20 Jun 2017
You’ve got the best idea for a business, you know what you’re doing, you’re enthusiastic, you’re a hard worker, and you’ve read all the business mogul autobiographies you can lay your hands on. So it seems unfair that there’s still no guarantee that your business will succeed.
Whilst a mediocre performance or lack of success could be attributed to market conditions or sheer bad luck, there are a number of measures you can take to ensure that things outside of your control have less chance of derailing your plans to become the next Lord Sugar.
It’s vital to have a business plan as it not only forces you to think about your goals and how you might achieve them, it also enables you to monitor progress against those goals.
The likelihood of attracting clients or customers without you having to lift a marketing finger are pretty much zero. If people don’t know who you are, where to to find you or find out what you do, it’s obvious that they’re not going to be spending money on you. So it’s up to you to go and find potential clients, then shout about what a great product or service you’re providing.
Remember that you and your brand are now one and the same thing, so you must take care to portray both in a good light. If you’re based in Hertfordshire, check out Ambition 17, a one-day sales and marketing conference aimed at helping small business owners and solopreneurs shine light on their businesses. If you book before the end of July, take advantage of the early bird rate of an extremely affordable £79.
Thought leaders are experts in their field who use social media to share their expertise and the benefit of their experience. Build up a reputation by writing blogs about your specialist field – not only will they prove your expertise, they will also build up trust in you and your brand, eventually leading clients to seek you out because they know they can trust you.
Another way of doing this is to go on social media to give useful tips and invite questions from people who need advice. Be pro-active, find online forums and contribute to the threads, or go on local business-related groups such as @HertsHour on Twitter.
We all like new and exciting things, and there’s a huge temptation to rush after the latest trend or fad – this is known as the ‘shiny object syndrome’. But don’t be distracted! Unless you own a novelty shop that relies on a never-ending stream of new gimmicks, focus on your core business and stick to finishing the projects you have. If the lovely, new, shiny object is still around when you’re ready to move on, then by all means investigate it with a view to integrating it into the business. But the more you’re distracted from your goals, the less likely you are to reach them.