Pursuing an entrepreneurial venture may sound like a colossal undertaking, but the reality is that it doesn’t always have to be the case. While it will undoubtedly require considerable time and effort to build a business, the road to success boils down to ensuring all the boxes have been checked. And this is what this post aims to aid first-time business owners to do. With that said, here’s a checklist of everything you need to do to give your startup better odds of success.
1. Conduct market research
As the saying goes, everyone’s got an idea. However, those who manage to implement them successfully are priceless. And one of the reasons why so many startups fail is that they commit to products or services without determining whether or not they can work on every level. As a result, they inadvertently set themselves up for failure. Don’t fall into the same trap, and be sure to conduct market research, even if you think you know the market. It will make a difference.
2. Create a detailed business plan
Another reason why few startups manage to succeed is due to a lack of preparation. It’s a mistake to treat a business plan as a mere formality. After all, it’s the foundation of any business—if it isn’t robust or comprehensive enough, it’ll leave the brand or company more susceptible to financial losses. The plan is also something prospective investors and financial institutions will consider when funding a venture. If it fails to impress them, the chances are they won’t finance it, so make sure that you make your plan as detailed as possible.
3. Optimize your Google My Business Profile
These days, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any business that doesn’t have a digital presence in one form or another. When you get right down to it, the first contact point that most consumers have with brands are through their online channels, and few platforms offer the opportunity to strengthen internet presence like Google’s My Business. At its core, GMB enables businesses to list their location, contact details, and other relevant information on search results and Google Maps. Since most people rely primarily on Google when searching for goods and services, being visible on this platform can go a long way in drawing in more customers.
But the creation of your My Business Profile is only the beginning. To reap its benefits, you need to ensure that it’s optimized. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Get the description of the business right. It’s always a good idea to include a good and accurate description of what your business is all about on the listing to ensure that it’s relevant to interested users. While it’s primarily used to give an overview of the brand, you can incorporate targeted keywords into them to enhance your online visibility. It only allows 750 characters, so you must get the most essential information within the first couple of sentences.
- Add photos and videos to your posts. GMB allows businesses to post content about their business on their respective profiles, and you’ll want to maximize this feature with the inclusion of videos and photos. While written pieces are good enough, having other media formats will help you tell a much better story about the business and its offerings than you otherwise would have. As a result, you’ll reel in more prospects and have a better chance at turning them into paying customers.
- Encourage reviews. Thanks to the internet, word-of-mouth advertising has never been stronger than it is today. Since most consumers base their purchasing decisions on what others say online, it makes sense to encourage your most satisfied customers to write reviews on their experience with your business and its products or services.
4. Set up your shop
Setting up shop will depend on what kind of business endeavor you plan to pursue. However, it’s all about ironing out all the details—be it securing funding, finding a suitable location, securing insurance, and defining the staffing needs of the business, just to name a few. Once you’re at operational readiness, you’ll need to start marketing your offerings to the target consumers. You can make your launch a success by partnering up with other businesses, setting up a website, implementing SEO and PPC marketing strategies, among many others.
Achieving business success isn’t easy. However, by adhering to good business practices and carefully planning the endeavor, you’ll significantly improve your startup’s odds of thriving and flourishing in its chosen industry where many others have not.