The entrepreneurial journey is an exhilarating one, albeit a bit frightening as well. Between the uncertainties of the market and the socio-political trends that shape it, and the numerous competitors targeting your demographic and fighting for their love and attention, building a solvent company without busting the bank can seem like an insurmountable task.
Not only will you need to learn the fine art of meticulous financial management, but you will also need to market your way to popularity and recognition in an already crowded industry, all the while building a strong employee collective to take your brand forward. Let’s take a look at five essential lessons that will allow you to achieve all of these goals.
Understanding the power of the brand
The brand is the heart and soul of a company. If this doesn’t mean much to you, then simply ask yourself how you intend to make your business stand out in a sea of competitors. With amazing products? stellar services? With innovation and catchy advertising? Nobody cares, and after all, every single one of your key competitors is doing the same.
If you want to elevate your name above everyone else, you will need to strike an emotional cord with your audience. You need to build a striking brand identity. Your company’s presence needs to evoke the right emotions and incentivize the potential customer to check you out and fall in love with everything that you stand for.
To achieve this, you will need to define a set of values and weave them into your content, your messages, and your communication. Build a compelling, modern visual presence that will inspire trust and make browsing through your website a breeze for new customers. Before you launch, always ask yourself if your brand identity is unique enough to be remembered.
Invest, don’t splurge
Meticulous financial management is the key to surviving your first year, and every other year until you start generating revenue and stabilize your cash flow. Understand that while you should invest in your new company, that doesn’t mean that all financial projections and plans should go out the window for the sake of having an ornate fountain in the lobby, or a kick-ass entertainment center in the rec room.
Instead, stick to the plan and invest in the most crucial aspects of your business first. Determine the key drivers of growth in the first year, and focus on building those departments first. For many new businesses, these will include communication and customer service, marketing, and talent accumulation.
Clear communication and stellar customer service
In the modern business world, the thin red line of success stands firmly between companies that communicate with their audiences, and those that stay silent. If you want to be on the winning side, you will need to invest in creating an efficient and effective communications infrastructure for your brand.
Focus on building a strong customer service team that will be able to communicate with your existing and potential customers in person. Brands that decide to buy a 1300 number or a similar virtual corporate number early on will open their doors to the world from day one, and thus prevent the pitfalls of poor brand-to-consumer communication. Complement efficient phone communication with chat, email, and even a chatbot, and you will be able to handle large volumes of requests and inquiries with ease.
Marketing is expensive, but you need it
There is no denying that marketing plays a vital role in deciding the ultimate fate of a company. A poorly-devised marketing plan has the power to bury your company before it’s even off the ground, but it also has the potential to propel your brand forward. With that in mind, it’s important to have a large marketing budget at the ready.
You should cover all fronts, including online and offline if you want to market your brand in the real world, so try not to spend your entire budget on your digital agency – leave something for the traditional media outlets.
Strive to attract and retain talent
The last point you need to take to heart before you launch is that a great team is worth more than the most creative of marketing campaigns. More importantly, a strong employee collective can help any business idea develop to its full potential, which is why you need to surround yourself with industry professionals early on. Create a positive work environment and inspire your employees to love their job, and you will have already won half the battle.
You are launching a company in an opportune business environment, and an opportune corporate era – but that doesn’t mean that success will come easy. There are certain lessons you need to take to heart if you are to pave the road to solvency, so let these insights shape your growth strategy and get your brand ready for launch day.