So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up your own business; congratulations! Many people are looking into alternative ways to earn a living, and especially after the pandemic, there’s been a shift in perspective regarding people’s priorities.
A little more family time, work/life balance, or simply wanting to invest in a passion project are just some of the many reasons people are leaving their 9-5 office jobs and venturing into something they can call their own.
While the rewards are there for the taking, they can be high, risks are involved, and a huge list of things to consider and tackle. However, you’ve probably been thinking about all these things for a while, and you’re more than ready to invest your time and energy when and where it’s needed.
Nevertheless, it’s still worth taking some time to ensure you’ve covered all the basics and carefully planned out the details. So, whether you’ve yet to take the plunge and leave your current job role or just started out in your new venture, it’s time to start ticking things off a long list.
The following are some ideas and inspiration for anyone passionate about setting up a successful, independent business to become their own boss and gain more fulfillment in life.
Knowledge Is Power
It may sound obvious, but a thorough understanding of your products or services and your target customers is essential. Seeing somebody else succeed in an area of business doesn’t guarantee that you can do the same.
You need to be vested in your actions and understand your reasoning behind them. It’s totally fine if you’re just in it for the money; however, the only way you bring that in is to know what your customer base wants, what they’ll pay, and stay ahead of the trends.
Therefore whether it’s something that truly inspires and excites you that you’re selling, or you simply want to earn a steady income from straightforward trade, do your research!
Think about the service or product you’re selling or providing. It’s worth looking into your prices and ensuring they’re at the market average and what’s expected. If you want to charge that bit extra, you will have to offer extra to the consumer in return. Be savvy about where you get your stock from and the quantity of what you need to invest in.
You might need to source specialist packaging, wholesale sparkle, or eco-friendly items; whatever your business niche is can end up costing you a fortune if you’re not smart about where to get your supplies from.
Once you’ve got a handle on who your consumers will be, how and where you’ll get what you need from, and if you’re filling a demand in a heavily saturated market, make sure you’ve got a clear idea of what the future may hold.
There is no way to accurately predict what’s going to occur in your business’s future; however, it’s worth studying the patterns in the market and knowing what’s succeeded and failed for others beforehand in a similar line of work. This will allow you to prepare a contingency and take action before you really need to.
It’s all about protecting what you’re about to build up rather than doing damage control after something has happened.
Marketing Is Key
Once you have covered those crucial starting points mentioned previously, it’s time to focus on getting your products or services in full view of your target market. Therefore, you’ll need to invest time and effort into a detailed and realistic marketing plan.
First, consider where your customers spend most of their time if they’re online. Next, research the various social media platforms and ensure you have relevant accounts. It might be worth setting up accounts on platforms you don’t intend to utilize yet to ensure that your brand name is consistent across all of them.
Once you’ve figured out where to start sharing your work, items, or services, make the most of all the analytic tools you can. Stick to a schedule for a while, and see what performs well and at what time; this will assist you in what to post moving forward, give you some insight into when you get the most engagement, and, more importantly, click-throughs to your website or products.
Once you’ve got to grips with what’s working and what’s not, be prepared to invest some money into advertising. This can help boost certain posts or products and drive traffic in your desired direction. Set aside a weekly or monthly budget for these social media or online ADs.
Remember that this realm of the internet is forever changing; still, images and captions will do well one month, then it’ll be all about motion and video content. Therefore, you must remain adaptable and willing to switch things up rapidly. You can ensure that you do this by setting aside time each day to look at those specific platforms, see what’s popping up on your feed, and get inspiration before implementing something yourself.
Again, consistency is key; find your tone of voice and post regularly to make sure the right eyes are seeing your new business.
Feedback Is A Gift
Receiving feedback can feel intimidating, especially if it’s critical. However, every bit of feedback you receive should be viewed as something to be appreciated. The only way you’ll understand what your customers want from you, where you need to improve, or what you should keep doing is to listen to them intently.
Therefore, make it your mission to gain as much feedback as you can and, most importantly, utilize it so that you can grow and flourish! Make sure there’s a clear and concise avenue for previous clients or customers to leave their thoughts on what they’ve paid for, whether through your website, email, or social media.
Once you’ve received feedback, your response to that person is crucial. Everything is so public now; if you handle a severe, and even rude, comment on your business, it’s essential always to take the high road and be as calm, kind, and helpful as possible.
You can recover from the majority of mishaps, bad reviews, and mistakes, depending on how it’s handled. Much the same as if you sent something back to a restaurant; you’d expect it to be dealt with politely and quickly so you can continue to enjoy yourself and would happily return.
Your target audience will have access to your company’s feedback, so ensure that any responses and handling of it would entice them in rather than putting them off your independent business. If you feel you’re lacking in that department, create some call-to-actions across your social media platforms, or ask a customer to review a product or service in a follow-up email.
These can be used for all the above reasons and as testimonials; it’s a win-win (even when it feels negative). Finally, it’s worth keeping an eye on feedback that happens on multiple occasions; this will give you an accurate and clear idea about your business’ performance in certain areas, as it will come from a variety of individual people and situations.
Don’t be disheartened easily; you’re doing the work and craving success; there’s no reason it won’t happen. Know when something is or isn’t worth it, and keep going; you’re doing a great job!