Starting up your own business is an exciting and sometimes scary time. It’s hard to know what the best strategy to take is, but there are a few things that should never be neglected such as accounting advice, brand identity, an online web presence, and effective customer relationship management. Here are a few essential tips designed to help those embarking on a small business start-up in 2012 and 2013.
Employ an Accountant to Help with the Business Plan
After coming up with your business idea which is probably the hardest part, you will need to get into the administrative steps required to successfully implement the project. In order to do this properly it will help if you have the right advice. I would advise that all small business start-ups employ an accountant as they can advise you properly on what the steps are and how you should proceed.
Some accounting firms specialize in supporting business creation or for very small enterprises. These accountants will advise you and help you to prepare a business plan which is essential when going to the bank in order to raise finance.
Create a Memorable Brand and Visual Identity
The visual identity of a company will help to differentiate itself from others and can also communicate your brand and services to the target audience. Take care and time over your logo, slogan, design, and company name so that your brand will be recognized once in the market. If you are not skilled with graphic design then you might want to look at employing an agency to help design your business documents and media (whether for online or print).
Make Sure Your Company is Online
Internet strategy has become almost indispensable when creating a small business start up. In temrs of an online strategy try to think about what the web can bring to your business? What are the business opportunities you can find online? What is the competition already doing? Some aspects often neglected in web design for small businesses are items such as search engine optimization, online advertising, web analytics, and usability.
Engage in Customer Relations
Once your business has started trading you should organize your prospects and convert as many opportunities possible. Above all, listen to what your customers are saying so you know what they want.
Thanks to the Internet, brands and companies have never been so close to their customers, especially with the advent of social media networks which are a window to the general public. That’s why CRM (customer relationship management or customer relationship management) have so publicity these days, especially now that the cloud has transformed the world of software, through innovative companies such as Salesforce.com.
You should aim to know everything that the public and your customers are saying about your brand on social networks and should be prepared to respond in real time to any potential or existing customers. This is an opportunity that no company should ignore. This is exactly what some CRM solutions offer as they can help to manage the many channels of customer service.
Jane Middlecamp is a business advisor for a financial blog. For more business advice relating to small companies and start-ups, she personally advises the Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine. For more information you should read this Bloomberg Businessweek Review.