Richard Branson recently published a list of questions every aspiring entrepreneur should ask themselves before deciding to start their own business. In his list, the self-made billionaire insists that persistence is a bigger factor than talent in determining the success of an entrepreneur.
Branson would know; after all, he’s a mega-entrepreneur who has developed over 100 brands in his 40+ years as a business owner. If you aspire to become a savvy business owner like Branson, here are 3 key things that you’ll want to focus on first:
- Create a Website
Yes, it goes without saying these days: a business website is crucial for any new business. When you’re ready to make a website, you have a couple options: you can either hire a designer or developer to build a site for you, or you can do it yourself using a website builder. Many entrepreneurs prefer to build their own websites these days, as website builders don’t require any coding knowledge and are often cheaper than hiring a professional web developer.
- Optimize your business website for Google
To help visitors find your website, you’ll want to optimize the site content to rank higher on Google and the other search engines. This is a lengthy and complicated process, so it’s possible you might want to consider hiring a web professional for assistance. If you prefer the DIY route, there a few basic steps you’ll want to start with.
For instance, experts recommend adding common “keywords” and phrases into your website copy to help Google determine what your website is about, and therefore help you show up higher in the search results for those terms. Try to fix or remove any broken links on your website. Be sure your website is responsive, meaning it should automatically resize on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
- Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach new customers and interact with existing ones. Social media is especially important if your potential client base includes Gen Xers or Millennials. The vast majority of Millennials (aka “Gen Y”) check social media at least once per day – and they make up the majority of users on some social networks, including Instagram.
In addition to marketing your business or paying for social media advertisements, many companies are using websites like Facebook, Twitter, and more to communicate with their client base. Over half of all Americans appreciate companies using social media to provide customer support, and nearly all Pinterest users admit to using Pinterest to help plan their next purchases. As you can imagine, if your business doesn’t have a social media presence, you’re potentially missing out on engaging with your target audience.
- Minimize Overhead
While it’s true you sometimes have to spend money to make money, when you’re getting your business off the ground it is essential that you choose where you’re spending that money very wisely. For example, you most likely do not need a fancy office space when you’re first starting out. Instead, move the items in your overstuffed garage into storage and turn your garage into your HQ.Your website and social media pages can serve as your “storefront” until you’ve got enough steady capital for a brick and mortar space. You can also save money initially by being smart about how much inventory your order. The last thing you want is to have a lot of money tied up in items you’re unable to sell. Bottom line: when you’re first getting started, the rule shouldn’t be don’t spend any money, but instead, think carefully about each dime you spend.
There is certainly more (much more) to running a business than just talent, persistence, and the four factors listed above. Of course, these are all great starting points for launching your new business. If you make a website that ranks well on the search engines and goes viral on social media, you’ll be placing yourself in an excellent position for continued business success.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay by skitterphoto