Can you visualize your target? You approached your business with fervour and knew you needed a business plan, stock, premises and staff. You’re sitting in the lounge 10 months later, are you any closer to your target?
Of course there are a lot of things you need to get in place, hurdles to overcome, people to talk to. However, can you still picture it? I have spoken with several new businesses in the past month that are either about to set up or running for a year or so and they are struggling to visualize their dream. Mostly because they have had to get bogged down in the necessities of running a business, like insurance, accounts.etc.
So what can be done? Instead of visualizing the whole thing up and running over night, just pick one thing to start and complete something each month whilst running the business. as an example!
September: Design a brand! You can do this on Powerpoint initially or use a Free Logo Maker from a Google Search. It’s just temporary but a start.
October: Who is your client? It’s essential you know who to target. Do a client profile: Who are they? Age? Job? Interests/Hobbies? Where would you find them? Face to face at Craft Fairs or online or at networking meetings? Once you have done the profile then start listing how to reach them! You may need to pay for networking at locations or for a pitch at a fair but get the prices this month!
November: Social Media: Make sure you’re on the right ones Get your promotion started. Depending on your industry you need to go to a few fairs or just have images of business/services available online. Ensure that if you have a front page promotion i.e. like a Facebook page and a website, that they are written well, good grammar and with a font that can be read, (ask a friend or a partner to read through it) You have about 3-5 seconds to draw someone onto your page so you need to make it clearly understood what your page is about and make it easy to navigate through the services or products you have. Also make sure you update them regularly, I have seen a few websites and Facebook pages recently that have been updated in the last 6 months! If you leave pages half done, with the help notes attached of the “ipsus dolerum” etc on it, it doesn’t look very professional, so remove these pages – you can always add these later.
I only say these things as I check the appearance of all the social media and websites that each company I meet have. I am not however a branding and graphics specialist but could certainly put you in touch with a few.
Once you are established you can spend more money and time on this but a lot can be explored in the first instance just with powerpoint! There are several free websites that offer logo branding too.
Finally and most importantly! Time management. The job of the Sole Trader is there is no one else to help us out. You need to manage your time a lot better than most. Ensure that you prioritize on a frequent basis. Don’t neglect existing clients trying to get more. Word of mouth is still extremely valuable so don’t forget them.