Going into business for yourself is exciting, but what's even better is making it successful. In this post, I'll give you three tips to help ensure your business gets off to a great start.
1. Choose a niche that will sustain you.
This piece of advice is two-fold. The first part involves identifying your target market. Who do you want to sell to? Make this as specific as possible and include demographic information, including age, gender, income level, ethnic background, education level, hobbies and interests, household size, marital status. Some of this information can be found in local Census data or through a Google search, while other pieces may be gleaned from a poll of people in the area where you want to set up your company. You'll also want to understand the psychographic or behavioral characteristics of your target marketing, including their lifestyle, behavior and habits. This info can be gleaned from running surveys, looking at the social media profiles of potential buyers, and conducting focus groups.
The second part of this is to make sure the market is big enough to sustain you. For example, if you wanted to open a daycare for parents who work overnight shifts and were choosing a location, opening up shop near local factories and hospitals would be a better choice than opening in an area where most workers went home at 5:00 p.m. Having a good idea is not enough. Again, you need to make sure you choose a target market that both wants what you have to sell AND is big enough to sustain you.
2. Choose the right business name.
Having the right name for your business can make all the difference. It's what will live on your packaging, bank account and all your marketing materials. A good business name should be catchy, easy to remember and have meaning. These tips are especially important when choosing your website's domain name. In this Internet culture, your website will be one of the first ways potential customers find out about your company. For example, my blog's URL is Entrepreneur-Resources.net because I want it to be a repository of resources for small business owners. Anyone seeing the name immediately understands what they'll get when reading the blog.
I'm in the process now of rebranding my coaching business to focus on helping women entrepreneurs turn their life purpose into a viable business using practical marketing techniques. I'm thinking the domain name will be purpose-driven marketing. coach. This will clearly convey that I'm a coach who teaches purpose-driven marketing. Why .coach instead of .com? Choosing a "not-com" name, like .technology, .solutions, or .fitness, is memorable and creative. It can immediately show customers what your business is about in ways that a .com does not. You also have a better chance of your chosen name being available. I remember the frustration I felt when I was ready to secure a domain name only to find that someone else registered it a few days before. Because these "not com" choices are new, your name or a close variation of it is probably still available to be registered.
If you want more tips on choosing a great name for your next business or project, Name. Kitchen offers tips, advice and inspiration to help you jump-start the name brainstorm. Discover these tools and tips now.
3. Showcase your social proof through success stories and case studies.
In psychology, it's explained that people assume the actions of others when they're uncertain on how they should behave. This means that people will value your product or service more and be more inclined to try it if it's already been enjoyed by other people. For business owners, this means that you should showcase things that show other people why your company rocks. One of the best ways to do this is to include testimonials on your website. Written testimonials are good, but it's even better if you can get your clients to record a quick audio or video message talking about why they loved your product or service. Ask for permission to include your client's name, website address and photo to add even more credibility.
Social proof can also come in the form of longer-form case studies where you walk potential clients through a case where your service provided the solution for another customer. This could be delivered as a blog post or whitepaper. Lastly, as you build the numbers to your email list and social media pages, showcase that. For example, when prompting people to sign up for your newsletter you could write, "Join 5,201 other subscribers who receive these tips." It conveys the message that if over 5,000 people are already reading this newsletter, it must be good. Again, if you've proven to be successful at serving a past client, potential customers will automatically think you might be successful at solving their problems, too.