for long-term success. However, standing out from the crowd is relatively easy if you develop a business model around being different. In short, you must ensure that the kind of products or services you offer is unique and cannot be bought elsewhere.
2. How will you fund your business?
Launching a business can be expensive. After all, there are various things that you need to be able to pay for ahead of time so that you can get started on the right foot. For example, if you were to launch a clothing brand, you’d need to pay for the materials and equipment you need to make the clothes you are about to sell. You’ll also need to pay your employees (and yourself). As a result, while you may be willing to dip into your savings a little, you should also look into other ways to fund your company. For example, you could look into small business loans, government grants, or even reach out to potential investors.
3. What does your company need to do to manage health and safety requirements?
While you may initially start your company by working from home, as you begin to expand your team, it’s important that you’re able to keep all of your employees safe within the workplace. Failure to do so could land you in a complicated legal (and financial) situation further down the line, especially if a preventable accident occurs. Thankfully, there are various ways to begin to take health and safety seriously in the workplace. For example, you can put together a health and safety policy and hire a designated health and safety manager. You should also carry out regular risk assessments to ensure everything is in good order.
4. How will you promote your business?
For your company to succeed, you need to ensure that you can bring in new customers. Therefore, you need to find as many ways as possible to get out there and promote your business. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can do this. For example, you can easily boost your business through your online presence – be that through your website or social media. In addition to launching online marketing campaigns, you can also make sure that you use SEO tactics on your site so that you rank higher on google, bringing more and more viewers to your site each day. You should also ensure that you do not underestimate the importance of more traditional forms of marketing, such as posters, flyers, and events – as they are also a great way to get your brand’s name out there.
5. Who is your ideal customer?
No matter what kind of products or services you offer, you need to ensure that you are marketing them towards the right audience if you want to see an increase in your sales. Therefore, it’s important that you have a clear idea in mind of your ideal customer before you launch your business – that way, you can tailor your products and marketing campaign to their specific needs and interests. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can achieve this goal. For example, you could start by conducting market research, or by
reaching out to potential customers and hosting a series of focus groups. You should also ask your customers for regular feedback after they have made a purchase to ensure that everything is running smoothly.
6. How will you grow your brand?
If you want your business to be around for a while, you need to focus on growth as instead of staying afloat. For example, you’ll want your scales to increase gradually over time so that you have more money to reinvest into your company, products, and services. In order to do this, you need to have a plan in place for business expansion from the word go. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can achieve this goal. For example, you should factor company expansion into your business plan by writing down your long-term goals, and putting plans in place for how you can achieve them. This will give you something to refer back to during the daily running of your business, meaning that you’ll find it easier to stay on track. However, it’s also important that you do not discount the power of motivation and determination when it comes to brand growth. Don’t let mistakes hold you back – see them as an important lesson that you can use to move forward with confidence and ease.
7. How will you grow your team?
As mentioned previously, the more your company grows, the more time you will need to spend interviewing new employees to join your team. After all, you have to make sure that you’ve got enough staff on hand to meet customer needs – whether they’re waiting for a response to an email or order products. However, hiring can be difficult, especially when you have little experience in this area ahead of time. In short, you need to find a way to ensure that you are bringing in the highest caliber of candidates – and the easiest way to do this is to keep employee satisfaction levels high. You have to give candidates (and current employees) a reason to work for your brand and not for your competitor. To do this, you must ensure that they are paid fairly and competitively, receive perks, and have the opportunity to develop both personally and professionally when working for you. For example, you could provide them with on-the-job training that allows them to take their skills and knowledge to the next level, or pay for them to attend courses. You should also make sure that you cultivate a friendly and supportive working environment – the kind of workplace where employees would want to stick around. One way you can do this is by focusing on collaboration as opposed to competition and letting employees know it’s okay to ask for help when they need it.
In short, by asking yourself these important questions ahead of your company’s launch, you’ll be able to move forward with confidence and ease. As a result, you’ll find it easier to achieve your long-term professional goals, whatever they may be.