Setting up your business is an exciting time – you start with a great idea and it evolves into a viable business plan. Now what?
Do you get a website or start social media? If yes, should I be on twitter, or is Instagram best at the moment, what is the best platform for me? Should I be blogging or pinning or what? There are so many variables it can be a bit overwhelming.
This blog is designed to help you identify the first few things to help you achieve your goal, it is not an exhaustive list and each business will be different.
I recommend you start by thinking about where your customers or clients will come from. Without clients your business is going to be short-lived, even if it is the best idea in the world.
- Who is your ideal client?
- Where do they hang out? or what social media platforms are they on?
- How do they choose the services you provide?
Once you have the answers to some of these questions you will have a good idea of where to start branding your business.
Case Study – Waste Management Disposal business
I recently helped one local businessman who was just setting up his business. He came to our Facebook group convinced he needed a website to make his Facebook page look more professional. I highlighted that he would only look more professional if the web address took you to a professional website and instead of working on his Facebook page, he would also have to work on a website too.
Don’t get me wrong, a good website can do wonders for your business, but is it the first thing that you need to set up?
There are two generalisations regarding a website. Some use a website as like a catalogue or a noticeboard to put up information about your business. I call this a reference website. It’s a place where you can put your services and refer people to it who want to know more about your business. Setting up this type of website can help you formulate what services you want to offer but you could still operate your business without it.
There is another type of website which is where a customer can purchase your products. To run this sort of website you need an eCommerce package. Arguably, if this is your business, you will need this type of website before you can even start with customers.
My waste disposal man was after the first type of website. A place to show off his business and provide answers to customers. I was of the opinion this wasn’t an essential for his business at the start that couldn’t be covered by something else.
Who is your ideal client
Let us go back to the questions I posed at the beginning of this blog and think of this for my waste disposal man. I think there are quite a few ideal clients but one could be young families who collect too many toys and need a clear out of the garage to make room for even more toys. And maybe middle aged people who have inherited property following a bereavement. Neither have much available spare time so might consider hiring a waste disposal company.
Where is your ideal client hanging out?
If we take the young families first, perhaps they typically hang out on Instagram. It is known as the youngsters platform and statistics support that. A well placed advert and a good use of hashtags could get your business in front of them. Some might be on Facebook as a lot of schools have Facebook groups for the parents to communicate.
If we take the middle aged inheritors, perhaps those that are business minded are on Facebook or Twitter. They might not be on social media and might be hanging out at the local gym.
Seeing as the first group and the second group could be on Facebook, if you only have time to manage one platform, perhaps that is where you focus in the beginning to try and get in front of both groups.
How does your customer choose the service you provide?
I looked at this from the customers point of view and put myself in their shoes. I thought about how I would start a search for waste management removal services. I know this is a personal opinion and everyone would approach this slightly differently, but there are chances that prospective customers would think the same as me. I fall into the ideal client categories as described above so why not?
I deduced that unless I knew someone who provided this service, I would google it. I love how that has actually become a term now – Google has the monopoly as far as I’m concerned on searching the internet. I don’t use Bing or Yahoo… I use Google. And that’s the thing. Use social media to get your business and your brand known by people, but these will all be random people who might require your services. At the end of the day, I’m not going to search on Facebook for a waste removal service, although I might ask in a Facebook group for a recommendation.
Form your strategy
So now you’ve identified where your customers might be and how they search for you, you now need a strategy to get in front of those customers.
I always recommend businesses should have a Google Business Page. It is free and it puts you on the map. This is great if you are a local business and location specific. People will search on Google for a service and will be given your page. See my blog below about how to make the most of this free service and get your page to appear at the top of the listings.
In this case study, a google business page can also give you a website. It won’t have a domain specific website address unless you pay for one and connect it, but it could be a short term fix.
Below is a website automatically put together from a google page. It has the list of services available and puts this into a pleasing format. It fulfils the role of a reference style of website. So long as it has your contact details, so when they ring you, you can close the deal and secure them as a customer.
So in this case study, we deduced you need a Google Business Page which will double up as a website, and you will build your relationship with potential customers through Facebook. This will give you two things to focus on instead of thinking you have to be on every platform, and have a website etc. I’m not suggesting this is the end, I’m suggesting this is the start. Once you’ve actioned these parts of your strategy, you will works out what works for you as a business, and for you personally. Then you can expand to do the other things on your list. As a business owner we invariably always find something else we could do to help the business.
I have some other resources that you might find useful, just click below.
Still too much?
If you still find it all too overwhelming then do please contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently worked with a tree surgeon who just wanted to cut down trees, he didn’t want to think about a website, or his google page or work out how to engage with potential customers on Facebook. He provided photos of his work and I put together a social media package which provided engaging comments through out the month and updated his website with the latest photos. Check out his website https://afctreecare.com/<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">If you want to know more about how my pricing structure works, check out <a href="https://katrinasummerfield.com/vapricing/" data-type="page" data-id="48">Virtual Assistant Pricing</a>If you want to know more about how my pricing structure works, check out Virtual Assistant Pricing