Deciding to start a new business is exhilarating, but it can also be difficult if you are a new entrepreneur. To ensure you are properly prepared, two industry professionals offer their expertise and tips for success. 

Yahoo reported, an average of 543,000 new businesses are started each month, totaling to over 6.5 million per year. Even though only a small amount of these companies manage to survive in the long-term, the competition is still stiff.

Source: Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Launching a New Website 

Bob Myers, Founder and Chairman of SKY LLC, recommends every startup needs the following, “A brand and market positioning statement that includes what is unique about your product or service. Start simple with a square space template, and create a distinctive mark and look that is relative to your industry or skill. Develop a very basic social and web presence, you don’t need ads or social influencers. Estimate the fees for establishing your business, receive an EIN Employer Identification Number, find a lawyer, and possibly even an accountant. Remember to search for trademarks, names, and identities.” 

Hosting Tribunal reported, when visiting a website, users decide in 10 seconds or less whether they trust your company based on the design of your website.

Dean DeCarlo, President and CEO of Mission Disrupt recommends, “When building a website for a start-up business it is crucial to keep it simple. My recommendation is to build a one-page website that focuses on the problem that your business solves, the benefit of your products in comparison to other options available, and offer product or service testimonials.” DeCarlo adds, “Designing a one-page website forces you to demonstrate the value of the products or services offered to customers by maximizing the smallest amount of content possible. 

In today’s era of increasingly short-attention spans, it is a critical lesson to master the ability to capture the customer’s attention in less than 30 seconds. WebFx reported, 75% of website credibility comes from design

New Business Costs

To determine the costs of starting a new business and which tactics should be utilized to receive the funds needed to start a business, Bob Myers stated, “The first question you need to address is whether you have a product or a service. A product can be a software or hardware system or device. However, a service is traditionally a fee-based revenue opportunity, which is the easiest and least expensive. Generally products require more up front time and or money, but services tend to be less capital-intensive to start. The more you can do by yourself (or with other founders), the less expensive it will be.”

Review 42 reported, 64% of small businesses are started with less than $10,000. If you are unsure about a business cost when first starting, ask an expert you really trust instead of someone that is trying to sell you something.

Source: Photo by Adeolu Eletu on Unsplash

Industry Competitors

Research on industry competitors is a key element when starting a business. According to research from CBInsights, 42% of new businesses fail because there is no market need.

“Before launching a business, it is important to understand the problems your competitors are not solving. This process offers additional opportunities that your own business can provide, as customers will see the advantages in comparison to what competitors are missing,” DeCarlo said. 

Research from Crayon for the 2021 competitive landscape, suggests taking note of the positives and negatives highlighted in competitors’ customer feedback. Utilize the positive feedback from your competitors’ customers to learn, and also use the negative reviews to better align your company with the needs of your market. 

Source: Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Building Your Brand on Social Media 

Consumers recognize and appreciate brands that engage their audiences effectively. Yet, as some brands lean on entertainment and humor to generate high engagement, what works for one brand may not always work for another. The same concept goes for different platforms, the content that works on one social media channel may not work on another.

DeCarlo addresses how to build a new brand across social media, “Begin executing the strategy early, many businesses spend too much time developing ideas on how the public views their content and then lack execution. To start, select one platform to focus on, depending on the target audience and goals, such as Instagram and begin posting content. Research from user responses can be collected and developed into a strategy.” 

It can be tempting to cast a wide audience while trying to reach people online, but the best brands rely on their target audience to drive business success. Sprout Social found that 56% of marketers use social data to understand their target audience, but still face the challenge of identifying and reaching that audience.

“Use social media to learn what garners the most feedback. Test variations on themes until you get a hit, and then exploit the received feedback. Understand each platform’s unique audience and how to best utilize the tool,” Myers suggests.

A social media following does not grow from just posting once a week, it is important to stay consistent.”Remain highly active on your focus channel and commit to posting three to five times a week. Not every post is going to be a homerun, but the more times you get up to bat, the better the chances of getting a hit,“ DeCarlo recommends. “Always engage with any activity across social media, especially when first starting a business. When users take the time to comment and share content, be sure to reciprocate and take the time to respond.