Start-up businesses have never had it so easy when it comes to accessing business advice and education
All the advice you need is in the palm of your hands, accessed via your mobile and you are able to research all the options before working with the right local business
It’s a huge difference between what I had back at University in the mid-late 90s where Business Books were 5 years out of date, the internet took 5 minutes to boot up and everything marketing wise seems to cost 5 times more than it does today
Yet still with all the advice available – businesses are failing at an alarming rate and are not taking very simple steps to give them the highest chance of success
Here are 5 Steps All Start-Up Businesses Must Consider
And I see this happen so often – businesses repeating exactly the same mistakes that led to businesses closing mere yards from their front door
If you do just 1 thing from reading this blog – write down 5 Successful Businesses In Your Home Town and Write Down 5 Businesses In Your Home Town That Have Closed In The Past 2 Years / 5 Businesses That Are Empty Every Single Time You Pass Them
Now spend every single spare moment you have for the next week studying everything they
– USP – What makes them different?
– Marketing – Where are they marketing and what are they doing each day?
– The Staff – How good are they at customer service?
– Branding / Presentation – What does the business look and feel like inside and outside?
– Opening Hours / Contact Points – Are they consistent?
– Network / Suppliers – Which local businesses do they work with?
There’s more than that initial list – but it gives you a good feel
Do that for the successful businesses, the failing business and then compare with yours.
Which are you more aligned with?
A business plan by it’s very definition is a formal statement of business goals, reasons they are attainable, and plans for reaching them.
It’s something that startup business owners often forget once the business gets the finance it needs to launch. And it’s to the businesses detriment
Business plans should not be akin to the flimsy elections promises of MPS – they should be a statement of intent that you intend to follow through with once you launch to make the business a success
So go back to that business plan – look at all the actions you said you’ll take and haven’t. And take those steps NOW!!!
That’s why got the finance in the 1st place – because the bank believed that taking those steps would lead to a return and hence you wouldn’t default on the loan
And business is no different – your business will keep growing if you educate yourself, learn from those at the next level and focus on personal development
The problem with most small businesses is they choose the wrong people to learn from – they often by the set up of high street town team / government schemes listening to the council official who used to run a business, but gave it up for a salary
Find a business blogger or local business that provides regular content to inspire you – 10-30 minutes each day is not a lot of time to find
When I was 21 – a working class kid from a rainy town in South Manchester listening to the Smiths, I never thought nearly 20 years later i’d be listening to American Business Gurus. But it’s listening to those business owners that are earning millions and employing 500 staff, that have helped grow my business year on year on year when many other local businesses who don’t work on personal development have floundered
Go against the grain of what you were brought up as – listen to those that you aspire to be in business!
And for those that say you can work smarter, not harder – I can assure you, business leaders are doing both
I brought this up recently at a networking event recently and said the idea of Dominating in the market place was a very male trait, but in gender fluid times I believe we can take the best traits from each gender
Go back to point one in this article about the successful businesses in your home town – look at how hard they market – they will be dominating the market place so hard that even if there are competitors in the market place you rarely think of those in 2nd and 3rd place
They will be the businesses that you see EVERY day on Social Media and they will be dominating by adding value, rather than simply spamming and adding noise
That’s the key – dominate with value, don’t just get noisier
No one is looking for the 2nd or 3rd best business in town – they only want number 1!
SELL ::: OR IT’S JUST A HOBBY
Tony Robinson OBE recently tweeted “All self employed people are the reason that unemployment figures aren’t horrific. 49% of self employed people are low paid” in relation to the recent introduction of as Living Wage
And it’s true
I’d actually go as far as saying “for many small businesses, if they don’t sell the product / service in high enough quantities it’s just a expensive hobby for a lot of people”
There’s a famous quote – “Treat your business like a business and it will pay you like one… treat your business like a hobby and it will pay you like one”
Always remember that
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“With over 12 years experience of Social Media and 17 years experience of online marketing in other companies, clients come to myself when they want a veteran rather than a rookie” Alex McCann