Although technology gives the appearance of making life easier for businesses who are just getting started, in reality, starting and maintaining a business in the 21st century is difficult. In order to be successful, businesses must create a solid business plan and follow it. This article outlines several business steps that will allow businesses to make plans for a prosperous future through planning, marketing, and communication.
First, in order to determine the outlines of a business plan, you will need to do your research. Whether you are beginning a new business or planning to reorganize an existing business, research is vital. Past performance of businesses in the same field, the current performance or problems of related businesses or your own business, and opportunities for expansion of the business. You could try to do a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) of your business or a competitor as well. Internal and external factors should be examined in the analysis. Once you have studied the research related to the business, you can move into the planning phase. Part of your planning should look at customers, customer relations and CRM (Customer Relations Management) with a Google integration tool to examine effective customer management. Google also provides business startup help through Gsuite, which can help set up domains, track analytics and begin ad campaigns.
In your planning for a business, you will need to establish a framework for your business, which means constructing a vision statement, a mission statement and a list of goals and objectives for your business. These instruments provide a framework for future business directions. While there are many business people who own small businesses that poo-poo the idea of a mission and vision for small businesses, it should be noted that large corporations start out as small businesses who had a direction in mind for their business when they began their company which allowed them to be successful.
Establishing a mission, vision, goals, and objectives are an important beginning plan. You have a product or a service to sell, and you need to figure out how to market that product or service. There are all sorts of tools you can use to market a business, and many of the tools do not cost money.
Social media may have begun as an entertainment feature, but businesses all over the world use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platfo2rms to promote products and services. Businesses have been able to use social media as a way to get customers to notice them and their products and services. In addition to posts on social media, companies can also use YouTube or other video sharing services to make videos about their company, or how-to videos about a particular aspect of their company as a way to move customers to their website. You may also want to think about blogging as an expert in order to give advice. In your search for social media followings, you may want to think about using targeted influencers that would provide your business with a group of immediate followers who are interested in your business.
Also, you need to be sure that you understand search engine optimization strategies for your company. These strategies would help you to ensure your business website targets the very customers you want to target. Companies can help you target the clients you want, as well as create original content for your business website that is engaging and informative and allows search engines to place your business closer to the top of search pages.
Marketing a business also means that you need to find information on leads for your business to either find new customers for your business or take customers away from other existing businesses. Several applications, such as Hatchback, allow you to manage new leads and look for new clients. Email marketing sequences are also helpful for targeting specific sectors of the population.
Strategies for Communication In and Outside Your Company
Once you have a marketing strategy in place, and the work starts flowing in, you will need to be able to manage your information and communication with employees and customers. For finding new talent, of course, LinkedIn provides a wealth of talent, but you can waste a lot of time sorting through all of those online profiles and resumes. To sort through and hire talent quickly, you may want to try employment platforms, such as The Weather, which allows you to post your company profile, mission, and vision, which recent college graduates and people entering the job market can look at and communicate with your business in return. While The Weather is targeted towards Millennials, another application, Woo, targets all age groups, and acts as sort of a dating agency, using artificial intelligence to match prospective employers with potential employees based on education, experience, and other factors. Woo has been known to help large companies such as Microsoft and Uber hire ground-level employees as well as executives to work.
When you have the talent employed to take your business to the top, the next step is to make sure they can communicate with each other, as well as with clients or customers. Applications such as ClickMeeting allow employees to communicate with each other seamlessly. Zapier and 15Five help employers keep track of employees and morale in the company. Slack and PandaDoc help employees communicate, collaborate and share documents. Constant Content and G-suite integrated CRM ensures employers can communicate with their customers as well.
Beginning a new business or improving an existing business is hard. It is estimated that 80% of businesses fail in the first 18 months of operation. You don’t have to be one of those businesses that close their doors. Be sure that you have done your research and you know where you’re going with a mission, a vision, and a set of goals. Know what you are selling and be sure your marketing plan lines up with your service or your product. Find good marketing strategies and use them effectively. Also, make sure you continue to practice good communication in your company as well as outside your company as well. Step by step, you can grow your business into a thriving enterprise.