8 Actions to Take Before You Launch Your Business
Many of us have aspirations of owning our own business. We have ideas and visions of what we want our brand to convey to our target market and to the world. It is important to research competitors in our industry and the market we wish to service. Researching has three essential benefits for all business owners and new entrants to the business world.
Benefit #1: Research saves you money! - This is definitely an unwritten universal rule, especially for entrepreneurs with more time than money.
Benefit #2: Research gives you a competitive edge! - Most people hate or avoid the research part of a business start-up hoping for “overnight” success. This is why we will find the businesses who skipped this step, through our research, and dominate our industries!
Benefit #3: Research reduces risks! - Work smarter not harder. Learn from industry pros, industry trends, consumer behaviors, and other elements in business and apply that knowledge to avoid risks.
Many people dislike doing the hard work it takes when researching, but it’s important to get research done while you have the time. I’ve discovered 8 effective actions that will help you to gather information and resources about your industry to help develop your legendary business!
Research Permits and Licenses.
It is important to stay within compliance of any state requiring licensure or permits to operate as a business. Use the internet to locate the kinds of permits and licenses needed for your industry, the requirements to get them, and requirements to keep them for your state. Make sure you complete all of your requirements before you launch! If you have several locations or plan to expand your current business to other states, this research is imperative for each location. Proper credentials show customers and business partners that you are serious about your business and that you are legally registered to do business transactions within your industry.
Visit Online Forums.
Google "online forums for _____" <<< What are you selling or offering or your occupation.
Find out what people in your industry are discussing, questioning or complaining about. This action is one of the quickest ways to get a glimpse of an industry or market's mindset and demand. Getting involved and interacting with others will help you learn the internal and external factors that affect your industry.
Visit Competitors Websites.
This action is the best part of the research! Attach yourself to your competitors by visiting their website, blogs, and social media pages. Discreetly assess their business at events and discreetly buy from them to understand their customer experience. Review their strengths and weaknesses. Consider these key points:
Identify Potential Challenges.
Each business has its own challenges that it must face as learning curves. Gather information from other industry friends, find those online forums (see Action 2) and use the information to locate potential challenges business owners face in your industry so that you can better prepare for them. Write each challenge down and find resolutions for each challenge expected.
Research Pricing Strategies.
I know, I know! Boring… You’ll thank me later! Researching pricing strategies is important because you’ll understand consumer buying habits and behaviors. You’ll also learn the buying process and pricing strategies, specifically psychological pricing. Still not interested? Take a look at this awesome pricing strategy below:
Most customers respond emotionally rather than rationally when they have pricing options! It is safe to assume that customers most often choose a middle option and its pricing because of popularity when product and/or service pricing is presented. Let’s review an online portfolio website, 4ormat.
Creatives can showcase their talents online for a monthly fee:
4ormat uses green color psychology to relate to their customers (because we associate words, things, and feelings when we see a certain color). They also use a psychological pricing strategy for their pricing options. Most of us naturally gravitate towards the most popular option because it’s not the cheapest or minimalist option, and it’s not the most expensive option or something that we know we will not use to its full potential. For these reasons, we can see and understand why the Middle WINS every time!
Contact Vendor and Wholesalers.
Locate wholesalers and vendors that relate to the kind of business that you want. You’ll need to learn which companies offer the supplies and products that you’ll need to operate your business. Contact each business that relates to your business needs. Familiarize yourself with the requirements to purchase their products. List benefits for each wholesaler according to pricing, shipping and quality of product. These actions will help you determine which options benefit your business goals and objectives. [Be sure to complete the permits and licenses research and action first!]
Contact Professional Web Designers or Graphic Designers.
If you are not a DIY person like I am, this is another area that is extremely important for your business and brand! You must nail the visuals of your brand down to effectively attract your target market and efficiently operate your business through your website and other social platforms. You can find both kinds of designers on the internet or through hashtags on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. Once you locate designers that meet your expectations in design and presentation, inquire with them about pricing. Be as specific as you can to get accurate quotes. As always, compare end results and benefits to one another. Choose the best quality for your brand, within your budget. You can always upgrade and relaunch your website and/or brand when the time permits.
Set up Google Alerts.
We all want to know what people are saying about our business whether good or bad. Setup an alert with your business name in its full entirety and in many abbreviations with Google Alerts. For example, alerts should be Strategist Cafe, www.strategistcafe.com, strategistcafe, etc. This action isn’t new, but many new entrepreneurs still don’t know about its perks. Each time someone mentions your business name, you will get an email alerting you of the content and searches. You can customize your alerts and decide how often you get them. Setting up an alert is super simple as you can see below:
Researching history, trends, competitors and business necessities can be really awarding when done the right way. The hustle knows how much work you put into your business! You can’t cheat the hustle, so save yourself some headache and research before you launch!
What are some things that you needed to know before starting your business? What are some things that you could have wished you knew that made all of a difference? Comment below.
Please Note: Actions are not in order of importance but each are equally important so be sure to be complete the research before and during your journey!