Do you have an idea for a small business, but have no idea how to actually start one? Figuring out the marketing aspect of your business is challenging enough on its own. There is no one way to start a business, but this article will give you a place to start learning how to start the small business you’ve been dreaming of.
How to Start a Small Business
So what is the answer to the question, how to start a small business? It begins with an idea and expands until it is a full-blown business. Understandably, that is harder than it sounds. Below are the steps and things you need to consider while starting a business.
Starting a business begins with research. Look into what demographics your desired field tends to attract. Research the leading companies in your industry. Understanding how others got from point A to point B can help you get to where you want your small business to go. Conduct focus groups, distribute surveys, and gather as much information as you can about your desired field.
While you learn how to start a small business, research will be your greatest asset. When you have the correct information, you will be able to make informed decisions that will help your new business thrive.
Refine Your Idea
You want to know exactly what you want your business to be. What purpose do you want your service or product to serve? What makes your business different from others in your field? Use your research to create a business plan. It will be much easier to market your business when you understand your business’s purpose.
Name Your Business
After doing some research and refining exactly what your business is, you can decide on a name. While this is a great chance to use your creativity, it is important to remember that the name of your business is one of your greatest marketing tools. It distinguishes you from your competition. As such, you will need to register the trademark and check to make sure no one else is using a similar name.
A good name is memorable, which allows brand awareness to spread rapidly and gives your customers an idea of what your business is about just by looking at the name. There are many ways to create a memorable name for your business.
Brand Name Suggestiveness
A brand name can point to an important aspect of your business. Look back at your research and choose a name that best portrays what your business stands for.
Made Up Brand Names
Making up a word to name your business is a completely valid choice. This will make your brand name unique and help you stand out from your competition. The drawback to making up words is that it will be unheard of by potential customers and memorability will be more difficult to facilitate.
Certain sounds evoke different emotions. For example, ‘K’ sounds are harsh and evoke strong emotions and could evoke feelings of strength while ‘B’ sounds are rounded and could convey a sense of relaxation. You could use this to your advantage and give your customers a sense of what your business is about just by hearing the name.
It is an undeniable fact that starting a business can cost a lot of money. How can you start a small business if you have no money? Unfortunately, you can not. You need it for marketing, creating products, paying employees, and many other things. When you are just starting to learn how to start a small business, money is likely to be very limited. Budgeting will be very important. Consider if you need to take out a loan. What is your plan to pay it back? Consider how you will support yourself financially before your business turns a profit. Will you work a second job?
Small business marketing can be expensive, so deciding how much you need to spend vs how much you can spend is imperative. There are four different budgeting methods you can use to help set your marketing budget.
Percent of Sales
Simply put, the percent of sales method takes a certain percentage of your total profits and uses it towards marketing. For example, a business earns $1,000,000 and has decided that its marketing budget will be 3% of sales. This company would have $30,000 to spend on marketing.
The best part of this method is that you will never spend more money than you have. The downside is that if you make little to no money, as many new businesses do at first, you will have little to spend on marketing. Without marketing, it is difficult to grow your business and earn the money you need to advertise more. It has the potential to create a no-win situation.
Objective and Task
Setting objectives is an important step when starting a business in general, but it can also be a great way to set your marketing budget. The objective and task budgeting method requires you to spend as much money as needed to achieve your goals. If your objectives are reasonable, the amount of money you need to spend will be expected.
While learning how to start a small business, you should have already looked into similar businesses. The competitive parity method requires you to research what these similar businesses are spending on marketing. That is how much you should spend on marketing when using this method. This will likely not be the best method for a business just starting as you will likely have less capital than an established business to spend on marketing.
Sometimes what you spend on marketing will come down to just how much you can afford to spend. Money is not likely to come by easily in the beginning, so spending what you can afford to spend on marketing might be all you can do.
Small Business Marketing
Discovering how to start a small business from a marketing perspective begins by understanding your target market. Find out what kind of things they like to do, what region they live in, hold old they are, how they think, and other segment characteristics.
Where to Advertise
Your company website and social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter are excellent places to advertise. Blogging is a great way to attract customers and build trust. Generating relevant and helpful content to your target market through a blog can help you create long-lasting relationships with customers. When used effectively, social media is a great way to spread the word about your business. While you can pay for ads on social media to attract a wider audience, you can also post for free though these posts will not be shown to as many potential customers.
A Google advertising agency can help a small business get started for several reasons:
Expertise in Google Advertising: Google Ads is a complex platform, and it requires a certain level of expertise to set up and optimize campaigns effectively. A Google advertising agency has professionals who specialize in managing Google Ads campaigns and can create effective campaigns to help your small business get started.
Targeted Advertising: Google Ads allows for highly targeted advertising, which means you can reach potential customers who are interested in your products or services. A Google advertising agency can help you identify the best targeting options for your business, such as keywords, demographics, interests, and locations, to ensure your ads are seen by the right people.
Cost-Effective Advertising: Google Ads can be an effective and cost-efficient way for small businesses to reach their target audience. A Google advertising agency can help you set up campaigns that are optimized for your budget and goals, ensuring that you get the most out of your advertising spend.
Data-Driven Optimization: A Google advertising agency can use data and analytics to optimize your campaigns continually. They can analyze data on clicks, impressions, conversions, and other metrics to identify what is working and what is not, and make changes accordingly to ensure that your ads are performing at their best.
Email marketing is effective because you can personalize it to your customer’s interests. You can segment your email list based on certain characteristics and then send out emails advertising or with deals for products or services those customers are most likely to buy.
A great way to earn trust is to take advantage of earned media. A third party reporting on your product or service can attract new audiences and increase your sales. Earned media is free as it should be earned as the name suggests. Essentially, when your business does something interesting, helpful, or innovative, people will talk about it.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
When your website shows up at the top of the search engine search results pages, people are more likely to click on your site and make a purchase. Search engine optimization is the small business marketing technique that will help you push your website up higher on these pages.
Google My Business
When learning how to start a small business, claiming or creating a Google My Business account is pertinent. Google My Business listings show up before regular search results, so if a potential customer is searching for businesses like yours, if your listing is search engine optimized, they will easily find it at the top of the listings.
Partner With Other Businesses
There should be a benefit to both your business and the business you are partnering with. A partnership with another brand gives you access to their customers and an opportunity to introduce your product or service to them. Identify a business that will complement your business. They should not be the same but should have a cross-over in the demographics they attract. For example, a bakery could offer a 25% off coupon to a library’s clientele. Partnering with a different business is a great way to attract new customers.
Start Your Small Business
Now that you know the basics of how to start a small business, you can take the next step in developing your idea into a thriving business. Find out what it is that only your business can offer people and spread the word. In no time you will find that your business is growing.
- What is the first step to starting a small business?
- How can I come up with a name for my business?
- How do I create a marketing budget?
- Why is SEO important to a small business?
- What kinds of businesses should I partner with when starting?