Launching a new business can be a manic and stressful time. There is so much to think about! So much to do! This is likely to be a time which is fuelled by emotion, even with the best will in the world is easy to lose sight of what you initially set out to achieve. Here are some top tips to help keep you on track.
1. Avoid taking every ‘opportunity’
Your time is precious. Your time is limited. So it is important that you make the best of it.
As time goes by, it is likely that your business will be presented with new opportunities for growth. Evaluate each option carefully before implementing as wildly jumping from one ‘opportunity’ to the next can leave the business strategy disjointed, and your customers confused as to what your brand stands for. Turning down an opportunity or putting a project on hold until a future time, is a perfectly valid strategic decision.
A written business plan is a great tool which can be used to help keep your business on track, and help you avoid being tempted by distractions. The BIPC Northamptonshire can support the creation and development of a business plan with their free Business Plan Template and supporting ‘How to write an effective business plan’ workshop.
2. Work on the business, not in the business
Probably one of the most popular cliches that will have been thrown at you… but likely one of the most important.
Whilst working on the shop floor, do not forget that your job title is not only that of customer service provider/stock controller/marketeer but that of business manager, leader, and overall vision setter. Whilst the day-to-day grind may feel essential, becoming lost in it, is not.
Dedicate some time to regularly come up for air, review your business plan, and think about the strategic decisions you need to make for the business. Although you may be the one giving the pre-flight safety talks, you are the one in the cockpit, and you are the one steering the plane towards either the sky or the ground.
3. Stop and review
Your business journey, especially in the early days, will be undoubtedly a huge learning curve. It is important to stop and reflect upon everything you have learnt and take a step back and review how you can improve the business in the future.
One of the most powerful tools you will have at your disposal will be your numbers. Once you have even a small amount of trading data, you should begin to scrutinise which areas of the business are working hardest for you and which ones need to improve – or even cease.
Depending upon your industry, it is good practice to do this monthly, with a full evaluation each quarter. Reviewing the progress of your business should also be seen as a positive time to praise yourself for everything that you have achieved, and for each target you have met.
4. Never stop undertaking market research
Before launching your business, you will have likely undertaken a huge amount of market research to assess the businesses potential viability. Whilst recent times have brought significant amounts of rapid change, it is important to remember that successful businesses have never stood still.
Desk research via the likes of the BIPC Northamptonshire’s IBISWorld Database, should also continue to be undertaken to help you keep up and prepare for changing future trends, and external factors which may impact your business.
Make the effort to reach out to your customer base, and find out how their lives and purchasing habits may be changing – and what they may wish for you to do to keep up.
Understanding your customer can be the difference between forcing something you already have onto them and providing them with what they want and desire. Only one of these provides a route to long term customer loyalty.
The BIPC Northamptonshire run regular workshops and webinars to support business owners, as well as those thinking of taking their first steps. They are also a great way to start building a supportive business network of likeminded individuals. Visit the events page on our website to view the full list of upcoming webinars and workshops.
You can find out more about all of our services here.