Featured Image Caption: Business Idea
You’ve been working on your business idea, and you’re now almost ready to go live. Before you open your doors to customers, there are some vital pieces of the entrepreneurial puzzle you need to have in place. Without them, your business won’t yield the returns you desire— at least not within the time frame you envisioned.
A Solid Marketing Plan
You need to have a solid plan in place to establish and grow your brand. While busying yourself with acquiring products, getting all the required paperwork for your new business in place, securing office space, etc., it’s easy to overlook developing a marketing plan. Without it, you won’t effectively communicate your products or services to prospective buyers. Not having a connection with your target market from the beginning can jeopardize your plans for future growth.
A good marketing plan will help you craft a brand identity that marks you as unique and communicate certain values to your target audience. Effective branding can help you connect with potential buyers that will convert them into loyal customers for the long haul. With a recognizable brand in place, your business will have the edge over competitors, even if they offer the same quality products.
With social media, the process of establishing a brand presence is greatly simplified. However, even with such tools, certain marketing nuances are best left to experts who have years of experience in the field. Marketing agencies in NYC, like Crafted, have the skills and expertise to help you develop and execute an effective marketing plan.
Realistic Financial Planning
One of the key reasons many startups don’t make it past their first anniversary is the absence of a clear financial plan or the inability to stick to their financial plans. Not having a solid system to budget and track cash inflows and outflows is detrimental to the operations of any business. It also hampers the ability of startups to access financing from private investors or financial institutions.
When they look at your business plan, potential financiers will be looking for your projected sales and revenue figures over the short and long term. These numbers will give them an idea of the profitability of your venture, so they know if it’s worth backing or not. It will also give them confidence knowing you thought of your business beyond an idea and know how it will actually operate in the real world.
Having said that, your projections need to be realistic. You need to factor in potential changes in the cost of your inputs, the habits of your target market, and the competition from existing players. Consider anything else that has the potential to affect sales.
Employee Guidelines and Support
It is often said that the most important resource of any enterprise is its human resource. To get the best out of your staff, you need to give them clear guidance. You need to ensure they know the objectives of the business and how their work contributes to the achievement of these objectives.
One of the most effective tools you can use to give your workers a clear idea of their obligations is an employee handbook. This manual will contain the mission and vision of your business along with a welcome statement. It will also lay down the company policies and procedures.
What you expect from your employees in terms of attendance, punctuality, and behavior towards customers can also be spelled out. The handbook should contain guidelines for employee discipline and the measures they can take to report any incidents of harassment in the handbook. Besides ensuring employees meet their end of the expectations, you should ensure they have all the support they need to help them perform at their best. Provide all the necessary training and keep an open-door policy.
Supply and Demand Considerations
If you’re in a line of business that deals with physical inventory, you need to know your optimal stock levels and when to reorder. You don’t want customer orders to find you short of product, and you also don’t want to be stuck with goods that aren’t moving. To find that sweet spot between supply and demand, you need to monitor your sales over time, so you can know how much product to order at different times.
Back To The Basics
Businesses can’t be successful if owners pour money into extravagant launch parties, fancy logos, and paid-for spots on influencer timelines. Success starts with hammering down the basics before expanding. Draft a solid business plan and follow it to a T. Take care of your staff, providing them with the training and support they need, and you’ll see success in no time.