As a start-up business, or someone about to start a small business, there are a few essential ingredients you’ll need to consider right away and that will help you begin as you mean to go on – with the appearance of a solid, reliable business.
Put everything on paper and see if it fits – Hopefully this is something that you’ve already done, but it’s never to late (or too early) to put everything down on paper. Line up what your company will do, who you will target and how you will reach them. If you’re not sure of any one of these areas, it’s time for some serious research and for you to speak to other professionals in your industry about the market and what you can expect. Websites such as Business Link may also be helpful with your market research.
Work out the financials, whatever they may be – Depending on what your start-up business will do, you may or may not even need funding. If you’re a consultant, perhaps all you need is a computer, internet access, permanent phone number and your rolodex. If you’re starting a catering business, you may need to get in a small amount of appropriate equipment. As part of your business plan, you should investigate what equipment you will need and what it will cost. If you require start-up costs beyond your bank account, it may be time to seek funding, such as a bank loan or perhaps a partner, silent or otherwise.
Your contact details
Make your company solid to the outside world – No matt er what your business, you’ll immediately appear to be small or fly-by-night if you’re operating with only a mobile number or a number that is also your home phone. Using a landline, whether a local number or a national 0845 or 0870 number (depending on your business model), will give your business a more established façade. It will be one of the signals to a potential customer that you mean business.
Get the word out
Choosing a channel – There will be many different ways to communicate your business offering to potential customers. Be sure to employ as many different channels as you can manage, as a customer who’s never heard of you, will need to hear your name an average of nine times before your message penetrates. It’s important is to be sure that all of your messaging is communicating the same thing about you. It’s also important to be sure someone answers the phone once it’s ringing. Whether you’re a sole trader, a small business constantly on the road or a business where much of your staff works from home, there are systems on the market that can help give you that all important veneer of established business whilst at the same time offering you a flexible self-service method for routing and redirecting calls to any of your team on any landline, mobile or device, all using your established main number. With a business plan in place, funding, a solid veneer and simple solutions to ensure good customer communications, you should give your business a good start in life.
For more helpful tips visit Tara at www.busylizzie.ie