Starting a business : 3 essential steps people overlook
For the purposes of this article, we will assume you have your financial ducks in a row and have a good idea of a business plan and product/service offering. Apart from technicalities, business registries and budgeting concerns – all great topics for another day – there are some vital and less asked questions you will need to answer and more than a few thought processes to mull over. If you are about to embark on a new business ask yourself if you have done the following:
1) Build a simple and strong message
Branding your fledgling business, which goes beyond a mere logo and into brand voice, message, taglines etc will be one of the most vital steps in starting a small business. Your brand will be the home of your business, it will be its personality and its engine – fueling sales and recognition. To make your brand really hum, you need to hone the message. This does not necessarily mean you have to spell out that message in your tagline, but the message of your brand should be clear and simple to both understand and convey. This message should pervade all of your brand elements including an influence on colour, font, language and style. Don’t be too clever for your own good. Make a point, make it easy to understand and make it loud and sharp.
2) Be a solution not a thing
Solution selling is not exactly a radical new concept, however you would be surprised how many people fall back to focusing on their service or product and continually forget to think of, and frame, their offerings as a solution to a problem. If you frame your business from the get-go as a solution, not just externally but internally in your own mind, you will never forget what your point is – why you exist. This will flow into everything you do – especially sales and marketing. Be continually mindful that you exist to solve a problem and you will always be selling benefits, not mere features.
3) Be a sponge
I need you to be absorbent. When you are at the threshold of a new business you need to be an exceptional listener. There are a lot of people out there who have been there before, a lot of people who have taken lumps and smelled success. You would be crazy at this juncture to be bull headed, close minded or arrogant about your business and its chance at success – failure is always an option as is stratospheric success, so be mindful of advice. Also you want to make sure you seek out both positive and negative aspects of advice – what not to do is just as important as what to do.
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