Are you an entrepreneur, business owner or someone who dreams of owning their own business? If so, there are many things you need to consider.
Starting your own business can be both exciting and daunting. There are horror stories about businesses that started out great only to fall into a downward spiral because they didn’t keep up with the day’s trends. Before you embark on your business venture, or even if you’re already up and running, take some time to consider these five things.
1. Business Goals
It seems like such an obvious thing, but many entrepreneurs skip ahead without defining a clear set of business goals. Goals are essential for all aspects of your life and especially in business. I have a specific method I use here, but to get you started, ask yourself:
- What do you want to achieve as a business?
- Can you afford to hire staff?
- Will you manage the entire project from beginning to end or share the responsibility with someone else?
- What is success in this context?
- What’s your marketing budget?You may need some guidance in addressing any challenges; consider engaging experts who can analyse your situation and advise you accordingly. Coaches like these can take you through tailored programs, including ones targeted at developing leadership skills.
2. An Email Database
No matter what field you’re in, an email database is essential. The list will consist of those who’ve bought or shown interest in your product or service. This database will be one of your cheapest methods of marketing as you’re communicating with people who are already impressed by what you have to offer. Send out emails just enough to maintain contact – don’t overdo it. Be judicious with the content you send out and the frequency with which you send it. Nothing prompts a customer to hit ‘unsubscribe’ faster than useless information. Be entertaining, offer value and don’t make every email a sales pitch. You want to build the relationship not destroy it.
You definitely need to be online to sell and promote your business or product and to do this effectively you need to keep track of each channel in order to measure their success. There are a number of tools you can utilise, but one of the most useful is Google Analytics. If you attach a GA code to, say, a ‘thank you’ page after a customer purchases your product, you’ll be able to understand how many sales each channel has provided, giving you insight into which channels are most lucrative.
4. Search Engine Optimisation
SEO is your second cheapest cost per acquisition and is integral to any digital strategy. While Google’s algorithm is complex, the three components are technical, onsite content and links. You can hire a SEO agency who’ll take care of the logistics, but if you can’t afford to, you can work your way around it by blogging frequently about your business/products/industry and sharing links to these blog posts on social media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. If you have partners/clients, you can also ask them to link back to your site. Join groups to connect with like minded people and to share each others content. Be social when doing things online and you will have much more success.
5. Paid Advertising
Depending on the product or service you’re offering, using Facebook ads or Google AdWords may provide the highest return on investment. Ensure you track correctly – take advantage of the conversion pixel that comes with paid media and Google Analytics. You’ll be able to focus your campaign towards the keywords and demographics that get the most favourable response. Personally, I love how targeted Facebook advertising can be and have often sold out using it.
Every entrepreneur can benefit from these tips, considering that in today’s world, businesses and society in general revolve around digital marketing. It’s vital that you plan well – ask yourself those all-important questions, then equip yourself with the right tools so that you, as an entrepreneur, can succeed at the highest possible level!
What tips do you have for entrepreneurs or anyone starting out in business?