Ivan Popov is the CEO of Vipe Studio, which establishes and maintains WordPress websites for enterprises, SMEs and e-commerce platforms.
People who hop on the “business ownership” train typically know their own professional standards and goals that they want to live up to. But in my experience, a step no aspiring entrepreneur should skip before stepping into the world of business is that of doing their homework.
The truth is, owning a business is not easy, even when the entrepreneur has done their best in the preparation department. Knowing the current trends and what people’s perceptions are of enterprises in your industry is helpful for any entrepreneur-to-be, and understanding the basic guidelines can help ensure a smoother start with a greater level of preparation for whatever comes up next.
Having The Bigger Picture In Mind
An entrepreneurial mentor of mine once said to me that upon initializing a business, entrepreneurs need to have the bigger picture in mind as opposed to focusing on all the smaller details right from the get-go. These broader basics matter at the start because they help showcase your business’s initial goals, be they product-based or service-based.
It’s important to be fully aware of what your company will represent, as well as all the directions and approaches it needs to take in order to get there in the first place. Once you have the fundamentals covered, you should have a better sense of stability and a clear direction in terms of leveling up. That said, let’s get to some of the most important business fundamentals aspiring entrepreneurs should consider right from the get-go.
1. Establish a website.
Having a website is one of the most relevant aspects of successful businesses. Nowadays, almost every potential audience is online, so enterprises need to follow. Offering your audience a place where they can easily get to know both the brand and its products and services can help spread public awareness and demonstrate your credibility, exclusivity and availability. To achieve this, include features such as customer testimonials, product reviews, any relevant certifications you have, and access to 24/7 customer support, to name a few.
2. Opt for a personalized approach.
Personalization helps clients feel like they are being taken care of and like their needs are being met and fulfilled. Focus on showcasing products and services relevant to each customer to help boost revenue and profit. Fortunately, there are several avenues for gathering the data needed to effectively personalize your content and marketing.
As a business, explore your customers’ behavior—the type of products they buy, the content they engage with and the price range they express interest in. Then you can use product recommendations and personalized discounts or promo codes to further boost people’s purchasing intents. You can also work with professionals—third-party services typically include content personalization through machine learning, targeted social media ads, precise landing page construction and personalized email marketing campaigns. (Full disclosure: My company offers this type of service, as do others.)
3. Offer reliable customer support.
Customers appreciate knowing that their needs, struggles and problems can be quickly and effortlessly taken care of with the help of professional customer support. Good customer service can greatly enhance any brand’s trustworthiness and reliability in the eyes of customers. I recommend having a dedicated team of customer support experts, but more companies are also incorporating the use of AI-powered chatbots to offer faster service for more basic requests and to enhance their reputation for overall helpfulness and credibility.
4. Know your audience.
Our attention span as a society has been decreasing more and more lately—we all consume shorter content that is more visual and filled with to-the-point types of explanation and direction. Knowing your business’s potential audience in detail is crucial, as this can help you come up with the best communication strategies to get your message out there. The second people sense a lack of relevance, they’re off to a more relevant source. Doing your homework in terms of profoundly getting to know what is important to your target audience can help you keep customers engaged in the long run.
5. Learn from both the best and the worst examples.
Paying close attention to your business’s competitors can give you an entirely different perspective. From the best examples, you can gather insightful experience about what they are doing right. From the bad examples, you can learn what not to do and how to endure. That’s why exploring what other companies do and how they do it can take you to the next level of business awareness and development.
I hope those guidelines can serve as a focal point for anybody just entering the world of business and looking for ways to kickstart a successful entrepreneurial journey. Certainly, we all experience difficulties along the way; but having solid ground to build on can greatly ease the entire process.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
Read the full article here