Get Your Business Off the Ground in 5 Steps
Have you recently started a new business, or are you just looking to gain exposure and expand your customer base? It doesn’t matter what your business is, the key to getting your business off the ground and enhancing exposure is branding yourself and being “searchable”. Building a brand around your business will help you attract more clients, because you will have a clear and concise message that you’re conveying to prospective customers. The other main component to getting your business off the ground is being “searchable,” that is, if someone in your area types the service you offer into Google, your business should pop up in the search results.
#1 Create a Clear Identity
In order to gain more customers, it’s important to build a brand around your business with a key strategy and message to convey to potential customers. Every business needs it’s own unique identity and selling point. What is the goal of your business? How do you provide the solution to a certain problem? It’s important to come up with a set of guidelines and best practices for your business. You want to give a clear message across to potential customers that shows you’re not only serious about what you do, but you’re organized and professional. This can include everything from how you answer the phone, to the way you speak to clients, and any paper goods you provide such as invoices, receipts, and project presentations.
From here, you need to consider what sort of branded materials your business needs. Do you need menu boards, business cards, memo templates, or presentation desk? Once you’ve compiled a list of the materials you need, it’s time to get those materials with the same branding.
Check out the website layout and branding elements for Perrine’s Wine Shop: The website and stationary for this site are beautifully designed and all follow the same color palette.
Check out Kara’s Cupcakes: I love how Kara’s has specially boxes that securely holds cupcakes inside of them. In addition to having special boxes, Kara’s does an amazing job with their paper materials. Check out their website and brand items below:
Check out Fast Eddie’s Barbershop: I love the design for this shop’s materials, and can’t get over how this really takes me back to the days of real barbershops.
Looking for Some Extra Reading? Check out: Fantastic Examples of Branding, What Great Brands Do
Are you looking to start working on the branding for your company, but don’t want to hire a designer? Browse through Creative Market‘s vast array of goods, and pick ones that suit your business needs. From there all you have to do is make a few edits to customize them for your business, and you’re ready to go. Check out some of my favorite items:
#2 Create a Site for Your Business
Every business should have a website. Most people use the internet to search for services they need, so if you’re not on the internet you’ll be missing out boatloads of potential customers. Having a website will allow you to showcase the services you have to offer, your location and contact information, and anything else potential clients and customers may need. If you have services for hire or products available for order, showcase those on your website, it will mean less phone calls you have to deal with to clarify the services your business has to offer and more customers who know what they want.
You want your website to provide potential customers with clear and concise information that tells them what they need to know without endless hours of searching. Your website can help you gain more customers so you want it to be intriguing, and to draw people in.
Be sure to include these key elements in your site:
- Phone Number
- Menu/List of Services
- Social Profiles
Check out Pinkberry‘s website: Pinkberry does a great job of using their website to help customers find them. You can order online, find store locations, and check out all of Pinkberry’s products online. In addition, you can connect with Pinkberry’s social profiles right from the home page.
Check out Ambiance: Ambiance is an amazing clothing store that draws people in by posting amazing outfit combinations on different social profiles. They find amazing clothes and create unique outfits and broadcast them on their website and through social profiles. A truly great job using the internet to gain customers.
Check out the Melting Pot: This restaurant does a great job of drawing people in, because their site features their entire menu, locations, and makes it easy to book a table. Not only that, but the restaurant created an awesome video to showcase why their restaurant is incredibly unique.
Looking to gain exposure for your business? Check out these awesome website templates to help you get started right. It only takes a few simple steps to customize your site, and then you’re ready to go!
#3 Get Social
It may not seem important for a restaurant to be on Twitter, but you’d be surprised at how well people can do by getting social. Once day I was extremely hungry, so I tweeted this out from my personal Twitter, check out what happened:
I was so impressed by these restaurants and their savvy social media skills that I actually made the trip down to eat there one day. All of these restaurants did an amazing job of using Twitter to find a person who was hungry, and gained a new customer!
Try setting up a Twitter profile and tweeting out to people who are looking for the services you offer. You can do this through Advanced Twitter Search, where you type in a certain keyword like “hungry,” and then you specify a specific location.
#4 Connect through other websites
One way to find more customers and clients is to connect to databases that offer specific services. For example, I discovered a bunch of great restaurants using GrubHub. I really wanted food delivered, but I didn’t know any restaurants with the food I wanted in the area, so I used this website and found a multitude of amazing restaurants.
Check out some of these websites and start gaining more customers (there are specific sites that cater to specific types of services so you may need to Google something appropriate to your business) : Seamless, Eat24, Dribbble, TaskRabbit
#5 Use a Loyalty or Rewards Program
If you want to gain loyal customers who keep coming back once they’ve found you why not use a loyalty program. People can build up points when they visit your business for discounts or services. It’s a great way to keep customers coming back for more.
Check out these awesome loyalty programs to start boosting your business: