The Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Small Business

Starting any new business is something like a new life beginning, where people have to face many challenges that they don’t expect at the initial stages or don’t realise until things go out of control.

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By Luke Sharkey / Growth Marketing Manager

Every business begins with an idea – sometimes an idea alone with no other resources necessary for starting a business.

Many people make the mistake of underestimating things beyond their idea and take the planning and execution lightly. Or they think that their idea or their product can easily sell in the market and other contributing factors of a successful business can be neglected.

Are you confused? Let me explain this to you in a better way. Many product designers or engineers, who have a brilliant idea or product, make the mistake of not understanding the importance of marketing. Either they ignore marketing, try to do themselves, or hire inexperienced marketing professionals to run the campaign.

Ultimately, it leads to the failure of the product as it failed to be noticed in the market. Several stories prove how the lack of marketing or bad marketing didn’t allow some innovative products to get off the ground. One of the most recent examples to this is the launch of premium class Phaeton by Volkswagen in 2002.

The full-size luxury car failed because of bad marketing. The car maker couldn’t understand its product positioning and made a demographic miscalculation.

While this example depicts the product launch failure of a global car maker, it applies to small businesses as well.

Are you planning to launch your idea into the market in the near future, or do you have a plan to start a small business? Then consider the following things as they can contribute to or derail your success.

Imagination Vs. Reality

Making yourself ready for taking up any challenges is important in defining your business success. There are situations where you have to take three steps forward and two steps backwards when running the business.

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Note that there is no business with a steady, upward sloping graph. You should be able to distinguish the imagination versus reality. Never set any unrealistic goals that are beyond your capability, budget, or market requirements.

Always analyse your expertise, what you’re good at, what you can achieve in a realistic time-frame, and set the goals for your business. With the budget alone, you can’t ensure the success of your business, but that needs your hard work and dedication as well.

Get ready to analyse multiple business challenges and be enthusiastic to solve all those hurdles. You may face an emotional detachment due to chaos in the business, a financial brink, or challenges in the supply chain. Understand that business, be it small or large, is not a cakewalk, and your approach to it makes a difference.

Do proper research before you start your business. It can help you to identify the market size of your business, the pain areas of your potential customers, what their expectations are, and much more. It can not only help you to create superior products but can focus on highlighting that in the marketing strategies and connect with potential customers more easily.
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Identify What Can Fuel You

When you’re running your own business, you’re all alone and have to do all the responsibilities and tasks yourself. This is the opposite of a regular job, where you have a sense of community with your co-workers. Even if you have co-founders, you may often need to carry the burden alone.
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It’s good to communicate with a business owner whom you can relate to and share your experiences and thoughts to come out of your gut feelings. You can also talk to your friends and vent out your emotional frustrations as you have to be focused and motivated to drive results.
Note that you have the fire to do more and make things happen. That is the reason you’re planning to float your own venture. You just need to identify what can fuel your business journey when it comes to emotional support. Recharge yourself with the fuel, focus on your goal, and start roaring again.

Pay Attention To The Numbers

It is critical to pay attention to your numbers as it says where you’re heading and give you early warning on potential dangers. Try to understand your business with numbers as it gives you a comprehensive vision.

How much do you spend to get a customer? Are your operational expenses going out of control? Are your marketing campaign expenses optimised for customer conversion? How much is a customer worth to your business?

Based on your customers’ spending pattern, you can segment them and offer customised campaigns and services to increase ROI.

You can also focus on numbers such as how much profit you make per product, what is the profitable discount you can offer to your customers, and much more. The numbers tell you something that is important for your business:
What’s costing you money and where does it go?

Better control over your business means you know the full scope of it.

Give you confidence in your business decisions.

You also better understand what your accountant is telling you.

Do you go through your profit and loss statement, cash flow statement, and balance sheet?
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Adaptability Fits You On The Market

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Regardless of the type of business or the industry, adaptability is an important factor that decides how you fit the requirements of the market. Note that any great idea takes many shape changes when it becomes a product, based on the needs of the market.

Listen to Eric Koester, the co-founder of Zaarly, an online peer marketplace. According to Eric, “you are going to run the company almost 10,000% differently than what your original idea or how you began with.” He continues that the best business owners and entrepreneurs are quick to adapt to the market conditions for getting their product rightly placed in the market.

Eric emphasises to business owners to expect the change in requirements and embrace it before others do. He also adds that how a business adapts to changes decides its success in the market.

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Online Visibility: The Identity Of Your Business

Online visibility is the identity of every modern business. As soon as your potential customers hear about your products, they tend to search for it online. If your business doesn’t have an online presence, then it can be business suicide as your targeted customer group may find your business to be untrustworthy.

On the other hand, excellent online visibility, including your business’s website, social media pages, and third-party review sites listings with a good number of reviews, can tell your customers that you’re doing trustworthy business. This online visibility is also important to bring new customers to your business.

Regardless of the size of your business, online presence should be an important strategy of your business. With efficient use of digital marketing options such as SEO, social media marketing, and content marketing, you get the option to present your products and services to the people who are searching for that.

If you’re unsure on how to do online marketing, choose the service of a professional digital marketing firm. If you choose a digital marketing firm that provides website development, they can provide you with a full-fledged online platform that is optimally designed for the best online visibility.

Engage With Your Audience

Engaging with your audience is important in creating trust in them, converting them to be your customers, and using them as your brand-message carriers. Note that no customer is interested in interacting with a faceless or nameless organisation.

They want someone who warmly responds to their needs and understands their pain points and issues. Content marketing is an excellent way to create your audience and engage with them. Create online content that can educate and entertain your audience and make them followers of your brand.
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Based on the type of products, you can choose various content strategies ranging from blogs to e-books. Creating social media channels for your business and engaging your audience with articles, videos, images, and more are a great way to nurture them to customers.

If you don’t have the time or expertise to run content marketing, choose a content marketing firm with clear goals for you. They can identify the pain points of your customers, the topics that can excite them, and create and publish highly engaging blogs. They will also help to create online authority for you in your industry.

Be Open To Mistakes

There is no business without any mistakes, and every successful business has several hundreds of mistakes and failure stories. Go through this article that describes the biggest product failures and mistakes of Google that wasted billions.

Similar to adaptability, the ability to be open to mistakes can also define the destiny of your business. It’s not the mistake, but what you learn from it and how you can overcome it is very important. Maybe you’re learning best from your mistakes.

Creating a business culture that accepts mistakes is important in that journey. For that, you have to do a number of things.

Always keep your ego at the doorstep before entering the company.

Don’t be afraid of mistakes and failures.

Analyse each mistake and find the actual reason for it.

Be optimistic.

Celebrate your successes.

Conclusion: You’re Not Good At Everything

As discussed before, you can’t be good in every area of your business, and you should choose experts in areas where you are not proficient. For instance, website development or digital marketing campaigns can be beyond your expertise.

Therefore, you need the assistance of a digital marketing expert or a reputed agency. When your business demands it, don’t wait, just go for it. Your competitors are there to serve the requirements of your potential customers. Be ahead of them.

Adaptify offers comprehensive website development and digital marketing services to various industries throughout Australia. With nearly a decade of reputed service, we can better interpret the needs of your customers and make yourself visible for them.

Get a free consultation from our digital marketing consultants and leverage the online ecosystem for your business growth. Call us on 1300 423 566 or have a chat with us online with your questions and requirements.

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