Starting a new business is always a very exciting time for any new company. It officially marks their presence in the business world and in the process makes them competitors in the eyes of other companies involved in the same industry. Ask any entrepreneur and they will tell you that starting a new business is hard. However that’s just the beginning. Keeping it successful is ten times harder. It requires a lot of hard work, dedication and focus. BUT, it’s achievable. By focus, I mean paying attention to key elements related to your industry that can make or break a company. This will be the topic of discussion today as we highlight 7 important building blocks of a successful small business.
1. Targeting of the Target Audience
A company who has not done extensive research on its target audience is setting itself up for failure from the start. This should be done before the company even opens its doors for business. A successful company should have four very important strategies already in place when it comes to their potential clients and customers.
- Who They Are?
- How to Reach Them?
- How to Get Their Business?
- How to Retain them?
If your message is going to the wrong people or to those who have no interest in what you have to offer to begin with, you are going to end up wasting valuable resources and income. Do your homework. Do you research! Know who your target audience is and how to reach them.
2. Good Marketing Plan
This is another aspect of your business model that should be carefully researched, debated and planned before your company makes its debut. You have a good product. You know you can give better service. You know your pricing is competitive. But how do you inform your audience? For that, a successful company should have an in-depth marketing plan in place. The incorporating of marketing software can help ensure that you are successful. How will they reach their customers and target competitor’s customers? How can they be informed of new items, sales and rebates? Depending on the nature of your business, the answers can vary. Some companies are keen on an extensive email marketing campaign. Others can spend money on advertising in the media. Almost all of them utilize social media to their advantage reaching out to their customers on FaceBook and Twitter and giving them an opportunity to interact with the company.
3. Keeping an Eye On Competitors
Contrary to what many believe, competitors are just as valuable to a new start up as customers. A new start up can learn from the experience of their rivals. They can use it as a reference manual to incorporate the same things in their business model that they are doing. Now obviously no company openly outlines their business model to the world but just by doing research on the company itself (which is free and easy to do via the internet), new businesses can gain very valuable insight on how their competitors are making money, reaching their customers and more importantly, what are some of the things they are doing to keep them loyal and committed. This first-hand knowledge is pure gold for new start ups. It goes without saying an in-depth competitor analysis is an absolute must for new businesses.
4. Have a Good Product or Service
Whether your business revolves around selling various products or services, you will have to make sure it can stand out from the crowd. The main question to ask is how can I give my product or service that one edge that will put it on top or set it apart from the rest of the competition. Be it the price, the quality, the added features, a successful new business should put emphasis on being unique because that’s what’s going to make that compelling impression on the customers.
5. Predict The Future, Today
In my opinion, this is huge. Getting this right can not only have an enormous impact on your company’s revenues, it will also give you a huge boost in the ‘trustworthy’ rankings. A successful company keeps a sharp eye on the industry as well as the ever changing needs of their customers. They conduct surveys, get clients to participate in questionnaires and organize open sessions to get an idea about what they want. They also watch similar events unfold worldwide with great interest to foresee and predict any change or shift in the industry, or consumer needs. Having such invaluable knowledge beforehand and a competent backup strategy in place in case changes do occur, will make your company look well prepared and trustworthy, the two most essential elements every potential customer or client looks for when doing business.
6. Promotions, Sales, Celebrations
A good product or competent service will only go so far. Companies should also take steps to interact with their customers on a personal level and keep them happy. A great way of doing that is celebrating special occasions and conducting huge sales. For example having a Veteran’s day sale on Veteran’s day or an Independence Day event, gives the impression that your business is patriotic and also celebrating this occasion with millions of American around the country. The same goes for religious occasions such as Christmas and Thanksgiving.
7. Exploring New Opportunities
In my opinion, this should be done around the clock, 24 hours a day, all year long. Successful companies never stop at one point or settle down. They keep on looking for new avenues to explore, new alliances to forge, new opportunities to grab and new markets to penetrate and establish themselves in. If they won’t do it, their competitors will.
These are the 7 essential building blocks of a good, successfully and well prepared business. I stress importance on well prepared because that in my opinion is the only practice that can help keep a business afloat in today’s market. The competition is too fierce and the opportunities are tremendous. Be sure to implement the above points into your business model. They will be instrumental in putting your business on the road to success.
About the Author: Jennifer Mathews is a creative logo design consultant for LogoSnap.com, helping small businesses create a brand image and grow their online presence. She likes to stay ahead of trends, explore new mediums and blog about her experiences.