If you’re considering growing or starting a small business, let me be one of the first to congratulate you. Buckle yourself in because it’s probably going to be a wild ride.
Every business is different and every leader or business owner is also different. You all have your own styles of leadership and skill sets. It’s your job to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are.
That being said, most businesses also have a lot in common and require certain strategies or items to be successful. I have compiled a list of the 10 Essentials any new business will need to acquire, in order to have a decent shot at long term success.
Consider this, approximately 543,000 new businesses get started each month (but more employer businesses shut down than start up each month.) So, the odds of you still being in business, in the next 5 years is 50%.
I hope I didn’t scare you but the numbers speak for themselves. That’s why it’s imperative that you start your business off the right way. The following are the 10 essentials any business will need, to rise above the competition. And if you’re already in business, it’s never too late to implement these ideas.
- A Business Plan. Before deciding on what to name your business you must create a business plan first. Having a business plan doubles your chances for success. Tim Berry, founder of Palo Alto Software says, “Except in a small number of cases, business planning appeared to be positively correlated with business success as measured by our variables. While our analysis cannot say that completing a business plan will lead to success, it does indicate that the type of entrepreneur who completes a business plan is also more likely to run a successful business.”
If you need help and guidance on how to create your business plan please visit SBA.gov.
- Name & Logo. This is the fun part for most people. Naming your business and coming up with a logo can also feel daunting. I find this part of launching a business very exciting. You may have come up with a name very quickly and already have a good idea of what colors you want to use in the logo. I highly recommend that you seek out the services of a professional graphic artist to help you design the logo. You will spend a few bucks to have a nice one created, but the money you spend, will be well worth it. Also, when it comes to naming your business you may want to come up with around 10 of them and then, bounce these names off of trusted friends and family for feedback. Another tip is to go to GoDaddy.com and search the names you have come up. Enter these names in the domain search box. You will find out if the domain exists or not, and will help you narrow down your choices for the name.
- Website and Domain. In today’s marketplace you need to have a website. I also believe that not only do you need to have a website, you need to have a nice website that is mobile optimized. This means that the website is designed to be viewed correctly by people using smartphones and tablets. It’s not enough anymore to just have a website. You need to make sure that you make it easy for the smartphone users to have a good experience while visiting your site. A plus is, Google will rank your website higher on organic searches, making it easier for people to find you online.
- Slogan. A slogan is an advertising tag-line or phrase that businesses and advertisers create that visually conveys the benefits and importance of your product or service. It’s so important that fortune 500 companies spend billions of dollars each year to keep creating and marketing their slogans. If these size companies find value in it, so should you. With a creative slogan, you have the ability to capture more customers with a great brand recall. So how do you create a slogan on a budget? Visit the website GoSpaces.com. They have a slogan generator you can use for a small monthly fee.
- Business Card. I love business cards. To me, they will always be relevant if designed creatively. There are new apps that come out every day that have the ability to scan or create virtual business cards, but I still like the tangible card. I like the idea of handing someone something physically. They can be inexpensive but I would advise you not to be afraid to hire a good graphic artist to design a one-of-a-kind card. I would also consider stepping out of the box and using a material that is not typically used for business cards. Consider unique materials like plastic and metal for your next business card order. Remember, you want your business to stand out and not look like everyone else.
- Social Media Platforms. Just like websites were once considered a must-have for any business, social media has now joined those ranks. YOU MUST be on some social media platforms if you’re going to stay relevant. These are where the eyeballs are now. Take a look around you anywhere in public. What do you see everybody doing? Staring at their phones. And more than 75% of them are on one or more social media platforms. Without a doubt, I would first encourage you to create a Facebook Business page, depending on your type of business you’re in. I would also recommend that you create a YouTube channel and maybe even an Instagram account. Oh, and don’t forget about a LinkedIn page, if you’re trying to reach a professional like an attorney or physician. I could go on and on about the importance of social media but I’ll conclude with this: Get your business on social media and if you need professional help, then get it. May I suggest you contact my company, SuccessRocketMarketing.com. We can create custom made contact and post it at the right time of day to reach more potential customers for you.
- Online Directory Listings. For those of you who still spend money or are considering spending money on listing your business in the local phonebook, please don’t waste your money. Allocate those monies to getting your business listed on online directories. The physical phone book is dead! Nearly everyone has a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop and everyone knows about Google. When someone needs a phone number, directions or to check the weather, they are using the internet to do it. Step into the new world where your customer’s are living and your success in engaging with them increases greatly, when your business is where the eyeballs are.
- Trust Trigger. A trust trigger is a service or product that is priced low but is worth double or triple what you are charging for it. This offer helps build trust between you and the customer. When your customer takes possession of the item/service and it exceeds their expectations in a big way, they are highly likely to come back to you again and again. Take time to develop and market your trust trigger. It will pay off for you in a big way. Remember, people do business with people they know, like and most importantly, TRUST!
- Video Testimonials. This is going to some work on your part and the willingness of your customer to go on video and speak highly of you, your product or service. And in order for a customer go on video and give you a great testimonial, you would have had to delivered what you promised. In most cases, even more than you promised. Nothing is more powerful than a customer recommending you. Remember this, when you say something good about yourself, it’s bragging. When someone else says something good about you, it’s proof! Spend the money and hire a production company or marketing company to create this money making testimonial video.
- A 5 Star Reputation. Our society has become ‘review’ driven. Everywhere you look, you will see a review of the latest movie, restaurant, or hotel. You can’t get away from them and neither can your business. In the last 12 months the online marketing game has changed dramatically. The masses are going online to read and leave online reviews about what they like or dislike about everything. Including your business. Did you know that 97% of consumers aged 18-34 read online reviews to judge a local business? It’s imperative that you strategize a way to get your customers to leave you reviews everywhere online, including Google, Yelp, Yahoo, Bing, Trip Advisor, and countless others. If you’re unsure of how or what direction to take, contact www.SuccessRocketMarketing.com for help. This is probably one of the most important strategies you can implement for long term business success.