Business Rules You Should Live By
Starting your own business can feel like a bit of a whirlwind. With so many new challenges and decisions it is easy to get caught up with all the little things and spend time concentrating on areas which in reality don't require as much attention.
Making mistakes is an important part of learning with a new business but unfortunately it is too often the case that business owners overlook the key aspects when it comes to building a successful business. Because we see this time and time again we've decided to use today's post to outline four business rules to live by. Think of them as the foundation of your business, the important aspects that will support any other plans.
Rule #1: Where Possible Show, Don't Tell
There have been numerous studies carried out which indicate the effectiveness of images and videos over text. Yet, for many businesses their websites and social media posts are still too text heavy.
Don't just tell customers your product is great as an attempt to impress them, show them how it is great and let them decide whether they are impressed. There are a number of ways you can make your website more persuasive. Instead of dry, generic messages, try included statistics, images, videos and personal stores as a way to build credibility in your business.
If you run an ecommerce business it is far more effective to demonstrate your products in use and the benefits they will bring your customers. You can do this by including photos of your products, or better still, videos. Think of the variety of ways to indicate your product's effectiveness: a before and after photo alongside a testimonial is a great way to build trust in the review. Statistics and infographics can bring out an emotional response; fear, anger, etc.
Another way to implement this rule is to include badges from organisations you are a member of, or qualifications you have on your website. Most industries will have certain practices or bodies that qualified workers should be a registered with. Including these will develop trust in your business, particularly if it is a startup.
Rule #2: Be Original
Ultimately your business is trying to find a way to differentiate itself from its competitors. If you simply copy another business in their design, product offering, logo, language, etc. you will never be able to build your own strong brand identity. You should find your business's USP whether that is your product or service, a particular niche, the ability to solve a problem or your customer service. If all of your competitors use the same marketing strategy or language try offering something different to stand out to your customers. Are you cheaper? More reliable? Wittier?
Rule #3: Stick to Your Business Goals
All too often small businesses lose track of their business goals. When starting any marketing campaign, particularly those which require investment consider how it is benefiting your own individual business goals. Just because your competitors, or a business you admire is advertising on Facebook or sharing a lot on LinkedIn for example, this doesn't always mean you should do the same. Figure out what is the best for your business without getting too caught up in your competition.
This rule can also be applied to your business image. For every marketing campaign, letter, email, social media post, etc think about how it represents your brand. Creating a style guide with standard business fonts and colours will help you keep on track.
Rule #4: Don't Forget About Your Customers
"Remember your customers or they will forget about you"
For B2B or B2C businesses your overall aim is to sell and to sell you need customers. This rule can be applied to your business in a number of ways.
Firstly you should be aware of retaining current customers. Don't make too many marketing campaigns targeted to new sign-ups or first-time shoppers or you could alienate a group that could have become loyal customers. A second side to the coin is to be aware of your customers' changing attitudes. Building a sound understanding of their habits, likes and dislikes and how these change is important. If your business has been around for a number of years is your audience still the same? What has changed in their individual preferences and external factors? Do more shop on mobile now? Has your business responded appropriately? Is there a new social media channel you don't have that could work effectively to target your customers.
Reviewing these areas on a quarterly, or yearly, basis is key to strengthening your business offering!
Start Your Business Today!
If you are thinking of starting an online business but don't know where to start, Kommand can help. We have helped hundreds of startups and small businesses create a professional online image, catapulting their business into the competitive arena. For more information or an informal chat about how we can help your business drop us a line: 0845 241 8228.
Or to continue the conversation why not tweet us: @kommandme the business rules you live by!