Starting your first business always feels like a leap off the cliff edge. There are many mistakes that the uninitiated entrepreneur can make, but the more prepared we are the better placed we will be to avoid them. It is important that when we do make mistakes, we learn from them and come out the other side stronger. We must do our best to create and nurture a positive business image, even as a newcomer. This guide will step you through some of the more important aspects of business planning and image management.
Name & Logo
Your name and logo are what give potential customers a first impression. These count, as you often don’t get a second chance to impress. It can be the difference between someone clicking on your Google listing or walking into your store rather than a competitor’s. Do you need to think about what sort of message you want to send? Are you running a local plumbing firm? If so, you might want to make it explicit what you do in the name and logo; Charlie’s plumbers and something to do with pipes on the logo would be fine. But if you are creating a clothing line, then something a little less descriptive would be in order. Townsville clothes company is just too dry, something that is more of a brand name would be appropriate, something like Golden Elegance.
It’s essential to know who your customers are before you start trying to reach them. Advertising and promoting can be a wasteful exercise if it is not targeted. Use market research to find out who would be interested in your products or services. Surveys, interviews, and focus groups are ways to gather the views of potential customers. It should focus on how they shop; is it online or in-person? What are their criteria for judging a product or service? Some might consider pricing the main factor, where others look for high-quality goods or expertise. Not every customer will have the same views, but a well-planned piece of market research captures the trends and allows you to concentrate on the groups that have the most potential customers.
Getting the Name Out: Initial Promotion
Once we have decided on our name and look, and we have a good idea of who our target audience is, we can look at our initial promotional strategy. If we have our target audience we might want to consider hiring a PR firm, and you can search for one through PPC Protect’s agency marketplace which allows you to filter searches by specialism, location, industry, and more, giving you the best options for your campaign. Marketing may seem like an unnecessary expense for a new company, however, the time saved should allow you to more than make up for it in sales.
Financial planning is key to success. This is as true in your marketing budget as it is in any other. If you have a successful campaign in terms of bringing new business through the door but it costs more than you make in profits, then you have a big problem. This is a balance that comes with experience, and as a new business owner, this will be one of your most challenging tasks. How can you know how many customers will order from you? You can’t tell this for sure, but what you can do is use the data you’ve gathered from your market research to give you an informed indication. If the market research had shown that a certain percentage of people who shop online would buy a type of product, then you can anticipate how many visitors you might get. This is possible where you choose to pay per click, allowing you to control the budget accurately.
For the reasons outlined above, it is important to accurately monitor success. This should be an ongoing task and not be done retrospectively, especially with a new business. Try to ask customers where they heard of you and if they are likely to recommend you. For digital campaigns, you can monitor click rates and views, but these are only a success if they convert into sales. If you sell online, this can be easily monitored, as all e-commerce websites retain this info. If a strategy is not working, be prepared to tweak it or even pull it before you make considerable losses.
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