What do you think is the most exhilarating and exciting part of starting a business? Is it the brainstorming, the idea generation and the creative problem solving? Is it being able to be your own boss or practically implement an innovative concept? Maybe you have a love of delighting people with a product you’re passionate about. Whatever your reasons for starting a business, keeping it afloat is the tricky part. You could be the smartest person, the best salesman and have a faultless product, but should you forget a few vital ingredients, your business could be a distant memory within a year or two. We are no contender to the entrepreneurial empires of Google or Apple, but we’ve picked up a thing or two along the way — read on for our insight on starting a business
Treat your home page like you would your home, if not better
2016 is underway, and no doubt your head is brimming with inspiration and new ideas to play around with this year. Is creating a beautifully designed and user-friendly website one of them? Sure, the chances of you already having a website are quite high — but is it really doing your brand and products justice? It’s no longer enough to secure a domain and upload a static website with a few images, an About page and some contact details. Just like your business, your website is a living, active thing that needs daily attention. The same way you clean your home before guests arrive, is exactly why your homepage also needs to look spotless and enticing when those online visitors come knocking. And they will, if you get your website design right.
You can create an enticing, SEO-optimised website with brilliant content all by yourself
Investing in website design doesn’t have to involve blowing half your annual revenue on a trendy web designer. We’re talking affordable website design that looks pretty and serves the purpose of bringing in new business — such a thing does really exist. Think of your website as a non-sentient salesperson. It’s the ambassador for your brand; it can delight or repel in a few seconds; it can make sure your customers keep coming back. It does this through looking good, creating a relationship with your visitors through stunning content and making it as simple as possible for those potential leads to contact and buy from you. The awesome thing is that there are tools out there which let you create this miracle salesperson yourself, without you having to brush up on your HTML or do the SEO yourself.
As much as we love affordable website design here at Sage Online Tools, there are several other factors involved in keeping a business afloat. We’ve rambled on quite enough, so here are some more tips for starting a business in bullet points:
- When it comes to digital marketing, consistency and quality are key. This applies to your blog posts, your social media posts and how you interact with suppliers and customers alike.
- Marketing is now customer-centric, not marketer-centric — the same applies to how you run your business. The days of trying to sell your product to all and sundry are gone. Now it’s all about forming lasting relationships with a more focused audience.
- Make sure your team is watertight, with complementary skill sets. Not only will this guarantee the smooth (not to mention enjoyable) running of your business, no investor will go near a business that isn’t steered by a stellar team.
- Don’t get bogged down by admin, and make sure you’re familiar with all the legalities of starting and running a business. A business is more grunt work, grafting and tears than brainstorming and million-dollar ideas.
- Make a plan, stan. Regardless of whether you fall into the non-plan category of people, your business needs one if you intend it to have a long and profitable future.
It might also be worth checking out two other blogs we’ve written related to starting a business— How to start a business and How Sage Online Tools have made web design affordable.
If you’ve had enough of reading and want to get started playing around with the design of your new website, sign up for a free website and e-store trial