What can go wrong with a startup? Everything, especially if you’re complacent or lack the necessary business acumen to pull it off. This article focuses on seven action steps you can take to create a competitive business in 2023.
The following tips will make up a chunk of your business plan. Here is a business plan template you can use to get you off to a great start.
1. Find the Right Market to Target
Every fresh entrepreneur’s goal should be to introduce their services/ products to a fast-growing or already-developed market. In popular sectors, competition is enormous, which makes your job even more formidable. You must find a competitive advantage to stand out in a big crowd.
Right now, this includes three things:
- Service quality and innovation
- Right price point
- Excellent customer service
Naturally, your target audience will expect certain things from you to pick you from the crowd. You can only reach out to the right people if you research the market and learn what they want before creating your strategies. Gather all the information you can about your target audience and plan your business based on these findings.
2. Get the Right People on Your Side
Great brands are built by teams, not individuals. Even if you are an owner and leader in a business, you need to understand that you’ll need people on your side. Whether they are employees, partners, managers, friends, or family – you need the right people to build a business from the ground up.
Before you start your company, learn what you need to establish in the industry.
- What experts do you need?
- Can you gather the information you need independently, or do you need research experts?
- Can you do your business plan alone, or do you need a professional?
Consider everything from skilled workers, motivational leaders, training opportunities, salespeople and managers, accounting firms, marketing experts, and legal assistance.
You can be a true expert in the industry, but still, there will be things you will need help with. For example, do you know the difference between unilateral and bilateral contracts? Businesses frequently drafted these, but unless you’ve practiced law, you won’t see a thing about them. Do an online search, and the results will present information on bilateral and unilateral contracts.
As a business owner, you need to cover all legal grounds and have the necessary documentation to establish contractual obligations with different parties, including:
- suppliers (of materials, products, services)
- staff (employed and freelancers)
3. Create a Solution
Rather than considering what you’ll sell and how much you’ll earn, focus on what you can solve for your target market. This will make it easier for you to gain a better customer base. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes will tell you precisely what to offer, how to provide it, and who to aim toward.
Your business should be a solution, not just a broad offer to whoever comes across it.
When people buy things, they usually do this because they need them. Call it an itch that needs scratching – most of your customers will have a problem your company offers to solve. They are on the hunt for the solution; if you provide it, they will pick your brand in an instant.
Here are the three things you should think about before you get started:
- What problems does your buyer persona need to be resolved?
- What kinds of problems can you solve and how?
- What benefits do people have from choosing your new business?
Learning about this itch for your target audience is your best strategy today. You can base all of your methods and advertising on providing a solution to a problem. In 2021, just ensure your company is focused on solving something – and nothing else.
4. Take Care of Your Financing
Most new businesses are financed by the founders’ savings or bank loans. Creating a business these days is expensive, especially if you haven’t planned your expenses. If you go in this blindly, many unexpected expenses will show and stop you before you even get a chance to shine on the market.
Financing is significant when you start a business. Today, the expenses are endless. You need to pay employees, find a business place, hire marketing experts, lawyers, pay for advertising on social media, etc.
Therefore, make a detailed financial plan for your new company. Try and anticipate everything and leave room for some unaccounted expenses. Only when you are confident that you can cover your business costs until it starts making your money should you start this journey.
5. Think SEO
SEO has been trending for many years now. It’s evolving and becoming more and more critical every year. If you are starting your business in 2021, this should be at the top of your list. Online presence is now crucial for most companies and can help grow your company more than any other strategy.
SEO, or Search Engine Organization, is Google’s way of determining whether or not your site deserves to rank higher for queries entered into search engines. If your business has a poor online presence and low SEO, it won’t reach the target audience you created it for.
The time to research SEO strategies is today before starting your new business. Even when you do, and things go well for you, you need to keep track of SEO’s latest trends. Algorithms and expectations change daily, so focus your strategy on ranking higher in results.
6. Leverage the Power of Social Media
Did you know that nearly three-quarters of Americans use social media these days? Many people find the services and products they need on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, making social media a critical part of any modern business strategy.
This makes it essential for new companies to use social media to reach out and target a wider audience. This is a way to establish your brand, find new customers, turn interested parties into leads, and communicate with your buyer persona.
Some of the latest strategies for using social media for businesses include:
- Set objectives and goals specifically for social media channels
- Use social media to research your competition
- Find inspiration on different platforms
- Create a social media calendar that you’ll follow
- Schedule your presence across various channels
- Discover the right platforms/ posting time/ social media groups for your brand
7. Offer Amazing Customer Service Care
Customers have set high expectations in terms of customer care these days. Their expectations are on the rise and change constantly, so your support service should upgrade and follow the latest trends if you want your business to succeed.
Due to the global health crisis 2020, customer support has become more important and valued than ever. Now business people must demonstrate that they care for customers and provide them with the assistance they need professionally and promptly.
Compared to the past, when customer care was average at best, and people were okay with it, expectations were higher than ever. Most consumers expect companies to have a 24/7 support service. They are unwilling to wait for a response if and when they have questions.
Poor customer service can kill your brand before you start on the market. Over 80% of customers leave a brand and share bad testimonials because they’ve experienced poor support service twice or thrice, even if they offered value products and services.
Most companies don’t offer fast response and professional support care. As a new business person, you should use this as an advantage.
People who won’t get their answers and solutions fast from your competition will move on to contact you. They are far more likely to choose you and spread word of mouth regarding your brand if they can provide competent support care.
The Bottom Line
Starting a business from scratch today is not only challenging. It’s also demanding your time and resources. However, this should not push you away from becoming an entrepreneur.
Quite the opposite, entrepreneurs thrive when trading conditions are less than perfect. Plus, all the new technology supports businesses in making tough decisions using staff and resources like marketing budgets. It should give you more motivation and courage to beat your competition.
With an excellent plan, the right people on your side, and a great idea, you can thrill in the years that follow – starting today. Good luck!