Launching a new business can be a stressful time for anyone – even if you’ve done it countless times before. If you’re launching a new startup – you need to make sure you’ve got all the bases covered.
You’d be surprised how many businesses miss something simple in the lead-up to launch.
#1. Make sure your web presence is up-to-date
If you’re running an online business – you should probably already know that your web presence needs to be impressive. Some sites like to change their design every year – and while this could be an expense you might want to avoid, you need to make sure nothing is outdated.
A poor quality, old website is one of the first things that could turn potential customers away. But it’s also important that you don’t go too far in the other direction.
Some sites have placed too much emphasis on style over substance and make it for visitors to actually get to the relevant information they need. Don’t be one of those, either.
While a great website should be obvious for online businesses – you’d be surprised how many traditional bricks-and-mortar operations simply forget to have one altogether. This is a huge mistake. You might not sell anything online – but not having a website these days could scream a lack of credibility.
Having a great “web presence” these days isn’t just about having a good website – but social media is important, too.
You might think it’s something you can do without, but connecting with customers via Twitter and Facebook is a great way to grow brand loyalty and also reach out to potential new customers.
Don’t leave your social media presence as an afterthought.
#2. Keep your business plan at the front of your mind
You’ve probably written a good business plan – but this often gets forgotten about in the weeks leading up to the launch of your business. Your business-plan shouldn’t just be for the bank or other investors, it should be at the front of your mind for most big decisions and day-to-day strategy.
Keep referring back to it regularly to make sure you haven’t lost track of what you’re really trying to do. Your entire business plan should almost be committed to memory – but try narrowing it down to some key points and pin them to your office wall if you really need to.
#3. Get help from friends and family
Not all helping hands need to be expensive. Your friends and family will want to help you if it’s your first venture – so make the most of them.
Even if you don’t have hands-on work that needs doing, they can be great for helping to spread the word about your business. Don’t be shy about your plans – make sure all your friends and family are pulling in the same direction.
#4. Get help from local organizations
You might be running a commercial venture – but this still could be of interest to local charities or other organizations (depending on the type of business you’re starting).
If you’ve recently graduated, your Student Union could be a great marketing tool. Universities want to see that their alumni have gone on to great things, and they’ll help by promoting your business for you.
Universities are also a great place for talented volunteers who might want to improve their resume.
#5. Get professional business cards
You might think that business cards are stuck in past – but this is a big mistake. Every time you talk to someone about your business, the next logical step is to give them a card so they know where you are or how to get to your website.
If you don’t have this simple tool – you could be missing out on future business.
A professional business card also says a lot about you and your business – so don’t settle for cheap alternatives.
#6. Attend networking events
Here’s somewhere you can put your new business cards to good use: Local network events.
Not only might there be specific commercial groups you can join – but even things like art gallery open evenings could be a great place to meet like minded people. Both potential business associates and future clients or customers.
#7. Train your staff
You might think it’s a good idea to simply start doing business and let your staff learn as they go along – this is a big mistake.
Many of your first few customers will expect an efficient and professional business that knows what you’re doing. Some of them won’t even know you’re a new business so won’t give you the benefit of doubt this allows.
If you can’t wow them on their first visit – they might not come back.
Make sure your staff know what they’re doing. Even if it means having a week’s worth of training before you open up.
You should have simple procedures that are easy to follow so people know exactly what to do in most situations.
#8. Hire a business mentor
If you’re struggling to take the next step – a business mentor could help you fix problems you didn’t even know existed. Sometimes – some extra perspective can be useful. When you’re living and breathing your business, it can be hard to take a step back.
Professional help from the right business mentor could be what you need to really fine tune what you’re offering to customers. Some mentors will even offer their service for free on a reciprocal basis.
These tips will help you keep on top of things so your startup can be a success.