Starting a Small Business, an in-depth guide

To those who are setting out on this venture, here’s what you will need to understand.

Crafting your businesses involves so many different steps, you can start from identifying your business with a name and giving it personality with a logo and a theme. Yes, they’re huge but there’s a lot more involved in getting your work on its feet. From figuring out your target audience to building a structure for your people, all our jobs as business developers get saturated with lack of spare time. Below we’ve provided a checklist aimed towards giving your brand its own persona.

If you’re here, you should be sure to have a business model. Businesses, especially smaller or even more recent ones face a multitude of different struggles. Something will undoubtably go wrong eventually.

Knowing where you stand with your community or your peers is the difference between failure and success. Keeping your client’s content is the sole purpose of your business, keep in mind that what they want is what you should be striving to provide in quality.

Previous to your marketing strategy, build a following. If you’re starting a business up based on what you think you need then you’re setting your company off very narrow-minded. We suggest social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc…) to grow your brand around its users

Here for those who are ready for the marketing path.

Your idea, why you have come up with this idea and how you would like to franchise it.

With a business in mind you should prioritise figuring out which market you’re in. May not be too self-explanatory but your users could be looking up info on there favourite tool with the idea of a hammer in mind… With bad marketing skills they could end up finding you, on the internet looking like a tool not knowing who your audience are and what they’re searching for.

My personal favourite part of developing your brand from a start point is sitting down and figuring out the “Why?” factor. You might be right, for example programming a website in the Job Finding niche. But why would I struggle in this field? Job Finding websites, job boards or forums related to work tend to be saturated meaning there’s easily hundreds in your country. Why would my community choose my website over theirs? Why are they going to be in search of a company like ours and if even, why is this a good project for me.

Franchising itself does play a huge part in your success. Franchising, is the difference between your local food-store compared to Walmart, Tesco or huge name brands in their category. Fair enough both supplies sell the same things but honestly where does that boost come from?

For an example here, I would like to compare Tesco (World’s third leading grocery retailers) to the shop you and all the boys grab your jellies at.

  • Tesco have spent years making their name, their products sourced locally, produced in-house or by partner companies they brought their cost of business significantly lower and have raised their ROI through the roof.
  • Tesco advertise through Google, Television, Advertising and so many more methods of traffic bringing customers from every corner of the room.
  • Tesco have stores dotted all around the European map making them simple in locating, travelling to and returning from.
  • Tesco do home delivery services, sending trucks or vans door-to-door delivering goods and services. With an online catalogue and a checkout system we don’t even need to leave our homes.

Now let us talk about your local corner-shop, although loved by everyone in their communities these hard-working small businesses have always got a struggle with competition. Here are a few reasons why they may struggle.

  • Your local corner-shop could be in the family generations, they can only source their supplies from local wholesale. Raised prices, lack of consistency and the fact that they may not have as many customers as your local bookies demeans your local straight off the bat.
  • Your local corner-shop advertises by word of mouth, having no reason or means to advertise they may not go far but they may survive. Isn’t this heart breaking?
  • Your local corner-shop is in one location, with the chance that they’re not in a good area or they haven’t got the greatest supplies what will stop your community from jumping on the bus and travelling to Tesco for the deals on wheels?
  • Apart from maybe a newspaper run or a milk run, how else is your local supposed to bring you service. Stranded in your town your shop waits, and waits, and waits for the next customer.

Now for the fun bits,

Making yourself and your brand look pretty for the boys;

  1. Company Name/Brand Name
  2. Logo
  3. Slogan
  4. Theme
  5. Attitude

Company Name/Brand Name

Your companies name should be distinct, you’re not going to sell your product if your investors don’t know what they’re looking at. Best example I myself can come across is this;

PayPal are a company developed to ease the distribution of cash, helping their users send cash to or from their businesses or for personal reasons. Their name fits their company perfectly because right away they have already told you what their goal aims to be.

Some other good examples I’ve come across in my times studying are Jobs.ie, although job boards have been mentioned twice in this article this job board is another perfect reference to stating your goal off the start line.

Your Logo

Your logo should project to your viewers what your intentions are, for example the logos shown below:

Getting straight to the point with what they provide to you Starbucks showing their brand name and product in the ring compared to Burger King’s brand name in a burger these brands both hit the spot perfect. Starbucks, with a clean logo identifying themselves as coffee brewers is an easily recognizable logo that lets us know exactly what they’re doing. Burger King, simply put and no need to explain why this works, threw their brand name into a burger and made it look fancy.

Your Slogan

Although seemingly not the most important aspect of developing your franchise, your slogan can make all the difference. Your slogan, like your logo pushes your brand deeper into your customers interests. Slogans can help build an image just as much as a logo or a brand name, look at these two very well-known food chains McDonald’s and KFC for an example. When you hear “Ba-da-da-da-daaa I’m lovin’ it”, I’m willing to gamble that your stomach growled once or twice. When I hear finger lickin’ good protruding from my radio or television set, I often find myself deep throating my fingers in hopes of that bit of flavour.

Your Theme

Fair enough a theme can be whatever you like but keep in mind your audience does not want to be looking at an eye-sore, sites like Binance for crypto-currency they do the job visually but retain all the info you need in-page jamming up everything. Or even Facebooks smooth layout keeping it easy to navigate and does never really be a cause of square-eyes they keep people on-site.

What I’m saying is, your theme should be another way to express yourself. Picture the weird kid in class coming in with the lovely pink My Little Pony t-shirt suffocating his stomach. Fair enough this guy will do your work better than you any day of the week… But are you going to sit there looking at him? My point being, if Facebook’s layout was like Binance’s, showing every message in a 5pixel distance of each other you wouldn’t be reading the messages very long. Or even if Binance’s crypto information tables were all 3-5 pages apart like Facebooks layout for keeping things easy, you would really want one page that says all.

Attitude

Your attitude when building a business should be aggressive, but informative.

You don’t want to sit back and say, “oh yeah I’ll get to contacting this cheaper supplier later…”. That is practically looking at your opponents in the face, smiling and throwing up and telling them to come get their winnings. When you get to the stage where someone’s already beaten you competitively you’d better sit down and start listening. I prefer aggressive but informative as an example because if you don’t give that space for your competition to jump through you’re safe, but if you’re aware to your surroundings and keeping up to date with what’s happening you’ll easily be the first person to get the jump.

FINANCE is where everything gets real.

Finance is where we all need to pay attention.

From my own experience, I’ve personally killed three functioning and profiting business by, in my eyes today, being greedy. Not the greedy you think, I mean moving too quick. If my companies generating X amount of profit and I’m spending Y amount on updates, leaving my company with Z to thrive off and then I myself have to live off XYZ’s remainder I would REALLY want to prioritise survival of the company over for an example the company having a new truck and not being able to fill it as we spent all our revenue on fixing the clutch in it we are rightfully screwed.

These things are not hard to fall a victim too, they do happen and you SERIOUSLY need to remember that problems happen when running businesses. They’re not the end of all, but they’re no fun either. This is why Financing is so important, if you sit back and think about how many things can actually go wrong you’d agree with the fact that I’m telling you to have a savings. Even provided in the name savings, we can see that it can save us, save our business, save our capital and save us hassle! So, get to saving!

SMART FINANCING CAN ALSO INVOLVE

Finding your comfort zones, i.e. understanding your business costs, profits, revenue and taxes. Understanding what goes through your company will mean you can cut corners, not in a bad way you’ll just be able to get things done smoother. For example, determining your profitability.

From the examples in bold displayed above you can determine everything.

(Revenue – Business Costs = Profits) – Tax = What you’ve done right, simply put if you keep your numbers in order you shouldn’t need an accountant. If you can understand this basic rule you will save yourself all the trouble.

You can also count your products as a huge part of your business.

Products are everything, your product being from a respectable company proud of their work compared to an AliBaba or an AliExpress vendor shipping hundreds of a low quality item at cheap prices could be the difference between repeat customers and once off regrets your end. Good products, scaled and tested are the heart of a community. Nobody is going to stay committed to a company if they’re receiving paper thin plastic bottles compared to if they were supplying shatterproof hardened plastic sports bottles that are actually worth their value.