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The Ultimate Business Startup Guide

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Business Startup Guide

Welcome to our ultimate business startup guide for entrepreneurs!

The first thing you’ll need to decide on (if you haven’t already) is what kind of business you’ll be starting. Below are two of the most important considerations to take into account before beginning your entrepreneurial journey-

Business Ideas

You don’t necessarily need something new that isn’t already in the market space. Remember that the biggest and most notable companies don’t all have unique ideas. The secret to how they’ve become successful over time is that they’ve perfected the recipe to their business. And that’s the secret. To perfect your unique recipe and implement it with considered timing. Some companies to consider that have reinvented the market space are Google (created a better Yahoo search), Facebook (built a better MySpace) and Microsoft (who copied Apple). We’ve put together a short list of low cost start-up business ideas here if you need some inspiration.

Consider timing

Knowing what needs are currently underrepresented in the market will make your business a success. Starting a business in 2021 may seem like a bad idea but the competition is weak, which is an advantage to your business. When starting a business it’s important to ask yourself:
  1. What’s the current market situation? Make sure there’s a demand for your product or service. It’s a good idea to conduct market research (you can even do this over social media) into what people think of your idea. If you find a low engagement rate, the time may not yet be right for you.
  2. What’s your situation like? Understanding if you’re able to give this idea 100% of your attention at this time is key to your success.
  3. Have you thought about funding? Being able to secure funding for your business is really important. Many times entrepreneurs invest their own funds in their start-up to ensure it’s a success. Consider your financial position and decide if you’re in the right place to move forward with your idea.
Are you looking to start your business from a hobby of yours? Great idea! Read on for some advice on finding out if your hobby could be a viable business for you-

Deciding if your hobby could be a business

Times are changing and so is business. Having to find alternative forms of income has resulted in many people successfully turning their hobbies into viable businesses. Deciding if your hobby could make you money can be confusing and difficult. Here we’ll pose 4 questions to consider when deciding if this is the right path for your career include-

What if I stop enjoying my hobby?   

How committed am I to making this a success?   

Do I like making decisions? 

Do I have the money to make it happen?

For more guidance on this topic, check out our article here.

How to turn your hobby into a business

Here’s an excerpt from our article that covers the 7 tips to help ensure your business is successful- Wondering how to turn your hobby into a business? Congratulations! You’re about to embark on an exciting and rewarding journey. Before you dive in, make sure to read these 7 tips that will be sure to help.

Set goals

Goal setting is arguably the most important step to making your business a success. Decide on if you want this to be a side hustle or a full time job. Think about what you want outside of the passion you have for your product or service. Whatever you decide you want from your business, be sure to write your goals as if you’ve already achieved them. Detail how you feel now that you’ve succeeded. Give as much information as possible. This will empower you and get you on the track to success.” You can read the full 7 steps here. The next thing to consider as part of our ultimate business startup guide is how Social Media can help your business thrive. We’ll dive into that next-

Is Social Media right for your business?

The two biggest social media networks used in South Africa are Facebook & Instagram. Both platforms can help you drive sales and generate leads. For the purpose of this section, we’ll include some general information on both platforms as well as links to help you set up your business accounts on both networks-

Instagram

To create trust in your brand, you need to put a face to it. That’s how Instagram helps business

Why do people use Instagram?

As they say themselves – “People come to Instagram to be inspired and discover things they care about, which includes content from brands and businesses.”

What can Instagram do for your business?

  1. Get real-time metrics on how your stories and promoted posts perform throughout the day.
  2. Get insights into your followers and how they interact with your posts and stories.
  3. Add information about your company, such as business hours, location and phone number.
Having a visual feed sets your brand apart from your competitors and shows users how you’re unique. You can also collect important information on your following and tailor your posts to suit your audience. This will result in a higher conversion rate and more sales for your business. Many business owners who sell services avoid Instagram, thinking it better suited to those who sell products. This isn’t true and shouldn’t stop your business from making use of this powerful tool. Instagram for business can also be used to showcase your staff in action, daily business operations and projects on the go. This gives users valuable insights into how your company runs and if your services are a good fit for their needs. Time to set up your account? Check out this article to help you set up your Instagram Business Page.

Facebook

One of the most powerful free marketing tools on the web is Facebook for business.

Why Facebook?

Facebook is the most widely used social media platform worldwide. It’s often one of the first places someone will go for more information on a business. In South Africa alone, there are over 14 million Facebook users and this number continues to climb. All these people are potential customers and you need to tap into that! Setting up Facebook for Business is relatively simple and will greatly benefit your business. Read our simple guide here to set yours up today.

Consider your content

Now that you’ve set up your business’ social media accounts, the next thing to consider is the content you post. Posting the wrong type of content not only alienates users but can be detrimental to your brand. In this section, we’ll discuss:
  1. Writing content from scratch
  2. How to ensure your content is punchy and
  3. When to post your content.
Let’s dive right in!

Creating punchy content from scratch

Quality content allows your audience to build trust in your brand and to engage with you. It helps your audience relate to your business and helps them make buying decisions. The most important thing to consider before creating your content is “Who is my ideal customer?”

Know your ideal customer

You can’t target everyone. But you can market to everyone. In a world where businesses have to compete for audience attention, the principal of creating your ideal customer is an absolute must! Remember that your customer is a person. A person who has their own set of interests, hobbies and problems. When generating content, always keep this in mind. You’re marketing to people. Need help creating your ideal customer? We’ve included this helpful link in our startup business guide just for you!

Creating punchy content

Customers would rather buy from a trusted source and you can build that trust by posting quality content online. In this section we’ll cover 1 of our 7 tips for creating punchy content. For the full list of tips, click here.

Tip #1 : Get attention with a strong title!

80% of users will read your title and 20% won’t make it to the end of your article. That’s how important your title is in motivating your audience to read further. When crafting your title, these tips will certainly help you create a strong one:
  1. Use a number. Numbers are brain candy for the user
  2. Include rationales in your title- for example words like “tips, reasons, lessons or tricks” work well
  3. Be specific- some examples include “7 tips for entrepreneurs” “Write a business plan from scratch” and “3 free marketing tool for small business
  4. State the obvious in your title
  5. Use common words
Once you’ve read the full list of tips, then next thing to consider is how often you should post content online. Let’s look at that next-

How often to post content

Wondering how often to post content? It’s tough staying relevant when customers are bombarded with ads whenever they go online.

Consistency doesn’t mean more

A simple example to consider is this- could News24 have built such a large audience and subscriber base if they published every other day as opposed to constantly? Highly unlikely. You need to apply the same consistency to your publishing schedule and the editorial calendar is the tool to help you do that. Read our full article with tips on why and how to create an editorial calendar. We cannot recommend this enough in your content strategy plan as it takes the headache out of managing your online content. If you’d rather just skip to the best times to post in 2021, click here for an excellent resource. Before posting though, it’s important to create a way in which you can generate leads through your posts. One of these ways is by using CTAs (Call-to-action) buttons.  A CTA is the part of your content, ad or web-page that encourages your audience to do something. Examples of CTAs include “Try for Free” , “Learn More” and “Subscribe”. Let’s look at this in a bit more detail-

Using CTAs to generate leads

There are some basics that need to be understood before you can include CTAs in your content. In this section, we’ll touch on one aspect of what to consider when including this in your marketing strategy. For a bit more information on this topic, you can click here and view our article covering just that. When including a CTA in your content, you need to –

Be direct and informative

Use a strong command verb when crafting your CTA. This will tell your audience what action is required on their part. If, for example, you want someone to request more information you could use “Find out more” or, if you want a customer to complete a purchase “Buy now” works well. In both cases, the CTA is direct and informative. Make sure your content always includes a call to action and you’ll be well on your way to generating leads in no time! We know that starting a business can be an expensive venture and saving costs is of vital importance. This is why we’ve included this excellent list of free marketing tools as part of our ultimate business startup guide.

Online Advertising

Looking for tips on online advertising? Then look no further!  As the saying goes “work smarter, not harder” and that’s where we fit in. We’re right there with you, each step of the way. Successful entrepreneurs need to keep an eye on trends and audience insights to create a meaningful online presence. Gone are the days of spammy emails and boring ads. In our article covering tips for online advertising, we specifically discuss crafting your own USP (Unique Selling Point). This is vital when setting your business apart from others. If you haven’t created one yet, head on over to this article for some great advice.

Set your business up right

Arguably one of the most important things to consider in this ultimate business startup guide! In this section we’ll discuss the importance of ensuring you have the right documentation when starting your business. Not only will these help streamline your business but they will also ensure your compliance.

Documentation instills confidence in your business

The most important document you will need for your business is a business plan. Having a well written business plan is your recipe to success. It shows potential investors that you’re serious about your business and provides you with a roadmap to achieving your business goals. Writing a business plan can become quite time consuming, especially if you are new to the business world. Here are our top 3 tips when writing a business plan-
  1. Know your competition
  2. Know your audience and
  3. Be realistic.
Knowing what your market share is, will help you analyse if your business can make money. Similarly, knowing your audience and including realistic projections will help you understand what you need to do to achieve your business goals. You won’t just need a business plan though. You’ll also require various statutory documents for your startup including a Partnership Agreement, Buy & Sell Agreement, Non Disclosure Agreement and Share Certificate. We’ve taken the headache out of compiling these documents by including a link in this business startup guide to our comprehensive start-up template pack. Check that out here or click here to read a bit more about this. Lastly, we’ve put together this comprehensive list of tips for entrepreneurs that will give you a good idea on what’s required when starting your own business. As always, we’re here to help and guide you on your journey. If you have any specific questions that haven’t been covered in this ultimate business startup guide, reach out to us here and we’ll point you in the right direction.
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