When you’re starting a business, you can be full of a blinding optimism. Having that positive energy is genuinely important and not something you should be aiming to lose as you establish the business. However, it does tend to make new business owners a little less aware of the risks that could see them stumbling into the market, rather than rocketing through it. Here are five of the early risks you need to remind yourself to be aware of, and what you can do about them.
When creating your business brand, make sure that communicating the purpose of your business, in real terms, is always at the forefront of your mind. Simply put, there have been plenty of businesses out there that have tried to be so abstract with their branding that their audience doesn’t actually realise what goods or services they provide. If you decide to rebrand your business because it simply doesn’t get the reception you needed, then make sure that you start with your goals and how your business helps your clients or customers first of all. You can get into the more abstract concepts surrounding the business through your marketing, but a strong, simple brand core is wise.
Simply put, if you don’t have any plans for the future of your business, it’s all too easy to see any victories you achieve become all too short-lived. A business plan isn’t just an idea of what you need to start a business and keep it running, but it also lists out your goals, showing you where you should be reinvesting for the continued growth of the business. If you don’t have such a plan, then you might end up reinvesting nothing or putting your money in the wrong place, which can mean that growth falters and your business starts to stagnate instead. If you’re not planning the road ahead, then it’s not too late to get started now.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma about startups and small businesses. They are unproven, so many clients will give them the side-eye and may opt to do business with a more established brand. You will be working to build the reputation that smashes this stigma over time, but you should also actively try to fight it. For instance, it has become common for the smallest of businesses, such as home businesses, to use a virtual office service to set up a professional address and phone number that lends them a better brand image. Professionalism in presentation, from business cards to the site to how you dress, will all help ensure the right kind of image so that you don’t have to deal with that stigma as often.
Neglecting the customer
At the very start, working on developing the very best quality of products and services might be your first concern. It will be the backbone of what supports your business’s success, after all. However, just as important is that you are reaching out to make sure your customers and clients are happy with said products and services. Offering adequate support means being there to solve any issues your audience might have, as well as giving the platform to air any grievances and to lend you feedback. Nowadays, it’s much easier to do this online with live webchat that can help customers get in touch with your or a member of the team much more quickly than they could in the past.
Not investing in marketing
A lot of new business owners will put too much of their revenue towards sales, which is important for bringing in new customers. However, without an adequate marketing budget, you’re going to quickly run out of the people who make up your sales material. A lot of startup owners see marketing as inherently risky since you don’t know for sure what kind of ROI you’re going to get until the marketing campaign is up and running. However, organic marketing can help you cut down the costs, while still getting your brand name out there. You should invest in direct advertising but, if you’re feeling risk-averse, you can balance more in the direction of organic marketing, instead.
Success in business isn’t just about providing good products and services, it’s about always being aware of the different risks that stand to tip the scales against you. Be aware, be prepared, and be ready to implement solutions to those risks and you will be in much better standing than most.