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Could you start a business?

Everyone has the potential to create their own brand. All that is required is passion, enthusiasm and dedication! 2022 is the prime time to embrace the opportunity to invest in your own success! No degree, extensive savings, co-operate experience or wealthy benefactor is necessary to help an entrepreneur establish a strong reputation.

The number of business births in the past five years is considerably higher than in the period before that. The devastating impact of the pandemic has inspired more of us to embrace change and follow our dream, quitting unfulfilling jobs to invest time and energy into setting up a new business, of which they are the CEO.  This is Method's guide to releasing your untapped start-up potential and becoming your own boss!

Decide on your product or service

When brainstorming ideas, it's important for there to be an existing and invested interest within the industry in which your product or service is situated. Its also key that you are able to identify strongly with the consumers you will be serving. This will allow you to communicate and relate intuitively, increasing your engagement significantly. Try to envision, what the product or service will achieve for your consumer, how will it enhance their lifestyle. There should be a demand for your product or service, so assess the gap in the market so you can determine the best price you can ask, considering how you can best advertise, sell and deliver the product at a reasonable expense.

After all of this has been determined, decide if you want a physical shop floor space or an e-commerce base. Advantages to e-commerce include low financial cost, selling internationally, retargeting customers, and personalising the buying experience. However, physical stores are more visible, they assist customers in making decisions, there are no shipping costs involved, and the experience of physical stores is unique. Work out what will best serve your brand.

Customer research

At the heart of every flourishing business, the customer is king. Brands become better acquainted with their consumers by conducting effective customer research, which is the key to improving your product or service. Interviews, surveys, and various other customer research methods are the most efficient strategies for consistently increasing revenue and growth.

Clear and efficient communication techniques will unlock every piece of information you need to know to help harness success and channel prosperity for your prospective brand. Many businesses find brand personas to be a valuable customer research strategy. Buyer personas help brands to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of customer segments. Additionally, key trends associated with buyer personas can be identified which target your consumers' pain points, thereby increasing brand loyalty and customer retention.

Have a listen to our new podcast, with strategies and tips to help your company  grow.

Decide on a marketing strategy

When devising a marketing strategy, it is helpful to refer to the 7Cs of marketing; clients, convenience, competition, communication, consistency, creative content, and credibility. These seven core values help inform your marketing matrix, offering insight into what elements of your marketing strategy need to be streamlined and enhanced.

Once you have successfully determined what product or service you want to provide and the necessary route by which to sell, now is the time to establish how you need to promote your new brand to the target audience. After thoroughly mapping out your buyer personas, you'll know what resonates best with your audience, from understanding which social platforms to capture their attention to the best language to use by which to establish a sense of familiarity with your audience.

Some practical marketing techniques include:

Offering a special introductory offer to new subscribers, from discounted pricing, reduced-rate bundle or package to a free gift for every referral.

Social media contests are a highly effective way of engaging with customers and sparking the interest of more potential leads to visit your page.

Email is a brilliant channel for communicating on mass to prospective buyers. For example, 82% of consumers open emails from businesses, with 76% of email subscribers making purchases from an email marketing message.

Sharing customer reviews is a great way to allow those who have real experience of your brand to sing your praises and in turn, positively influence consumer decisions and strengthen your credibility. Customer interaction ultimately leads to improved profits for businesses.

Postage and packaging

Most companies who provide either a product or service have relied on mail-out services to survive and thrive throughout the pandemic. Product packaging is not just there to protect the actual product from damage, it's also a potential selling point. Cheap materials which do not effectively protect your product can result in damaged goods being received by your customer, which will most likely mean they will not return to you for a repeat sale.

Many consumers today are aware of their carbon footprint. Offering recyclable, compostable or zero plastic packaging, a progressive attitude to waste will give your brand a competitive, ethical edge. Avoid using branded packaging, which can incur higher costs than standard options. Instead, customise packages with stickers or print logos onto packing paper to lower expenses.

Keep costs as low as possible.

When you first establish your brand, everything feels like it costs the kind of money you don't have. Although making a profit is the quickest way to earn cash, being as frugal as possible with costs will preserve the funds you do have. It is tempting to overspend on unnecessary assets when starting up. Resist this temptation. Declaring bankruptcy is one of the leading causes of new businesses folding in the first five years of being active.

Just like your product selection, you want to keep your stock levels and other expenses in the business as low as possible as you get started. Unless you have a massive budget for starting your business, you will be in a much better position if you keep your start-up costs and inventory levels lean as you learn about what your customer wants and who you are as a business.

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