What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan? Part Three
We’ve covered numerous aspects in the past two additions of this series. In part one, we covered why a lean business start-up plan was important. In part two, we discussed some of the administration that needs to take place.
Now in part three, we talk about the actual running of the business.
You will then need to undertake the considerable task of setting up your business. You might need to secure premises and a website whether you have premises or not. You might have produced a product and need to set up manufacturing facilities. Or perhaps you are offering a service and need to hire rooms.
Try to purchase the minimum items you need to get your business going. You don’t want to run out of stock or raw materials, but lack of funds is one of the main reasons for business failure.
Consider your budget when selecting fittings and fixtures for your premises or when hiring someone to create your website. Consider your target market as well when making purchases.
Branding You Business
You will need to create a strong brand for your new business. You will have already chosen a name because this will be in your business plan and should be registered as necessary. So you can now look at creating a logo. Some brands have their name as their logo, for example, Nike & Pepsi. You might wish to add an image to go with your name.
Consider hiring a graphic designer to help you create a logo. This is a very skilled task that is crucial to get right. Look into the meanings of colors before selecting those used for your logo to ensure they reflect your brand. For example, green is calming and ideal for environmental companies. Blue is often used in education or charities because it is a trusting color. Red evokes excitement etc.
When creating a tagline for your business, you should consider the language you use and ensure that this is relatable to your target audience.
A sound pricing strategy is essential and should be realistic. You will need to conduct market research and look at competitor pricing strategies. Pricing should be attractive but also enable you to generate a good profit. Look at supplier costs as well and consider potential price rises of materials, for example, by making sure that your margins have room for maneuver. Include expenses such as packaging materials and postage in your calculations.
Consider the quality of your products. Higher-quality products can demand a higher price, and if you have used lower-quality materials, you will need to adjust your pricing accordingly.
There are many pricing strategies to consider, competitor pricing, decoy pricing, tiered pricing, etc. Remember that there is more to a customer purchasing than just the price. The customer services you provide and trust factors you offer, like reviews, all play a part in whether or not customers will buy your products.
It can be a challenge to adopt a pricing structure different from your competitors, but it could also help you stand out. For example, you might offer app software as a one-off fee, whereas all your competitors offer tiered subscriptions.
You should have the flexibility to monitor changing trends and adjust your prices accordingly like grocers vary the price of fruit and vegetables depending on the season and demand. You might want to consider offers that will entice customers to increase their basket value, such as discounts for bundles or bulk purchases.
Online marketing is fundamental to the success of any business. But there are lots of different threads to online marketing. Here are some of the main ones to look out for.
Social media offers social proof and is essential for new businesses starting now. Research which social media platforms are most suitable for your industry and where your audience is. If you have designed a new product, TikTok is a must. If you are an environmental recruitment agency you will require a strong presence on LinkedIn.
Videos are popular and a great way to expand your reach, so consider how you can incorporate videos into your marketing. You can use a website template or app that embeds the URL of a video on a platform like YouTube on your website. This will ensure any videos on your website don't affect your website speed by slowing it down.
Blogging & SEO
A blog is a great way to reach a wider audience and attract new customers. Consider how you find a new business yourself - you are searching for something. It might be the answer to a question or a service. When you search on Google or another search engine, the responses come up to your inquiry. The challenge with a blog is to write engaging articles that people want to read that can also help your business to appear in search engine results. This is Search engine optimization or SEO.
When you start writing a blog, you need a clear strategy, including a keyword strategy.
There are free keyword checkers that you can use to identify terms or phrases that your potential customers might be searching for. For example, if you produce sunscreen, you will want to look for keywords like ‘staying safe in the sun,' or answer questions like ‘How often should I reapply sunscreen?’
There are keyword strategies you can research and blog lengths can vary in success. Again, this is something you should research and test for your brand. The most important aspect of a blog is to post blogs on your website regularly. The text on your website pages should also be optimized for SEO. Other important aspects of SEO include metatags to help you get found. Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term project like marketing and sales.
Email marketing is essential for any new business as it is much easier to sell to existing
customers than new ones. And if new customers on your mailing list have not yet purchased from you, the more they interact with your brand, the more likely they are to trust and make a purchase.
Ensure that you are emailing customers with something worth their while. It might be industry news that your followers might enjoy, a discount voucher, or updates about your business, such as a change to your opening hours or a new product. Use a separate email address for this activity.
Email marketing can take time to get right. You might wish to employ someone to do this for you, or you can research email marketing yourself. It does require trial and error, and A/B testing is essential to achieve the most from your campaigns.
Leaflets and other traditional marketing methods like business cards can still play a significant role in marketing especially if you provide local services and partake in networking. You might wish to post leaflets through local doors to notify locals of your services. Or you might wish to arrange to leave some leaflets in a suitable location. If you are a local restaurant, you might plan to place leaflets in a local hotel or theater, for example. You can offer to advertise them in return.
Posters can be helpful if you can attend shows and exhibitions etc. They can be a way to increase awareness of your brand. Remember to try to encourage email sign-up at an event so you can stay in contact with people. An email list is important for marketing. You might wish to canvas the local area and meet people. This can be important if you have a local shop or office where you might want to welcome people passing or hand out some leaflets.
Reaching out to other online or offline publications is a great way to grow awareness of your new business. You can invite local press and influencers to your opening event or invite them to come and try your services for themselves.
You can ask businesses associated with yours to link to your website. This is called backlinking and can have a significant impact on your SEO. You can offer guest blog posts. So, for example, if you have set up a wedding planner business, you could write a short 400-word blog mentioning your services but providing some helpful tips and then reach out to a bridal gown shop.
They can publish your article in exchange for the link to your website. Alternatively, you could arrange to interview each other for your blogs in exchange for links to each other's websites. There are different ways to approach this, but the aim is to build networks with your website.
When you reach out to potential business partners, press, and influencers, have a clear goal for what you would like to say, how you would like your business represented, and what you would like to achieve. This way, if an employee or a freelancer takes on this role, they will know how you would like the brand represented.
There are specific sites dedicated to reaching out to reporters, such as HARO and JournoLink, where you can post a summary of your news and hope to get picked up by journalists.
A launch party can be a great way to attract customers to your brand and raise awareness. You can invite press and local influencers to increase exposure to your new business. A launch party doesn’t have to be a large evening affair. It could be as simple as offering taste testing or free samples. You might wish to provide some entertainment, for example, a local band.
Consider your budget and then get an idea of how many people you would like to invite. Think about how you will reach out to people as you might already have a network or wish to widely advertise the event and have as many local people turn up as possible. You might want to host your launch party in a prominent city location, so as many people can attend as possible.
You can allocate your budget to decide on how many people you can invite, what size or location of the venue you can afford, and what suitable entertainment. If you are launching a child business, such as a nursery, you might wish to invite local families to an event. You could put out food and drink and provide appropriate entertainment such as inflatables, crafts, or magicians.
If you are launching a new apparel brand or accessory line, your launch party might look very different. You might wish to invite influencers and industry experts. Choose a trendy location that reflects your brand and wow guests with food and drink. Entertainment might be a live band or a runway to showcase your clothing, handbags, or a new food range.
A small local business offering services might want to open a new venue for people to try the local service. You could take the opportunity to hand out leaflets and include a discount to encourage people to return. Make sure you have a good WiFi connection in the venue and consider setting up a photo area so you encourage as many people as possible to take photos of your launch event and share them on social media.
Now, you can go ahead and open for business! Keep working on all the aspects of business development and continually advertise and market your business. Google has a 6-month penalty for new businesses so it's difficult to rank well until you have passed that first step. This can be particularly challenging for a brand that is online only.
Increasing the traffic to your store or service is the best way to increase sales and this is the same if you have a physical premises or an online business. If you have physical premises, encourage people to step inside and find out more about your brand. Window displays should be enticing and welcoming. You could put a sign outside with a daily message or offer. Staff should welcome customers. If you have an online store, keep reaching out to people, you can use pop-ups on your website to encourage visitors to explore your website further.
Reflection & Adjustment
Once your business is running, keep reflecting and evaluating. There are lots of informative websites that offer advice on enhancing your business. It is a good idea to remain up-to-date with current trends and ideas.
Final Word: What Must an Entrepreneur Do After Creating a Business Plan?
When you have created a lean business plan, there are so many important aspects to setting up your business. Now you have some idea of what must an entrepreneur do after creating a business plan, you can now make your business aspirations a reality.
If you have not formed your business yet, look at the Legal Stepz courses. They take you through the process of incorporating a business, forming a limited liability company, or registering a trademark. It is an affordable option, and the workbook and accompanying video provide a step-by-step way to do it yourself.
Let us know in the comments how your new venture goes!