6 Important Steps to Follow When Launching Your Business
Starting a business is an exciting time in your life, filled with highs and lows on your journey towards success. While having that winning start-up idea is just one part of a complex puzzle, putting your plans into action takes a lot of time and effort. However, it is important to remember that every mistake you make is a stepping stone to success and an opportunity to get better. Here are six steps you can take to launch a successful business.
1. Find Your Niche
Every major industry out there is riddled with competition as companies battle to gain a majority share in the market. To avoid being one among the crowd, it is important to identify your unique selling point (USP) and define your niche. Understand what makes your start-up different from the rest and use it to market your product or service to your audience. Having a good understanding of your niche before you jump into the smaller details can guarantee a smooth roll-out.
2. Do Market Research
Whatever your startup idea may be, you need to do a thorough research of the market you are about to enter. This involves identifying the existing players and the type of audience they cater to. You can also study what works and doesn’t work for your competitors and take this a step further to understand how you can improve on the current product or service offering. In today’s fast-paced world, customers are all about efficiency. This means you don’t always need an innovative product to find success, sometimes improving the way things are currently done can help you stand out from the crowd.
3. Create A Pitch Deck
Once you have defined your niche and studied the market, it’s time to promote your business idea. This is where a pitch-deck comes in handy. As the name suggests, it is a presentation used to pitch your ideas to potential investors when seeking funding. In his book, The Art of Startup Fundraising, Alejandro Cremades recommends that investors have two versions of their pitch deck. The first one can be text-heavy focusing on the technicalities of the business (this one can be emailed to the investors). The second version can include more visuals and can be used while presenting your ideas in person. This makes it easier to put across your ideas in a clear and concise way.
4. Evaluate Your Finances
While you may be excited to put all your creative ideas into action, it can be easy to overlook the financial aspect of the business. Hence, before you start making money with your new business idea, you need to learn how to manage it. If you are working on your start-up full time, make sure to have enough money in your savings account to meet six months’ worth of expenses. This can help you focus on building on the business and not worry about paying your bills.
When it comes to your business there are many accounting tools to help you keep track of your income and expenses. In addition to this, you also need to decide how much you are going to invest in your business and budget for any future expenses you may incur. Having good control over your finances early on can help you make the right decisions for the business.
5. Perfect Your Brand
No matter what your business may be, your brand message needs to be clear and concise. This involves your company’s mission, logo and overall theme. Essentially, your brand image should resonate with the audience you are trying to reach.
In addition to a user-friendly website, make sure to establish a presence on all the major social media platforms for a wider reach. If you find certain areas of the branding process intimidating, you can always outsource these tasks to freelancers. Your brand is a reflection of the overall goals of the business.
6. Take The Leap
Once you’ve accomplished every aspect of starting a business, it’s time to take a leap of faith AKA tell the world about your business. While promoting your business, leverage your connections to get the word out. You’d be surprised how many potential clients or customers you can find in your professional network. In addition to this, you can also attend conferences, join Facebook groups and promote your website online to spread the word.
Owning your own business is an empowering feeling but the journey to success is not always easy. You need to hone your business idea and not lose sight of your end goal. Following these six basic steps can help ease the path to success.