Some advice for business start ups

Business Start Up Advice – Promotion

If you’ve started or you’re thinking of starting a new business, then good luck in your new venture. When you start a new business, there’s loads to think about and do, but no one really spells it out to you. There’s plenty of guidance out there but when you’re stepping into the unknown, it can all get a bit chocker.

People will always start by saying “get a good accountant, get this, get that, blah, blah, blah” but normally their talking from their own experience (maybe good, maybe bad) but this might not be the support or information you need. It might not even be relevant.

We’ve found that there’s loads of people who are in business or want to be in business, who spend a lot of time waiting. Waiting for the perfect circumstances. Waiting for everything to be just right. But while their waiting, they’re not doing.

We not the people to be giving you financial advice or get into the ins and outs of tax etc, that’s not our game. Websites are our game, but we naturally also know a thing or to about promotion. Even still, this post isn’t about how to promote, or how promotion is part of the 4Ps (7Ps for services) or that you need a comprehensive marketing communications mix in order to have all of your bases covered in a marketing campaign. No, this is simpler than that.

What do you need to do business?

To do business you don’t need anything. You can go out today, make an agreement with someone, exchange goods or services, receive payment, you’re in business. Dead simple.

There’ll be people who say that you need an accountant, or a bank account, or to register for tax or whatever, but you don’t. Maybe further down the line you do, but as a start you don’t. It’s a club that is open to everyone.

Obviously once you’ve done business, you may be liable for any tax that is due and you, most likely will want to pay that money in to a bank – but remember that without you actually doing business, without you bringing in money, neither the accountant or bank will have much of a job to do. By all means, get the ball rolling with them early on, they’ll come in handy.

Don’t get into the habit of waiting for everything for be perfect before moving forward. You will miss opportunities.

What do you need to promote your business?

Your mouth. That’s it you can promote you’re business dead easy by saying “I’ve got a business.” For the sake of this, let’s say you’re a painter and decorator.

“I’m a painter and decorator” – boom. Promoted.

Business Cards

Next minute, someone needs a painter and decorator. You’ve got to give them your details. Again, all you need is your mouth. You could always write it down too. It’s less of a faff to give out a business card with your details on though, so worth having those.

Not having business cards doesn’t stop you promoting your business though – remember your mouth. That’s all you need.

A Sign

A sign will just sit there giving out a message. When someone walks past who’s interested, the sign will do it’s job.

In our opinion, best marketing tool there is. Pay once, let the sign do its thing – “Painter & Decorator – *number underneath*”

The sign’s up somewhere (let’s not get into the legalities of putting signs up, it’s up somewhere). Someone sees the sign that needs a painter and decorator, or knows someone who does and reads the sign.

“Painter & Decorator – *number underneath*”

Calls the number.

Signs, great marketing tools, but not having them doesn’t stop you promoting your business – remember your mouth. That’s all you need.

A Leaflet

People want to know more about what you do. So you tell them.

They want to see some examples of what you do, show them a picture. Even better, show them a leaflet. The message will be the same every time and you can put your best pictures on there.

You can go a step further. You can post them through a door, hand them out or put them on the side somewhere like a take away.

Then – someone sees the leaflet that needs a painter and decorator, or knows someone who does and reads the leaflet.

“Painter & Decorator – *number underneath*”

Calls the number.

Lealfets? Same as the sign. Not having them doesn’t stop you promoting your business – remember your mouth. That’s all you need.

There’s a trend…

Regardless of what marketing tools you use, they are not the be all and end all. They ultimately assist in the process, but go back to the top of the post, the fundamentals are the same go out today, make an agreement with someone.

“I’m a painter and decorator, here’s my price. Do you accept my price?”

“Yes? Then we’re in business.”

Before anyone starts acting like their business is special, prestigious or whatever, same applies.

Put a suit on, open your mouth – boom promote your business.

Or any smart arses want to get clever because their business is online, the following applies to you “Hi, I’m Joe Bloggs the digital gimp, I sell products online. Please visit my shop online. Unfortunately, I don’t take cash because the point of sale is online.”

Only. Mouth. Needed.

So what’s the point?

Obviously we’re in the game of selling websites so why is it that we’re telling you that you don’t really need any tools to promote your business. The answer is because you don’t.

You don’t need to go out and spend a fortune on promoting your business. Especially if you’ve only just started. First, go out and get as much business as you can with your mouth.

Then, once the problems start appearing, start looking at the other bits.

“I need to be busier and there’s only so many sales I can get by speaking to people” – boom, signs, leaflets and advertising (one by one, see what works first).

“I want to send customers images of my work” – boom, brochure and post.

“I want to send customers images of my work in a more cost effective and environmentally friendly way” – boom, electronic brochure and email.

“I’d like to have a permanent online presence, that is accessible at all times, that best represents my business through the dissemination of information provided by a series of product or service specific pages, blog posts, case studies and galleries, that I can confidently use as a point of reference to assist in the sales process and that is designed to integrate into a balance and well planned marketing strategy.” – boom, you most probably need a website, but you could use social media for that too.

To conclude

On a serious note, take things one step at a time. Everything that has been mentioned works if put in place properly. We deal with customers from big to small, but the amount of people who come to us ‘needing a website’ and their head’s fallen off is unreal.

Next minute, they think this website’s going to be the answer to all their prayers. Unfortunately, not likely.

Promoting your business doesn’t have to be difficult, but it help if you’ve got an idea of what you are looking to achieve. There’s no point getting sucked in to big ideas and false promises.

Take your time, see what information is out there and when it comes to websites, feel free to ask. If this post is anything to go by, we’ll do our best to NOT sell you a website (reckon we could sell you a sign though 😜)

FIN