Owning your own business can be rewarding and fun. It of course is not without risk. We all know this. What solves most problems that new small businesses encounter are sales. New clients, new contracts, new leads, etc. You get the point. When business is slow and the money is not flowing in, the new business owner tends to run around trying to do everything themselves and finding little time to actually do what is most needed to improve their business. This brings us to the point and hopefully benefit of this article. 5 things every new businesses should do right away. We are providing this information for the purpose of helping the small business person and we hope this helps you achieve your business dreams.
5 things to do now
1. Branding ; if your brand is not clearly defined and professional, you are already heading down the slippery slope of failure. Yes, sheer determination and drive can help you stay afloat, but really, why struggle so hard just because you're poorly branded? Some things to consider when branding your business; Proper logo, colours and a slogan. These are all attached and used on your quality business cards and professional website, right? These all must be well thought out and be professionally crafted.
Nothing is easier to spot then a do it yourself logo and slogan. It screams that you are not well established and probably to cheap to pay a pro to do it right. In other words, your trust factor as the expert in your field will be greatly disminished simply because your best foot forward (your branding) is not very well presented. Is spending under $1000 a good investment if it means the difference between success and failure?
2. Marketing strategy; You are probably thinking, this is a no brainer and of course you need a marketing strategy when you start a new small business. The fact is, marketing is something many new businesses think of after they open and usually only when some salesperson from the local radio station or newspaper comes in to sell them something. This is the wrong time to think about your marketing strategy! Before you open your doors, you need to develop a marketing plan as part of your business plan.
Marketing is not an expense, it's an invenstment. You will here that statement from your local media reps as they try to sell you their programs. While that is true, it is only in investment when it yields returns and fits well within your already well thought out and laid out marketing strategy and budget. If you are already open for business but have not yet developed a proper strategy that clearly defines your custormer base, goals, budget and platforms, now is the time to get working on one. You may wish to hire a professional to help you, after all you did open your doors without one, so we know where your expertise is not in. Sorry, but learn from your mistakes and don't add to it. Hire a pro. Again, would an under $1000 investment in an effective marketing strategy that does actually pay for itself be worth it? Yes if it makes you $2000. That's the point.
3. List your business with Google; One of the most important things a small business can do to ensure they are maximizing their chances of attracting new clients and sales is to list their business with Google. You may ask, Whats the difference between listing your business with Google and submitting your website to them? You may even wonder what submitting your site is. Either way, they are two different things and both are very important. Fact; a small business that is listed with Google can get many calls each week just from that. This may be all the online marketing you need.
What exactly are we talking about here? We're talking about Google business listings. These are the results that appear above the organic search results you see on the first page of Google when searching. They have addresses, reviews, hours, pictures and your website link. You have clicked on them yourself to call businesses, haven't you? We all have and that's why you need to list your business with Google today. This is a free service Google offers. Do you know to add your business to Google business listings? It's easy. Google it. We can help, but we charge $150 US to do it. It is easy and you can do it yourself.
4. Start working on your SEO; SEO stands for search engine optimization and its needed so your website will be ranked on the first page of Google one day. I did say, one day, because its something that will happen if you employ a good SEO program. Regardless of your business, people are searching for it. If your website is listed near the top of Google under important search results, then you will get business from that, consistently. We recently wrote an article on 6 steps that are needed for SEO Check it out, it will work if you follow them.
Don't make the mistake of getting to this one day, just because it will take time to get results and you need to focus on todays results. You need to start this right away and keep working on it. This will pay huge dividends in the long run and can be the key to being successful or failing. You do have a very well designed Wordpress website already don't you? Please say yes, if not, let us build one for you.
5. Social Media; Do you have your Facebook page yet? Does it have a custom URL? Example; Ours is www.facebook.com/marketinginmotion This will make it much easier to advertise your Facebook page, because it's easy to remember. If you don't, your page will have a string of numbers after Facebook.com and it will be useless to use in your advertising. It's a free service Facebook offers. Next, be sure to grab all other social media accounts with your name. Instagram, Linkedin Twitter and others. Do this, even if you don't use them right away. Someone else may grab them and try to sell them back to you. That's a violation of mosts social medias rules, but why hassle fighting for it.
We hope you found these 5 steps every new business should do right away helpful. Yes, much of the information seems simple enough and you may have already known all of it. Through our many years of helping small businesses grow, we have met many people who have not done all five things. Many also make the mistake of thinking that they will do these things, once business gets going and they have the money to invest in them. Wow, I think to myself. If you don't do most of these things, you will not make it at all. A baker may love to bake, but that doesn't make them an expert at selling cakes.
Please feel free to share this article with others. This has been provided free of charge, with the hopes that many will benefit from our decades of experience. We believe in giving and never charge for it. Have a great day.
Scott is the founder of MIM. Since 2006 he has taken the helm and helped launch several very successful marketing programs. He brings to the table over 25 years of experience and knowledge.