Starting a new business is an exciting time for anyone. While your new business idea may have been created out of a curiosity or a passion, the main goal for the majority is to drive profit and make significant amounts of money.
Even some of the largest brands around have struggled to make a profit from day one however this is not to say it is unachievable; we’ve put to together some tips on how to make your new business profitable from the onset:
Do some research
The chances are you have a basic business model; it’s now time to do some basic market research. These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself and your potential customers:
- What is your target market?
- How much is the consumer willing to pay for your product?
- What puts your product ahead of anything else in the market?
- How much is your product going to cost to produce?
- How much profit should you make per product?
There are a number of ways of carrying out market research these days, whether that’s old fashioned out-on-the-street surveying, social media polls, mailing lists or online questionnaires.
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Build brand awareness
Potential the hardest part about starting a new business is creating a brand and getting your name out there sometimes referred to as creating a ‘buzz’. There are a number of ways to creating brand awareness; the most effective will be dependent on your niche and the product you are selling:
Website: Your first stop nowadays should always be the internet when looking to build a brand. Always set up a website prior to launching your business; the longer you have a website the more chance you are giving yourself of getting visitors and becoming visible on search engines.
Search Engine Visibility: Now that you’ve set up a website, you now need to get some visitors or ‘traffic’ on there. There are a number of methods of getting traffic to your website however one of the most effective is via the search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. To increase your visibility you need to increase your rankings on your targeted keywords. Generally speaking, the larger the niche, the higher the competition therefore the longer it will take to climb the rankings.
Social Media: It’s hard to ignore the importance of social media these days. TechCrunch revealed that in February 2010 that 175 Million people log into Facebook everyday – an audience that you are unlikely to find anywhere else. Create a Twitter and Facebook page and start marketing to your followers; potentially offering incentives such as free products to increase your following.
Offline Advertisements: Whilst many choose to use the internet as the staple of their marketing campaign, however offline advertisements such as flyers, billboards and business cards still have their value in a marketing campaign.
Using methods such as social media to build brand awareness will differ in successfulness depending on your niche. For example if you are starting up a clothing brand, then sites such as Facebook and Twitter will probably be very successful. Whereas if you are in the finance niche such as a guarantor loans provider you may find it tough to gain any kind of social media presence.
Another great way of boosting your chances of being profitable is to build relationships with successful people in your niche – not your competitors. There are a number of ways of doing this;
Visit Conferences: Conferences will be full of people just like you searching for ways in which to improve their business plan. The top conferences that happen once a year will often come at a pretty steep cost.
LinkedIn: This social media website for business professionals. The whole idea of LinkedIn is to allow users to connect with other networkers in order to access knowledge, insights and opportunities. LinkedIn now has over 175 Million members.
Contact Local Professionals: The great thing about contacting local organisations is that due to the proximity it is very easy to organise meetings and group chats. If they are an established business the chances are they’ll have a wealth of knowledge that they may be willing to share with you.
Whether or not your business is profitable from day one will be dependent on yourself and the quality of your business model. Providing you have put enough time into doing the research, establishing a brand and building relationships there is no reason your business will not make significant profits from the early stages.