So, like thousands of Americans annually, you’re ready to start your own business. You’re ready to work your own hours, to write your own paychecks, and to get everything out the business that you put into it. Right? Except it isn’t that easy.
And the simple truth is that if your startup does fail, it almost certainly won’t be because your product or service wasn’t good. It will be because the plan to get that product to your consumers was flawed. So what can you do to ensure that the consumer not only knows about your product, but is also interested in purchasing it?
Here are few common mistakes to avoid when starting a new business.
1. Pick the Proper Name
In the end, the single most important thing you can do for your startup is to pick the proper name. It needs to be basic, to the point, and give the consumer a clear idea of what service you’re providing to them. This seems so simple, yet you’d be surprised how many entrepreneurs mess this up.
Say you’re starting up a restaurant, and your signature dish is a family recipe burger recipe from your Uncle Chuck. Understand that while naming your restaurant “Uncle Chuck’s” may have major symbolism to you personally, it means nothing to the consumer. How will they know the business you’re running is a restaurant? How will they know what you serve? What makes you stand out from the competitors?
Remember, the name you choose will stick with your business forever. Sometimes simplicity — or at the very least, common logic — is key.
2. Don’t Undervalue a Good Marketing Strategy
Fees always run high with a startup, but in this day and age, one place to cut costs is marketing. Granted, you absolutely need to market your product. But in 2013, how you market your product is key. Therefore, instead of printing flyers and brochures (which can get expensive), use social media to your advantage. Include giveaways, coupons, and advertise in-store specials through your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that people not only have a reason to follow or “Like” you, but also actually show up to your store. In 2013, social media should be your best friend.
3. Do a Pre-Launch
When you first start a company or business, the immediate end game shouldn’t be turning a profit in the first month, but instead, should be about building buzz and creating a customer base. There’s no better way to do that than with a pre-launch.
Pre-launches can be advertised through your social media channels (again, for free!), and should be an easy way to encourage people to come check out your service. And once you actually do get people in the door, give them a reason to come back. Include discounts to return customers, and free products for those who bring back friends in their second visit.
What’s better than building a customer base before you even officially open your doors?