More and more people are setting out on their own to set up a business, many are even doing so along side working full time jobs and we know doing this isn’t easy especially if you have not done it before. This is why, with the year coming to an end, we have decided to share our top tips for starting a small business in 2020.
Research your market
When setting up a business it’s important to research exiting businesses that do or sell a similar product to that which you intend to. This is so you can see where there may be a gap in the market and your business will be able to stand out. If there is no gap or unique angle, it may be worth researching other opportunities as although there is place for your business, in a saturated market with no individuality, it’s growth will be restricted.
Know your USP
USP means ‘Unique Selling Point’ and it is what makes your business different from others in the same sector. Thousands of retailers sell products or services but what makes yours stand out? It is a new material, an entirely new product or maybe an existing product aimed at a new market? Knowing your USP is important as it will affect all your marketing decisions such as target market, social media campaigns and advertisements. A business that doesn’t know it’s USP can, again, easily get lost in a saturated market and lose out on business to the competition.
Look and be consistent
Consistency is key especially when building relationships. Firstly, by looking consistent across your social media and printed advertisements you create a visual identity and a more memorable brand. Customers will begin to recognise ‘your look’ in amongst all the other images they see on a day to day basis and when a brand is memorable, its more likely to attract custom. (If you’re not sure how to achieve this, we suggest reading our previous blog post on branding guidelines.)
Secondly, being consistent is also very important. As a small business it can be tempting to offer discounts to secure orders however this can be damaging in the long run. Customers may recommend other customers who are upset when they do not also get a discount or a repeat customer may come to expect the discount time and time again. By treating all customers the same and being consistent in your message, you can manage expectations from your customers and build trust when you deliver that message.
As the saying goes, it’s not what you know but who you know. Although not 100% accurate it does have some truth to it. Socializing is very important for small business, whether this be talking to your customer on social media or attending group meetings for local businesses. Getting out there and putting a real person to a business goes a long way in building trust. Becoming part of a larger community also creates exposure as often they will already be established with their own consumer base.
Invest in SEO
Lastly we always suggest, if you can afford it, investing in SEO. Now, we’re not putting this here to blow our own trumpet but because we genuinely believe that SEO can make a massive difference to small businesses. Appearing as link 1 or 2 on Google rather than on page 3 creates more visibility and trust for a business which translates into more customers.