Launching your own business is an exciting, albeit daunting experience. You’ve diligently crafted an idea, you’ve devoted blood, sweat, tears, and no small amount of money to getting things off the ground, and now you’ve released it into the world with your fingers crossed and high hopes.
But, what now? What should you do next?
Whether you’re a first-time entrepreneur or a seasoned pro, here are a few first steps to starting your own business that will help set you up for success.
- Establish a solid foundation. Before diving headfirst into the day-to-day activities and tasks, it is important to make sure you’re starting on solid ground. Registering your business, obtaining all required licenses and permits, opening a separate bank account, and obtaining appropriate and abundant insurance are key. It may seem like tedious busy work, but your business is depending on it to thrive.
- Define your target market. To reach the right people who will fuel your success, you need to have a clear understanding of your target market. Who are your customers? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? Defining your target market will help you focus your efforts on the right demographic, leading to a successful marketing strategy and ultimately increased sales.
- Develop a business plan. A well-written business plan will not only help you clarify your long-term goals, identify potential roadblocks, and outline the steps you need to take to achieve your objectives, but it will also send a clear message to potential partners and investors that you mean business (about doing business). This game plan should not be a static document that gets filed away and forgotten – but a flexible, living tool that grows and changes with your company as it expands.
- Create a strong online presence. We live in a digital age. Your website is the face of your business, your calling card, and the first impression most prospects will have of your product and/or services. It should be professionally designed and written, easy to navigate, and provide all the information your customers need. Make certain you optimize your website for search engines and foster an active social media presence. This will not only help you attract new customers but also engage with existing clientele and cement your rep as a thought leader in your field.
- Stay organized. Starting a new business is a lot. It is all too easy to get sidetracked. Prioritize daily tasks, set weekly and monthly goals, and streamline your processes. Develop a system for tracking your expenses, income, and other business-related activities, and keep on top of your day-to-day tasks to ensure everything runs smoothly. And make certain that someone is manning the phones when your in-house team is busy building your brand. To that end, a virtual receptionist can be an invaluable asset as you get your business up and running, and long after you have made yourself a household name.
Consider: A professional answering service not only fields calls when you can’t, or don’t want to, but also provides stellar customer support that contributes to positive word of mouth and ultimately boosts your bottom line.
Additionally, by outsourcing your calls you can save precious funds that would otherwise be spent on full-time receptionists. Redirecting this money into mission-critical equipment, software, and even staff can change the game for your company.
Perhaps most importantly, an answering service can help your business make an early transition to 24/7 operations. By providing around-the-clock convenience for customers, allowing them to schedule appointments, place an order, or ask a question at their leisure – you give your new business a head start on a long and lucrative enterprise.
Edwards Answering Service can help you put your best foot forward, consistently. Call 800-606-3273 to learn more or reach out online and ask about our free trial.