Setting up shop or starting any business may bring out all sorts of weird. Whether it be anxiety and nerve-wracking emotions or feelings of anticipation, thrill and excitement is dependent upon the amount of preparation and planning you have made before any soft or formal opening.
For any type of business to actually succeed, a good business plan along with an effective marketing plan is needed. In between the activities of getting the word out, selecting suppliers, down to planning budget and finances, spending enough time in making your startup marketing plan is vital in translating your business plan into an operational success formula. All the more important when you’re starting with what is essentially a bare room of a business.
Success in business, they say, is not achieved overnight, much less in the blink of an eye. More often than not, it involves hard work and patience (sometimes even getting down on all fours just to get things done). The key is to targeting the correct audience with the right products thereby, avoiding wasting both time and money.
Having said that, you must start by laying down the bricks that make for a strong and solid foundation for your planned business.
In choosing a market for your business, a lot of factors need to be considered. As such, the main factors to be considered are the following:
Another element here in market selection is, after identifying a clear market target, you have to be aggressive enough to strike hard and grab a generous portion of the market share.
(An in-depth explanation of these factors can be found in the article “Better Together Market Research Business.”)
In today’s strange and modern age, even antique shops and stores have their own websites. Google is a dear old friend you call up when you need something. Anything. And with that in mind, having a keyword list that you can use for your website, blogs, and other social media is important in making your brand or business more searchable in Google or any other search engine.
When I, the customer, need…say, goats (fill in the blanks with your product)…what do I type in the search engine? That is the language of your customers—make sure you know what phrases they will be using. Speak their language.
Creating a list of words and phrases that highly relate to your brand is the main point of this exercise. Be sure to incorporate your value proposition into your keyword list as in what your business is selling or offering to the customers.
For every business, the definition of success may be spelled out differently from the other. For a small run-off-the-mill company, success may mean a $500 profit for a service job. For another business, only a monthly revenue of no less than $50,000 would mean success.
Creating a specific and measurable goal is as important as making it attainable and relevant. There is difference between reaching for the stars and merely dreaming of them. Mankind has shown this in a way by reaching the moon. Well, the moon is not a star, but the point here is thinking of achieving something is entirely different from doing and achieving the actual thing.
Success, they say, is much like happiness. It depends on whose eyes you are peering through. It is therefore important for you to sit down with your staff or team and discuss how success will be defined in order for everybody to be on board and prepared to achieve that goal.
An important contributing factor for continued success is consistency. It plainly means there will be no letting up of the intensity that everyone had given at the initial phases of operation. The process of growing is of continual change and adaptation. Commitment to providing the same fierceness and aggressiveness in dedication to the business is needed to maintain desired results.
Measuring success means you have points where quantifiable measurements can be taken. Selecting these points is vital in gauging your actual progress or success. Never try to measure everything. You’ll end up being a nutjob sooner than being billionaire bachelor or whatever wild debonair success story you may come up with.
Point is, selecting a few quality metrics that are accurate and specific can depict actual results rather than if you had a multitude of data that would only take longer to process and get you nowhere. Milestones keep you on track and are a way of assessing where you presently are in your business plan.
For startups, the conversion rate is very important when building a customer base. Factors that determine the values of your conversion rate must be eyed carefully. Growth rate is closely related to conversion rates and determining the conversion rate is key to measuring your progress.
Assigning correct values to instances that are considered complete or “converted” customer is important when collecting the correct statistical data. Knowing the value behind the conversion of your leads can help you forecast and assign values to your targets or goals.
Here are a few helpful points in improving your website conversion rate:
When everything is said and done, it all boils down to money. How much do you have allocated for the startup marketing plan? Marketing plans are necessary to have in conjunction with a startup of a business, but it does not come without a price.
Coming up with leads and qualifying them need both time and money. Be sure to have a clear set budget with limits in relation to your return of investment assessment. Your budgeting should also include in how you plan to distribute or allocate funding to any marketing tactics in place.
Now, here are a few examples of what people normally do with the marketing moolah instead of aimlessly splurging and sending it down the drain hoping something would stick.
Yes, again. Facebook and Twitter are for free but the ads are not. Posting your banner ads and then boosting them increases your reach and should bring in a few more customers. Now all this of course lies in the premise of your business having a social media account. But hey, who doesn’t have one nowadays? The platform and timing will depend on your target demographic, but unless you are trying to sell to the Amish or the Luddite, this is one channel you cannot ignore.
Get your marketing staff off their asses and have them find a way to get attention to your business. Sponsoring a contest and donating proceeds to the winner’s charity is one sure way. How about hosting a dinner for media people for a press release? Or flying clients off to the Bahamas on a sponsored trip—anything that is exciting enough to grab attention and point it to your products. In the world of big money, he who entertains is king.
Most consumers these days only have trust in one persona for all their needs—the Internet. Search engines like Google make money by having ads on their site and posting these ads in conjunction to a search term or word. Having worked on your keyword list, aligning it with Google Adwords should be no problem.
This increases not only traffic to your website but also adds to the probability of more conversions. Just don’t get too complacent and put all your eggs in that Google basket, though. Google Ads can also mean the pitfall for your business if you don’t constantly review all the keywords and phrases that you are paying for. Any current top trends in the market change and so should your keywords and phrases.
Though a tad traditional, conferences and expos still exist and are still a very good way to create leads and conversions on the spot. Get a booth and have potential customers immediately inquiring about your business and your products. This is another way to expand your customer base, as trade shows and expos get the publicity and roll-up banner advertising you want at the same time.
If you have more on your budget, then one-upping the game would be by sponsoring the event itself, inviting your competitors in the same industry. This not only good exposure for your business but a great way to gain reputation in the market or industry your business is in.
If budget permits, hiring an expert in the field may reap rewards since they may already have existing writer and editor contacts who can do write ups, copy-writing, and publications for your business. These experts in the market know the secrets of successful branding, and already have the media machinery to maximize media attention to your business.
Sometimes you have to do it the way big-time players do in order for you to achieve the level of attention that you want for your business. Done right, you’ll make not just a splash but a wave everyone else wants to get on. That’s called trend setting. Surf’s up!