How to get a business off the ground
Key points in this article
- Planning and preparation is key
- Test your market initially
- Build awareness and intrigue before you launch
Getting your business off the ground
Are you considering starting a new business? Hundreds of new businesses start every day but as the statistics will tell us, the majority will fail.
However, there is a way to ensure that your business gets off to a flying start. It just requires a bit of clever planning and preparation.
Your chances of business success will likely come down to how well you’ve planned your entrance to the market
Finding and testing a hungry market
OK, this may sound obvious but there is a big difference between what you would like to sell and what the market would like to buy. Use the available tools out there like Google's AdWords Keyword Planner to find out if there really is a market for your idea. And how big that market is.
Next, test your market. Don't just ask your friends, go wider. Create a simple brochure, build a basic website, and see if people are interested. Engage with your first prospects not for the purpose of selling, but to learn essential market information:
- Would they buy if...?
- Are they OK with price X?
- Are you delivering exactly what they’d like to buy, or...?
Testing your target market is an essential learning experience within the wider goal of building customers and sales
Build anticipation long before you actually ‘start’ the business
Exactly how you go about this depends a lot on what kind of business you're running. Whatever you choose, the net effect is that by the time you're ready to launch, people will be waiting for you.
It cures that dreadful feeling of sitting in your empty office and the phone never rings... And all of these techniques are completely free to do, apart from the cost of your product!
Some of the things you can do are to:
- give out free samples
- get friends and your extended circle of friends to try your product or service
- start writing / blogging and creating videos about it
- get others to review your product / service and blog about it
- attend business networking functions and increase your circle of influence
- start collecting names on a mailing list; give them an early incentive to sign up with you
- volunteer / intern at organisations that do something similar to learn the ropes.
Anticipation can be a key ingredient to starting your business on the right track
Launch with a big bang
Much can be said for a soft launch. And this whole process indeed is: a 'soft launch'.
The principle being that you're not really launching until you know the market is ready, willing and able. And up to this point you have spent very little getting your business through the stages of "ready, set..." and poised for "go".
But when you get to "go" you should consider a launch with significance to make your mark.
- Give people an offer that is 'too good to refuse'
- Make your offer time limited or in limited numbers (depending on what you sell).
Keep building momentum
Now you're off the ground. And you have momentum. See how you can make the next month bigger. It may be bigger sales volumes or simply lower discounts that increase your revenue.
Make sure you reinvest some of the money from the first month to ensure the second month becomes even bigger.
One day business set up online
Powered by Honcho¹ ANZ Business Ready² makes it easier than ever to set up a small business online in just one day.
The ANZ Business Ready tool will guide you step by step through an ABN application, business name registration, setting up a website, business email addresses, a business bank account and more, without having to visit multiple websites or suppliers.
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ANZ have asked me to blog for them. The opinions expressed here are my own and not those of ANZ.