When you’re starting a new business, it can be hard determining just what you should do at any given time. Unless you’ve taken a course on the subject or spoken to some well-established businessmen about their recommendations, it can seem to be a very challenging jump from the basic spark of an idea to the nuts and bolts of actually carrying it out.
Identify your USP
Every successful business has what’s called a “USP”, or “Unique Selling Point”. This is the thing which differentiates you from all your competitors. It makes sense when you think about it. If you own a sports clothing brand, for example, what reason would a customer have to buy from you rather than from one of the established industry leaders?
It’s probably not going to be enough to have a flashy logo and a friendly smile, but it might be enough to have a specific sub-niche within the industry cornered. Perhaps you’re one of only a handful of manufacturers who uses a certain organic, health-promoting fabric?
Always look for ways that you can be different from your competition – and decide on at least one of these as a core USP before launching the business.
Establish your KPIs
Another important business acronym to get your head around, “KPIs”, or “Key Performance Indicators” are measures you can use to judge the success or effectiveness of your business over a set period of time, or in a specific area or project.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to make something of your business, you simply must have effective targets and methods for tracking your progress. As the saying goes, “if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get there.”
Examples of KPIs could include profit, sales by region, employee turnover, etc.
Consider the 80-20 productivity rule
Virtually all self-employed businessmen are extremely busy people who work virtually around the clock. What that means is that you’re not likely going to get an edge over your competition by “working harder” than they do. Instead, you can get the edge over them by working smarter, and allocating your time more wisely.
In any business there’s the “busywork” which, if allowed, can take up the majority of your waking hours, while yielding barely any benefit to the overall progress of your career.
There’s a phrase often used to refer to this phenomenon; the “80-20 rule”.
Essentially, the idea is that 80% of your results will come from 20% of your activities. For example, perhaps you market to clients in 10 different mediums, but find that almost all your work comes from a mere 2 of those.
In this case, it’d be sensible to maximise the time you spend on those 2 avenues, and reduce or eliminate time spend on the others.
For “busywork” that still needs to get done, consider outsourcing or delegating the work to an assistant.
Get the necessary starter resources
It’s possible to start successful businesses with few resources. It’s not, however, possible to start them with absolutely no resources.
Even if you’re running your company out of your garage, you’ll still need to pay for things like professional photos, website hosting, mailing supplies, and so on. You may also consider sending corporate gift boxes to your loyal customers and business partners. Have a look at https://smallbizclub.com/run-and-grow/a-quick-guide-to-corporate-gifting-for-new-businesses/ for ways to make your clients feel special.
At the start of your entrepreneurial career, you will need to make a list of potential start-up costs and find a way to acquire the resources to cover those. Smart and careful loans via companies like
https://smallbusinessloans.co can be a solution to this problem, as can your personal savings or investments from business partners.