If you are just starting out on the road of entrepreneurship, the chances are that you are feeling a little daunted at the prospect of earning your own money and not knowing where your next paycheck will come from.
Throw in the whole host of new business functions that you are responsible for and that’s potentially a burn out waiting to happen. Entrepreneurs, by definition, are determined and committed to their ventures. However, this doesn’t mean that what you are about to encounter won’t test you to your limits.
If you are launching
While you are probably on top of your funding because you have made an appointment with your bank manager to apply for a loan, this isn’t the only avenue you have to go down. Consider the alternatives.
You may want to head to a business angel network to locate a renowned expert from your field. These individuals invest their own money into ventures that they deem profitable. If you are pitching to a business angel, be prepared to have every aspect of your business plan scrutinized.
Business angels are picky and will want to go through your figures with a fine-tooth comb. It is important that you know your gross from your net and that you have projected your profits and revenue for at least the first three years of trading.
You must make sure that you have mitigated any potential risks that you may face, and don’t approach the pitch with a cocky attitude. Get yourself suited and booted and looking to make a good impression. Investing in your venture means investing in you.
Many entrepreneurs are insular in their outlook initially. You might be focusing on your supply chain, your productivity, and your website. But what about your customers? To compete with your already well-established industry rivals, you need to provide an exceptional customer experience.
Make sure that you employ the services of a virtual phone service. Real-life human beings will answer your telephone inquiries on your behalf acting like a polite and professional first point of contact for your customers. This frees up your time to spend on more pressing aspects of your business vision.
You will also be able to continue with your marketing, funding and social media tasks without having to worry about your customers.
It’s vital that you can treat your customers with respect and go the extra mile for them. Always under promise and over deliver so that you create the illusion of exceptional customer service.
If you know that you can deliver a product in two days, state that you will have it on their doorstep in three days. This way, your customer will be more likely to leave you a positive review, enhancing your reputation and making repeat business more likely.
Simply having Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts isn’t good enough. You need to utilize them in the most effective way to ensure that your new venture generates a following. You must ensure that you update your status regularly, that you respond to comments promptly and that you use hashtags to create a positive online buzz.
Make sure that your company voice is less corporate and stuffy and more informal and chatty, Being a small venture, you can afford to take a more personal approach and be more like a pal rather than a big fat cat business. This creates a more familiar feel between you and your customer. Establishing positive and meaningful relationships is vital for your startup to compete and succeed.
Use Instagram as a visual platform to show off your wares or your services. Choose a filter to create a theme and stick to it. Use the same hashtags across Twitter and Instagram and make sure your posts appear on each platform so that they are mutually linked. This can increase the exposure of your brand and generate new followers.
As a new business venture, you must make sure that you have the business basics covered. However, you also need to consider the more obscure facets of your business vision to foster a unique and productive ethos. Follow this guide and thrive as a newbie entrepreneur.