Over the past year, many people have decided to leave employed work and start up their own businesses. This was often the result of losing work through the Covid-19 pandemic or looking for extra means of income through the cost of living crisis. Of course, when you start running your business, you’re going to need to make sure that you keep track of all of the different processes that go into keeping things up and running. Here are a few top tips that will help you to get your business off to the best start!
Product Design and Development
The first process you need to invest time, money and effort into is product design and development. If you’re running your own business, you probably have an idea of what you want to sell. This is good, but you need to make sure that it’s viable and profitable too. Take some time to design your product, determining how it will need to sell for in order to generate a profit. Speak to your target demographic through market research and see what improvements they’d like to be made to the product and to ensure that they’re willing to pay enough for a profit margin.
If you decide to go ahead with your product, you will need to put it through a manufacturing process. The majority of small businesses will outsource this process, as it means you don’t have to invest in expensive machinery, equipment, commercial space or staff to operate the machines. Instead, you can hand the work over to professionals who already have everything needed. Make sure to read reviews and to use companies that have good reviews. Then check in regularly to ensure that production is going to the agreed process.
Of course, you need to make sure that you can fulfill your orders once people start ordering your goods. This is where a good order fulfillment process comes into play. Order fulfillment will take your items from the stockroom, package them up, label them and get them on their way to your customer. Nowadays, people are relatively impatient, as they’re used to fast order fulfillment and delivery through major companies and couriers. It can feel difficult to keep up as a small business, but it’s safe to say that nobody is expecting same day delivery from a start up. Instead, aim to get items to your customers in 3-5 business days with the option of next day delivery for an additional fee. This is pretty standard and expected when shopping with a small business. Many small businesses take care of order fulfillment themselves, but if you experience increased demand, you’ll quickly find that you need support. Outsourcing may be good at this point.
Data Driven Marketing
To maximize sales, you’re going to need to engage with marketing. Marketing is what allows people to know that your product actually exist. It can raise brand awareness, encourage people to make purchases and help your products to stand apart from the competition. At the end of the day, it’s all good and well having great quality products at a great price, but you’re only going to experience success if you make good marketing decisions. Generally, it’s best to use freelancers or hire a team include a copywriter, graphic designer, product photographer and videographer. They will be able to create high quality content that shows your products off in their best light. Then, you need to focus on BI. BI stands for business intelligence and it revolves around the concept of using data to make decisions. Data regarding what marketing strategies and campaigns work – and which don’t – can be tracked in sheets using Power Query. Looking through grouped internal and external data can help you make informed decisions that result in stronger campaigns and drive sales.
You’ll find that your customers have questions to ask about your products and services, ranging from product details to shipping queries and returns questions. You need to make sure that you have a good customer service team ready to listen to these queries and answer them. You should provide as many means as possible for people to get in touch with your team, from instant messaging options to email, phone and more. Train your team fully to ensure that they know how to maintain your company tone of voice and answer any FAQs.
Each of these steps can help you to give your business the best possible start. See which work well for your business and invest time, effort and finances into them. You’ll reap the benefits in no time!