For the sake of argument let’s believe you are in the 1st 18 months of your business. At this point you are not YET (!) realising a profit and you have not yet found the right product to fit your market. These are the fundamental issues that will always keep your business at the start up stage according to Business Insider. So, how do you begin to overcome these very valid obstacles, which really comes down to ‘Getting Customers?’ Let’s put this main obstacle under 3 headings…
Product or Service Offering
It’s a real obvious statement to make that as a start up business you need a product or service. However, is the product or service you’re offering one that your ideal customer (we’ll take a look at ideal customer under the marketing material heading) wants to buy from you and can easily buy from you? Consumer research shows that customers want choice, flexibility and a purchase that is going to either alleviate a ‘pain’ or give them a feel good factor. Is your start up delivering against that criteria and secondly is it clear to your customers that you are? Two very different questions. One great way to meet these wants: if you’re offering a service led start up business, package up what you offer into three packages to give choice and flexibility and clearly show what benefits and results your customer will experience. For a product led business, what value adds can you offer: collection versus delivery, exclusive shopping experiences, loyalty bonuses, fan clubs, personal shopping – think about what you would want and ask your customers, what do they want from you?
Confidence and Self-Belief
Working as a Life and Business Coach for many years, 100 per cent of my start up business clients have all wanted and needed help with their confidence and self-belief. It is the cornerstone of a successful business owner. Without these all important attributes, getting your message out in the right way in front of the right people becomes nigh on impossible and why make your business even more challenging than it has to be. Keep the belief: your business idea is great, it can work and you do have access to all the right skills in order to make that happen! Confidence is a learned skill, there are loads of techniques you can be using in order to increase your confidence; positive affirmations, visualisation exercises, uplifting music, goal setting, vision boards, putting yourself out of your comfort zone in order to keep pushing and getting better at what you do. For further expert tips on building your confidence and self belief, visit Video Moods.
So, you’ve got your product and service all nailed down. You’ve gathered your self-belief and confidence and you’re ready to get your message out to the people who would love to buy from you. With loads of different ways of getting your message out there and no proven formula of what works, this can send any new start up into a frenzy, which ends up mainly in procrastination, fear of the unknown and no action. Firstly, think about who your ideal customer is. Create an avatar of everything you know about them, age, demographic, location, where they hang out, kind of language they use etc. Once you have all this information it’s so much easier to start creating some marketing effort and directing this towards places you know they are. Marketing can be anything from networking, website, business card, social media, e-newsletters. Networking is a great tool for any new start up as there are many places, times, locations business owners meet and they can be free. If you needed any more convincing 70% of all small business last year in the UK was done via networking and all you need are business cards.