Have a Small Business Idea But No Idea Where to Start? Here’s What to Do
POPSUGAR Australia has partnered with Vista to help you launch your dream business.
If you’re about to launch a business — congratulations! You’re about to join the ranks of about 800,000 Australians who start a business every single year, so you’re in very good company. We’re increasingly looking at how we’re using our time (and are making our money) after the past two years so, in our opinions, there’s never been a better time to start.
We’ll assume you’ve either already thought of your winning idea or are on the brink of finding the gap in the market that only you can fill. With that in mind, there are still a few things you should prepare for before taking the leap into the small business world, particularly if you plan on leaving your current job to dedicate all of your time to your new venture.
To help you on your way, here are the things you should do to prepare your business for success before launching.
Interrogate Your Idea Through Market Research
If you’re considering starting a business, you might already have your winning idea. But having a great idea doesn’t necessarily translate into a booming business unless it fills a genuine gap in the market that you’re targeting.
Start by looking at the industry or niche your business will fit into and see what is already out there — think about what they’re doing well, and also what they aren’t doing well. Then turn your eye to your own business, paying special attention to your own strengths and weaknesses.
Identify your business’s point of difference, whether through the product or service your offering, your branding, the way you communicate, or where you’re located. Then take an extra close look at the potential challenges your own business idea may have upon launch, to help you refine your idea or pivot your concept, where necessary.
One key piece of advice from Marcus Marchant, the CEO of Vista ANZS (Australia New Zealand and Singapore), in this realm is to also ask other people for honest feedback about your business and also ask whether they would spend the amount you want to charge for it. Be sure to ask people outside of your friends and family (Marchant was very specific about this), because while they will want to be supportive, they are also biased.
Be Thoughtful About Your Branding
For many people, branding sparks mental images of logos and logos alone, but branding is actually more far-reaching than that. The term branding encapsulates every touchpoint you have with your potential customers; from the colour scheme on your website, to the heft of your business cards, the images you fill your Instagram feed with, and the tone of voice you use to communicate.
Branding tells your customers how they should feel when engaging with your business, and when spending their hard-earned dollars on your product or services. This isn’t to say you need to spend thousands, or tens of thousands, on building a brand identity when you’re just starting out — you have the Internet at your disposal, so use it!
Online tools like Vista help you create everything from your logo to the design of your website, as well as physical products, too. They also have a feature where you can enlist a professional designer through 99designs, where freelancers from around the world create assets to your brief so you can then choose your favourite and build from there.
Build a Website
In the digital age, having an online presence is crucial for any business. Once you’ve locked in your branding and have interrogated your idea thoroughly, it’s time to push your baby out into the (digital) world. Building a website can feel daunting, but programs like Vista x Wix are extremely simple to use and will help you get your website live quickly and with ease.
I used Vista x Wix when I needed to put together a digital portfolio and the reason I decided on this particular platform was that it has loads of templates to choose from — so, whether you’re creating an e-commerce storefront, a landing page, a blog, or a combination of all three, there’ll be a template you can easily adapt to your business and branding. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping elements in and adding the relevant links, and voila! A sparkly new website.
Create a Marketing Plan
Once you have your product ready to go (whether that’s a physical product or a service you’re providing), and your branding and website ready to roll out, it’s time to pull together a marketing plan. This is what will help get your business in front of as many customers as possible. Marketing plays a major role in the success of any business.
Your marketing strategy depends on your business goals, the people you want to connect with, and what your desired outcome is. Do you want to drive awareness of your services? Convert sales? If you’re not clear on what you’re trying to accomplish with your marketing, it’s going to be hard to evaluate whether your strategy is successful.
If relevant to your business, start off by expanding your digital presence and ensuring you have secured your social accounts (like Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter, and Pinterest) and linked them to your website. You can link them all to your website through Vista x Wix. Next, you could consider writing a press release announcing the launch of your business. Vista has a step-by-step guide to take you through what this should include.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for how to market your small business. The best way is to experiment and find the channels that deliver the best return on your investment.
If you’re ready to get started on launching your small business, head to the Vista website to sort out everything from your branding, to your website, and even sort out some chic merch.