5 Areas Your Businesses Should Focus on When Starting
When you first open the doors to your business, it’s normal to feel like you have a million and one things to do. But there are only 5 areas your business should focus on when starting. And while starting a business takes perseverance, staying focused on what matters to ensure you turn a profit in the short term is vital.
So, to ensure you don’t get distracted at this pivotal stage, we’ve provided tips and strategies you need to keep your new business on track.
Area 1: Developing Your Brand Image
Do you have a brand image?
So many new business owners don’t; some aren’t even aware they need one or think it’ll happen organically as their business grows. Unfortunately, it’s those owners that go out of business. Because your brand image is how you’ll stand out, connect with your target audience, and become a recognized authority in your market niche.
The core of your brand image consists of your logo, website design, and social media branding. Services such as Tailor Brands can help you start building your brand image but these services will only cover the foundation other elements also come into play like written content, video, and marketing imagery.
Focus on the following to develop your brand image:
- Identify Your Target Audiences – If you try and sell to everyone, you’ll sell to no one. There’s a specific demographic that wants your product/service. Your first job is to find your target audience and learn everything there is to know about them. So, you can design an effective marketing strategy that’ll connect with them and solve their pain points.
- Know Your Business Goals – If you don’t have a goal, you’ll run up and down and never score. Your business goals help determine your brand image, and you must design your image to support them. For example, if one goal is to become a leading authority on social media, you must create your image with that specific platform in mind.
- Define Your Brand Persona – Your persona defines your brand image, so it must appeal to your target audience. Define your brand persona with your audience in mind, and make it a reflection of who they are. That way, you’ll always connect.
- Develop Your Key Message – Your key message is the takeaway you want consumers to remember you by. Decide on how you want them to feel, then create and infuse it with your brand’s values and personality.
Area 2: Hiring the Right People
You don’t need the best people for the job; you need the right people – Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba.
It’s because you want people who are suited to their roles and they enjoy their work. Resulting in increased productivity and a low turnover of staff. But finding the right person for the job involves more than having a good feeling about someone; it requires decisions based on objective factors.
Several steps to hire the right person:
- Use your company’s culture – Skills aside, your applicants must suit your company culture, so they integrate seamlessly with it and your other employees. Ask yourself, what are our mission and values? And ensure they have the same mindset.
- Create detailed job descriptions – Describe the job requirements in every detail, including responsibilities, skill level, and experience.
- Structure your interviews – Use an evaluation scorecard so you and other interviewers can rate and compare candidate performance levels.
- Test – Ask your candidates to complete a job-related task, something they’ll have to do if they land the position. This way, you’ll know if they’re up to the roll.
- Look past the CV – A candidate might seem perfect on paper but fail miserably in real life. Ensure they’re the right fit by asking about their interests, priorities, and ambitions.
- Ask for references – You must reference check candidates’ CVs to ensure everything is how it appears. And it never hurts to do a quick online search to see what people think and say about specific issues.
Area 3: Optimizing Your Sales Funnel
For your sales funnel to work, you need to create a marketing strategy that highlights the benefit to the customer. It’s because consumers aren’t interested in what your product does but the solutions it provides.
When you optimize your sales funnel with your target audience in mind, it takes the sales out of the funnel, replacing it with a personal reason for people to click through and buy what you’re selling.
Sales funnel optimization strategies:
- Know Your Audience – Because if you don’t know their pain points, you can’t fix them. Use a tool like Similar Web to gain an understanding of your target market’s wants and needs.
- Create Informative Content That Answers Questions – A recent survey by Conductor shows that consumers are 131% more inclined to purchase from brands that provide helpful educational content.
- Collect Your Prospect’s Email Address – You need your visitor’s emails to drive them through your sales funnel successfully. It’s because people rarely buy at first sight, and it takes time to build a relationship. And when people grow familiar with your brand being in their inbox, it creates the trust required to make a sale.
- Stand Out Using Engaging Media – The more consumer know about your brand, the easier it will be to create lasting relationships. Here’s where you must use engaging media on all relevant platforms, ensuring no questions remain unanswered.
- Highlight Reviews and Customer Testimonials – 81% of consumers say trust is the primary factor when buying from a brand. And the best way to create it is by highlighting past customers’ experiences. It’s because we’re far more inclined to believe real-life reviews over a brand’s sales copy.
Area 4: Improving Your Product or Service
The better your product, the better your reviews, and it applies to every sales platform.
While you don’t need the perfect product to start your business, it must be an equally high standard to everything else available in your marketplace. Once you’re making sales, you can turn your attention to making it even better, claiming your place as the go-to brand.
How to define and improve your product quality:
- Understand Your Product Quality Needs – The level of your product quality is determined by the end user’s expectations and needs. In other words, customer satisfaction. You’ll find out what people want in your product by looking at your competitor’s products their reviews, especially the negative ones.
- Implement Quality Management – You can implement a quality management system (QMS), like ISO 9001, to ensure your product is always at its best by self-auditing. The ISO 9001 provides internal rules you can follow to ensure you create and deliver the highest quality products and services.
- Ensure Quality Is Your Company Culture – While implementing a quality management system important, you must ensure that everyone involved in producing your product understands the objective. And when you make quality an integral part of your company culture, everyone involved will know what’s expected of them.
- Always Test Your Product – You should always test your product using beta testing before bringing it to market and continue testing on every order placed using what’s called a Final Random Inspection. You can hire 3rd party testing companies like SGS, who can test anything, anywhere.
Area 5: Delighting Your Customers
Once you’ve put the hard work in and successfully created a business you are proud of, the real work of maintaining that level begins.
It’s because, in today’s world, you’re only as good as your last sale, and if you let standards drop, consumers won’t hesitate to let others know about it.
Maintaining your brand reputation is all about ensuring your customers are happy, and you achieve that by providing unparalleled customer service and engagement. However, consumers forgive when things go wrong, as long as you’re there to look after them.
And it’s excellent customer service and accessible 24/7 support that gives consumers the most delight. Resulting in a stronger relationship, one where your clients know you’re there when they need you, encouraging them to become lifelong customers and advocates of your brand.
We know you’ve got a lot going on, and some of what you read today might seem a little overwhelming. But, if you focus on the five areas we’ve provided, it’ll help remove any confusion and point your business in the right direction.
Take them one at a time, implementing as you go. And before too long, your efforts will be rewarded.
This article has been published in accordance with Socialnomics’ disclosure policy.