Expecting the Unexpected: Ways to Adjust Your Planning and Ready Your New Business
More new businesses are operating than ever before in American history. The field is ripe and ready for new entrepreneurs ready to make their own path with fresh ideas. Many future business leaders believe that they have a solid plan in place, ready to go, and are just waiting for a return on their work and preparation.
However, there are numerous pitfalls that an entrepreneur might face along the way that can hinder their operation. With only about half of small businesses surviving for five years or longer, a new business leader must make careful decisions when guiding their business on track to long-term success. These tips, recommended by an expert Springfield bankruptcy attorney, will ensure that you know what to look for--and what to avoid--while taking control of your entrepreneurial future.
Know Your Market
In 2020, there were almost 4.5 million new business applications submitted--a 27 percent increase from 2019. This growth showed that, even with ongoing pandemic health concerns, entrepreneurs were ready to leap into the business environment with a plan of action that they believe can lead to ongoing sales.
But it isn’t as simple as having a company that nets a few purchases here and there. A new business connects with its customers when its leader fully understands the market they will be involved in. Ask yourself some initial questions while you’re still in the planning stages:
• What’s the nature of my business? Will I be selling a product or a service?
• What realistic goals do I want to achieve with my business?
• What industry do I want to be in? Retail, manufacturing, software, or something else?
• Will there be any local competitors in my industry of choice?
• Who will be my suppliers? Where and when do they operate, and what’s their pricing?
Some of these questions might seem obvious. Others may be ones you perhaps have not thought of before. At any rate, these are crucial questions that you must ask yourself when structuring your new business plan. Answering these questions will help make your goals easier to achieve in the long run and prepare you for unexpected difficulties that your chosen market may bring.
Targeting the Right Way
With any business and any market, there are customers. And these customers must be adequately engaged by your brand image--the personality they believe your product or service emphasizes. Reaching out to the proper customers for your business is critical towards generating sales numbers.
The fact is, word-of-mouth advertising, or using mediums such as coupons or brochures, are quickly becoming ad items of the past. With customer targeting, digital marketing is a critical area that will help you figure out which portions of the local--or online--population are more prone to starting down the purchase funnel.
Social media provides excellent communication platforms for this. Create a Facebook home page for your business and, if you’d like, pages on other social media platforms (particularly Twitter and LinkedIn). Post visuals and communicate information about new products that you’re selling. Facebook Shops also integrates a mobile-first shopping app that small businesses can use to sell their products directly to their customers.
You can use your page’s news feed to introduce discounts, discuss special events, or communicate with your more active customers. And don’t forget to promote your business’s socials on your personal social media page. If you want to invest more into your digital marketing, then paid search such as Google Ads is also an option. Remember: it’s all about reaching out to the right customers with a steady and dynamic approach.
Built on a Budget
Let’s face it: everything about your new business launch relies on your budget. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a high cash flow. However, a startup budget that isn’t ready for the first day puts a new business on a downward path. No matter your goals and how much money you are expecting to make, you must have your budget ready for day one of your new business launch.
To start, you’ll want to separate your day one costs into different categories to keep better track of them. This planning will put less mental strain on yourself and eliminate the possibility of unexpected budgetary constraints when getting your business up and running. These cost categories include:
• Fixed asset costs such as cars, furniture, and computers that are necessary to set up your workplace location
• Facility costs such as the leased location for your area of operation (an office, store, warehouse, etc.)
• Material and supply costs such as office supplies, as well as promotional and advertising items
• Additional costs that don’t fall under a specific category, such as accountant fees and money for local permits
Once these costs are categorized and calculated, you’ll have a better sense of how your day one budget will look. From there, tallying up ongoing variable expenses such as packaging and shipping costs will be much easier. Estimating realistic monthly sales, in addition, will help you better calculate your sales goals, creating a continuing budgetary plan that enables your business to grow strongly.
The entrepreneurial world can be a scary one, with just as many tales of failure as there are stories of success. To ensure that your new business launches triumphantly and continues on a rising path, adjust your planning and ready your business for these unexpected pitfalls. You’ll be happy that you did, and your business will be properly prepared for the future.