It’s exciting to start your own business! To take something you’re passionate about and build a career out of it on your terms can be a dream come true. But that excitement to get things up and running as soon as possible can tempt you to rush through some steps, promising you’ll figure it out later. But there are some areas where rushing through the early stages can cause serious problems. They might even create circumstances where you might lose your business. While you’re building up your new business, make sure you give these areas the full time they need to give your business a strong foundation.
Please note: This is a contributed post, but all opinions are my own. View full disclosure policy.
Some businesses can get by with minimal marketing effort. There’s usually enough organic word of mouth doing the heavy lifting for them. However, for a business in its infancy, a solid marketing strategy is essential. No one knows about you and your business yet. Putting some muscle into your marketing will help introduce you to your audience and prospective clients or customers.
If budget is a concern, you can start small with social media marketing. Free to use, social media is the most cost-efficient marketing tool at your disposal. There are also a variety of other free and low-cost tools–both built-in to platforms and provided by third parties–to help you manage a successful business social media presence.
Target Audience Research
Audience research is time-consuming and, let’s face it, rarely the most fun part of managing your business. If your target audience is vague, like “people with money who like my stuff,” you can’t build a good strategy to put your stuff in front of those people. But even that isn’t enough.
There is a difference between “people with money who like my stuff” and “people with money who buy my stuff.” A smart business-owner learns to tell them apart and appeal to the right group.Tweet
If you’ve done your research and you have a strategy to reach your target group, but you’re not getting as many sales/conversions/bookings as you’d like, check if you can further refine who will be more inclined to buy from you.
It’s not enough to just say you want to make money from your business. You need to find a balance in the amount of money coming and going. After all, you can’t turn a profit until after you’ve subtracted the cost of staying in business. And you can’t really stay in business if you don’t factor in the cost over time. Ideally, you’d start with enough money to support your business for the first six months. After six months, you should be generating a reliable income stream. If you don’t plan well here, you could end up borrowing more money than you can afford just to try to keep your business afloat–and that could get you in hot water with a commercial debt collection company.
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