Congratulations! You have an idea that you want to turn into a business. Take a look at important steps to set the foundation for a successful, exciting future.
Research Your Product or Service: This step is important, so you can evaluate if there is a need for your product or service. Simply visit the brick-and-mortar location or use a search engine, for example, Google or Yahoo to find other products like yours. Knowing who your competition is, and how they market their products can provide you with incredibly valuable information. Next, visit their website, social media platforms, sign up for email, and read their customer reviews. This will provide insight into what exists on the market and problems there are that you can help with. Then, answer the million-dollar question, “What makes my company unique, and why will customers buy from me instead of the competition?
Write Your Vision and Mission Statement: It might take some time and soul-searching, but both statements will help you focus on your overall strategy for your business. A Vision Statement defines your desired future for the company and the Mission Statement defines your business and includes your objectives for reaching your goals and vision. The two may overlap and can be edited throughout the life of your company.
Write Your Business Plan: A business plan is a working, dynamic document that includes a detailed description of your business concept. Business plans are important for you and your colleagues to review and update as your business changes and are necessary for securing funding. The sections should include:
- Executive Summary: The purpose of this section is to overview your business plan and to pique the readers' interest, so they will want to learn more. Information should include your business name and location, your product or service, mission and vision statements, and what your target market is, and what sets you apart from your competition. It can also include your goals and the strategies you have to reach them.
- Company Description: This section should answer the who, what, where, why, and how of your business. Include the legal structure of your business, your story and history, and what your products or service will bring to the market. Financial and budget information, short and long-term business goals, and how you will make a profit should be included in this section. If you have proven results or prior sales history include it.
- Products and Service Description: This section should include details of your product define how it will benefit your target audience. It should also explain why you are different and what advantages you bring to the market. Include any relevant patents or copyrights, or special information that sets you apart and how you plan to sustain and expand your products into the future.
- Market Overview: This section will prove that you have researched your industry, know your target audience, and understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. It should include statistics, demographic information, and other market data in the form of charts, tables, and infographics.
- Organizational Structure: Include who is on your team, their names, positions, career history, their current role, and how their expertise will benefit the company.
- Financial Information: This section includes financial facts and figures, trend analysis, balance sheets, income statements, proposed budgets, and sales forecasts.
Now you’re ready to think about how you’ll market your business. Start with using social media – be sure to fill out as much as you can in the about sections of your profiles as this will help your customers learn more about you. Don’t post just to post – create a content strategy for social media that adds value to your customer without the car salesman tactics. Create your social media posts as if you were your customer – what do they need to know to use your product/service? Are you answering the same questions over & over? Try creating a video that answers these FAQ’s, or provide tips that your customers can use right now. Using other digital marketing techniques like SEO, blog writing, & email marketing will also give you a well-rounded online presence.
Once you have your business plan in place, don’t forget to keep learning! Sign up for online webinars or even take a class at a local community college to make sure your skills stay up to date – technology industries, for example, often go through updates every 6 – 12 months. Continual learning will ensure you’re able to deliver the best service to your customers!
Setting the foundation for your new business and thoughtful planning is key to future success. We can help... Contact us today!
Setting the foundation for your new business and thoughtful planning is key to future success. Contact us today and let's get back to rebuilding your business together. Ask us about this in your free 30-minute virtual coaching session. Just contact us at 949-484-6349 or fill out our online form.