Many people have high hopes for the new year, and entrepreneurs are no exception – 2017 promises exciting new developments in the business realm, including new technologies, data analytic capabilities, and consumer trends. In today’s evolving climate, there is potential for many new business ideas. Congratulations to you if you’re starting a business this year! Start on the right foot with these four business tips.
Build a Business Plan
Many aspects of starting a business have changed over the years, but one element has remained constant – the business plan. The business plan has not gone out of style. In fact, it may be more fashionable than ever. A detailed plan that projects your future revenue, explains how you will handle challenges, and establishes measurable goals is a must have in the modern business sphere. Your plan is often the only document potential investors and lenders will look at before deciding whether to back your company. Your business plan should carry you through the first critical years of business and serve you well far into the future.
We are at the height of the age of connectivity, and networking holds a more important place in business than ever. Without networking, a business can hardly hope to get on its feet in today’s highly competitive marketplace. Luckily, networking is also easier than it ever has been, thanks to social media platforms. Social media is your chance to spread brand awareness, interact with your target audience, and make friends in high places. Social media isn’t a phase – it’s a staple in the modern business place. Learn which trends are dominating social media this year to make the right impact.
More and more consumers are turning toward a brand’s profiles on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram to make purchasing decisions. Start a business profile on a few different social platforms if you haven’t already. Then, learn as much as you can about your platforms when it comes to social media marketing. Different platforms call for different etiquette. Find out which demographics use the platform the most often and tailor your content for the correct users. Social media marketing is a complex subject, but it’s a necessary one to master as a small business in 2017.
Know Your Industry
This is the year of the savvy consumer. Gone are the days when consumers blindly supported a company just because it offered the product or service they sought. Today, consumers have the World Wide Web. They do research before choosing which companies to support, looking for specific traits and qualities that place them above the competition, such as better cost vs. value, brand personality, or commitment to the environment/community. To survive in the modern business place, your company must know your industry and its audience in and out.
Figure Out Financing
Without proper financing, even the best business ideas will founder. Before you get in over your head, hammer out the fine details of financing. Figure out where you are going to get your initial startup capital – will it be from investors, family members, business loans, or a combination of these sources? Then, come up with a plan for the future. Ideally, your business will take off and deliver returns right away. More realistically, though, you will experience highs and lows. You may have cash-flow shortages because of slow customer payments or a tight budget.
Look into invoice factoring as a simple, affordable, fast way to fill revenue shortages and keep your business afloat when times are tough. Invoice factoring can give you immediate money you can use as necessary. This might be your year as a small business, but only with the proper preparation. These four tips are a great place for new business owners to start.