So You’re Thinking of Starting a Business

January 13, 2012 at 7:01 pm Leave a comment

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Let me get this straight. I’m not going to discourage you in the least. I strongly believe that new small businesses are what are going to save our economy. What I am going to do is encourage you to slow down, think it through, and make some wise decisions. I’ll sum it up in a few points.

Start with a business plan. Utilize the SBA, SCORE or your local not for profit small business development center and pick their brains. They can be a wealth of information and usually it’s free. Here locally in Johnson County we have the Kansas Small Business Development Center. The service is free. Let them help you develop a sound business plan.

Make sure you’re plan includes branding. You need to think of branding right up front. How do you want the public, you’re potential customers, to see you. As a small business owner you are your brand. You are whom the customer will rely on for a good experience with your company. Branding is not just a well-designed logo, signs, or stationery. It’s how you perform customer service, how you train your staff, even how clean you keep the place. Think McDonald’s. They have branding down pat. When you put branding at the top of the list and make it a priority you also need to figure it in to the budget. Your brand must be in place before you even open the doors. Without it you will have no direction on how you plan on marketing your new enterprise.

Have a marketing plan. A marketing plan will be well thought out. You will know who your target market is, who your customer is. By knowing the nuts and bolts of whom you want as a customer you will then begin to know how to get you message to them. Do they read newspapers, watch TV, or sit in front of a computer a lot? Do they like informational advertising or humorous? These and many questions must be answered before you buy your first ad or place a commercial on TV. Long before you open your doors this homework must be well on its way to completion and the HOW of you marketing must be in place.

Make sure you are funded. Every new businessman thinks he can start a business on a shoestring. Truth is you don’t need millions but having enough money to keep the doors open until your profitable is a goal you should shoot for. Will it take 6 months, 12 months, or 2 years to become profitable? If so you will need operating expenses to get you through. Otherwise you may be tempted to not spend money on your brand and marketing. Without these you won’t last long.

Remember this one thing: Branding and Marketing aren’t expenses but investments. By investing in them you ensure your success over the long haul.

If I can be of service to you buy sitting down with you and helping you craft a successful brand and marketing plan, please don’t hesitate to contact me. As always the first meeting is free.

Michael Irvin
Creative Project Manager
913.677.7060 cell: 913.530.7030

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