With so many success stories of businesses started online it can be tempting to try and claim your own piece of the pie. Although this ambition should be commended there are a few things to consider before investing time and money into a new venture.
The internet may have made it easier for businesses to connect and advertise on the cheap but it also means there is a lot of competition. You need to ask yourself if your business is:
- Better than the competition
- Offering something new or different to what’s already on the market
- Capable of keeping up with changes to stay ahead of the competition
- Great value to your customers.
Essentially when starting out you will be taking customers or clients away from other businesses that provide your service. Few people like change especially if things are ticking along nicely. This throws up a whole host of other questions such as:
- Is there a compelling incentive for the client to move providers?
- What’s in it for the client/customer in the short and long term?
- What can you do to entice trust as a new company?
How easy would it be for them to switch? Top Tip – If a customer has to fill in lots of paperwork, cancel current providers and use their free time to switch, they won’t unless an offer is incredible.
Without a history or a reputation you need something incredibly attractive to bring customers to you.
The online and offline businesses that succeed are those who are started by people with an absolute passion for what they do. They love their work so much that they’d happily live on bread and water as they see it build up. This passion shines through as they undoubtedly strive every day to provide the absolute best. Unless you can provide the best or the cheapest it may be worth looking elsewhere.
To determine whether you have the skills you need to consider how you’ll bring the customers in. Will you use the internet? Face to face? Then, when you have customers how will you serve them day to day?
Having a great website is a good starting point but do you have the skills to update it? To send out emailers, to blog, to keep customers up to date? If not you may need to outsource and your budget should reflect this.
Unless you’ve time to spend training with Google to create adwords campaigns it’s always best to hire a professional adwords agency. This way, you can be sure of a profit while being able to spend time on your business, as adwords campaigns take a lot of time and training to pull off.
Once you have customers you need to keep them. Market research is crucial before starting a business but once started you need to analyse your client’s behaviour to drive growth.
An understanding of Google Analytics is essential to monitor behaviour and to ensure you continue to give your customers what they want, as just as you did, there will be thousands of competitors looking to steal your customers starting up every day.
This is just a short overview of the most basic areas that must be considered before starting a business. There are many more facts to consider and if you can tick all the boxes you have a good chance of making your business work.
If you’re looking for funds to start a business a tax rebate could help. Check out Tax Rebate Services to see if you’re entitled to a windfall which could help you go a long way. If you’re in the research and development industry, you could be entitled to research and development tax credits which are worth a lot of money, thousands in fact. Make sure you know what you’re entitled to by visiting DSM R and D Tax Credits.