Guest post by Hannah Browne:
There are many risks involved with starting up a business, particularly in marketing where the competition is already very high. Before investing your money, or taking out a loan, make sure you have followed these steps so that you are prepared to make it a success.
- Decide on your area of marketing expertise
Marketing is a very broad term. Do you create content for businesses, are you a media buying agency, SEO agency, PR agency, do you focus on digital campaigns such as social media or re-targeted advertising?
All of these different areas offer specific expertise, and knowing where you fit and what you can offer is very important to attracting clientele. Those that try and offer everything, often fail from over complication and being incapable of delivering results.
- Pick clients whose business you are as passionate about as they are
Most new marketing firms miss this trick, and it is important when starting out to take on clients that you can be passionate about. Clients are likely to be taking a risk in hiring a company with little experience, and they will expect you to be very passionate about their business. Know your stuff, and be prepared to immerse yourself in that industry.
- Don’t procrastinate
When you work for someone else it can be easy to procrastinate, and it can be even more tempting when you have the freedom of being your own boss. However, when starting a business you won’t have time to waste and you should be as invested as possible. If you feel you need a break it is far healthier to go on a short walk.
Fortunately, computer software and mobile app developers have your back, and have created site-blockers such as Cold Turkey, K9 Web Protection, Anti Social, or Self Control.
- Make sure your brand and website are strong
How can a client believe you can make a difference to their marketing campaigns, if you can’t even get your own branding or website right? It is important to pick a brand name that sticks out and has little competition in local rankings. You also need to make sure the brand name or image doesn’t infringe on copyright so it is important to hire the services of a copyright lawyer.
- Don’t mix family and business
Setting up any business can have a huge strain on family life. Whether it is just working late, missing special occasions, or even getting a second mortgage against your home, it is important to know when to stop and spend time with the family.
You should also be wary when using personal loans from family to start the business because it is a huge risk, and the implications of it going wrong can be far more than simply losing the business.
- Do your research
The ability to research is key to most marketing professionals fulfilling their job role, but when it comes to setting up their own company many business owners avoid doing any research and simply think they know best.
You should research your product or service to find a USP, research your target client demographic, and have a focus group that can evaluate your product or service before you make it public. Secondary research on an industry can often give you a good idea in a short time.
- Know your competitors
An extension of doing your research, know your competition. What are you going to do that is different compared to them, how successful are they, are there any opportunities to collaborate? It can be very important to getting your product and service right, and you shouldn’t necessarily just undercut their prices, as the chances are they might be able to match you.
- Network locally
A good way to find both your competition and potential clients is to attend local networking events. This can help you build a relationship with people, which will often translate into business if maintained. It has been proven to be a much more efficient method of gaining sales, compared to cold calling.
- Use an accountant
Many businesses fail because they are unable to correctly keep track of their finances, which leads to poor decisions. By hiring an accountant, you can keep up with your finances, and you will be able to clearly see where you can save money in either bills or taxes.
- Pay yourself a salary
It is a common mistake to re-invest any money made by the business back in to speed up growth. Instead, pay yourself a salary and make sure you have a regular income to support your family with. The other advantage of this is that if the business doesn’t work out then you have still gained something from all the hard work that you have put in.
About the Author:
Hannah is a currently a student and freelance writer. She writes mostly about studying, business and politics.