If you are on the verge of launching a new business, we are willing to bet that you are currently operating on a combination of adrenaline, panic, and excitement. No business comes together overnight. It takes months, if not years, of extremely hard work to bring a dream project to fruition. It will have been a process of figuring out the practicalities, seeing if such an idea could even work in the real world. It will have been a process of talking to investors and convincing them that you not only have an idea that is worth their time and money but that you have the skills to turn your concept into a going concern. When you are finally at that stage where you are ready to launch, you will have your attention focused on so many different things. You will be making sure that nothing has been missed even as you are working on the launch announcements.
But it is important to remember that the world your business is launching into is radically different to how things were a couple of years ago. The events of the last two years have caused huge changes in the business landscape, and we will be seeing their impact for a long time to come. There are new issues to prioritise, new potential avenues to explore, and new dangers to be aware of. If you are launching a new business this year, here are a few essential tips.
A Strong Online Presence Is Essential
By this point, you should have already started working on building your new company’s web presence, and we are talking about more than a placeholder website. With so many people doing more and more of their business online today, you need to remember that a lot of customers and clients will have no patience for a website that is not eye-catching or accessible.
You need to work on creating a page that not only defines what your company is all about and what you have to offer but is also actively driving new custom to your business. Good SEO practice has always been a cornerstone of any good business online presence, and given how competitive things are at the moment, it is more important than ever. Remember that SEO is about more than keywords. Google is always working on refining its algorithm, and these days user experience is just as important in how it ranks search results. You should also note that it has refined its spam filters before you create content that is overloaded with keywords.
Give Yourself Clear Goals
So much of the period post-launch will be spent racing forward while putting out fires that you may or may not have anticipated. You will almost certainly be surprised by how quickly things move once you are up and running. Before you know it, you could have sailed through several months of operation before realising that you are not sure if you are where you wanted to be. In this period before launch, one of the most valuable things that you can do is to set clearly defined targets for where you want your business to be. One month, three months, six months and so on. Even if you do not end up meeting each and every one, you will have a north star to guide you when things get chaotic.
Keep Doing Your Research
Everyone knows that one of the first essential steps when launching a business is putting together a business plan that will contain reams of research about the market that you are entering and the competition operating within that market. However, what you need to keep in mind is that things are moving incredibly quickly right now, and that the facts as you understood them last week, or last month, may no longer hold true.
In such a volatile time, when the costs of production are climbing, you need to be updating your research at every opportunity to identify any potential issues or hazards for when you launch, as well as potential windows of opportunity. Remember that the other business in your sector have had two years of experience operating in this current new normal that you do not, and you need to be ready.
Look For Ways That You Can Maximise Efficiency
Efficiency is going to be one of the most important attributes of any successful business in the year ahead. Given everything that is going on right now, we are all trying to do a lot more with a lot less in half the time. As a new business, you have the opportunity to make efficient choices from day one. For example, something as simple as making sure that everyone is using the same software to monitor project management and communicate updates will make a huge difference. Think carefully about how you want to organise staff check-ins so that everyone feels connected but that they can also get on with their work. Ensure that each member of your staff knows who they need to be reporting to and when.
When it comes to finding new employees for your company, think about what you can do to streamline the process and save yourself a lot of time. It can be time-consuming to advertise a job online, but with Hiring People you can take all of that extra work out of the equation. They cover a wide range of sectors and can help you work on your job advert, get it posted on over 100 different job boards, and share it across social networks.
Watch Your Security
One of the most important lessons learned by business owners operating in every sector is that security is more of a priority now than ever before. Cybercrime has skyrocketed during the last two years and there are no signs that it is going anywhere any time soon. The UK government is taking the ongoing threat seriously, and you should be too. You need to be thinking about the areas where your business might be vulnerable, particularly if you are running a team that is working remotely.
Think about bringing on an IT expert to walk you through the latest cybersecurity measures and set some time aside to educate your employees about what they need to be doing. Two-factor authentication and password generators are simple examples of giving your business a little extra security.
Get Good Advice
Finally, one of the most important pieces of advice for anyone launching a business in such a chaotic time is that you should never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. There can be the mentality that you should keep your head down and just get on with it because asking for advice is some kind of weakness. But seeking out expert advice is something that can only help your business to grow and develop.
For example, given how chaotic the government advice has been at times, talking to an accountant or business advisor is just good common sense. They can make sure that you are taking advantage of every incentive and opportunity as well as giving you the best advice on how to avoid common pitfalls and how to keep saving for your business’s future.