So you've chosen your new business name, got a great-looking logo and thrown open your doors for the first time. You're so excited to see all your new customers come flooding in and you wait for the stampede... and you wait a bit longer!
Owning and running your own business is a dream for so many Australians that we often get caught up in the romanticism of the ideal rather than the harsh reality that it takes time, effort and a decent business plan to make the dream start paying dividends.
In my experience there are 2 major assumptions that small businesses make when launching for the first time.
1. Build It And They Will Come
We're often so caught up in the excitement of getting to the point that we're ready to open our doors for business - after all, it's taken a fair amount of effort to get to this point - that we assume that everyone else has been carried along on the same wave of enthusiasm!
Whether you're opening a new shop on the high street or launching a new online business, all too often we make the mistake of thinking that people have been following our progress and can't wait to see what we have to offer.
The thing that makes running your own business so challenging and ultimately so worthwhile is that you have build everything .... from scratch. It can be a hard slog but having a marketing plan can definitely help.
So, build it and they will automatically come? No.
Start by understanding your ideal customer and then create a campaign that genuinely speaks to them. What do they need? What is stopping them from buying your product or service? Who are they currently buying off?
Build it, communicate it and eventually they might come.
2. It Needs To Be Perfect
We've invested so much time and energy into building our vision of our new business that we want to make sure everything is perfect before we show the world the culmination of all our efforts.
The truth is your business will be constantly evolving as you try things, work out works, refine it and try again.
I love the quote by Seth Godin, marketer and entrepreneur, who said: "Waiting for perfect is never as smart as making progress."
There will never be a 'perfect' time where you're 100% happy with everything. The trick is recognising when it is good enough, when it doesn't compromise what you really stand for.
You see this most frequently with people building a website for the first time. There is always something we look at for the first, second, twentieth time and decide we want to change it. Could it be worded better? Could the image be more engaging?
The reality is, as business owners, most of us are focused on the minutiae that very few other people would notice.
So my advice if you're a new small business owner? Go for it! Back yourself 100% but recognise that it takes time and work to get your ideal customer knocking the door down. In my experience, those who are clear about their 'ideal' customer and how they're going to promote themselves to this customer, build their business quicker than those just hoping for the best.
Also recognise that conditions are never going to be perfect. It's far better to get the ball rolling and refine it as you go than wait until you're 100% happy. That day may never come!
If you need advice on finding your ideal customer and how you can best communicate to them, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0478 042536.