Launching a business is a big project that happens in many stages. There are weeks or months of planning ahead to make sure that the business will be healthy in the long term. Below are the five stages every business owner goes through in order to successfully launch their business.
Stage 1: The Dream Stage
Every person who wants to open a business is a dreamer -- an entrepreneur. That is how they open businesses and have ideas in the first place. However, that dream must be put on paper and turned into something that is tangible and doable. Without the initial planning, most people will find that their dream died before they ever had a chance to really enjoy it.
Stage 2: The Actual Startup and Chaos
The process of starting up the business and getting it off the ground can be rather chaotic because the business is being created from nothing. There were no bank accounts, no employees, no inventory and no retail space. This means that the business owner has to go through and find all of these things.
When the business owner opens up accounts, finds employees and begins to order inventory, they must have a plan to sell their products or services. This is where the marketing phase of the business comes into play. The marketing of the business is incredibly important for the business to start off on the right foot. Without proper marketing, no one will ever know that the business even exists.
Once the business knows who their customer is, they must also set into place an accounting and operations system that makes sense. Everything from how the office is opened in the morning to when people are paid is very important. Once this foundation is laid down, the business owner can begin to expand.
Stage 3: Stability and Survival
Once the business owner is operating, they must have a strong online presence. Survival means reaching people in as many ways as possible. Having social media accounts, making online videos and reaching out to customers all over the world is far more effective than only focusing on the people around the corner.
The business must also be marketed properly. This means that it must have a professionally-designed logo, a motto or slogan written by a professional and promotional material that will make its way into the community.
Survival requires marketing and an online presence. Without these two crucial steps, the business will fizzle out when their initial customer base dries up.
Stage 4: The Growth Stage
Most businesses that are growing must decide if they are going to expand or invest their money. Businesses that make investments can collect on those investments to protect against losses. Businesses that expand must carefully research their expansion and plan to do so slowly for their own safety.
Stage 5: The Exit Strategy
Every business owner must decide if they want to own their business forever or sell their business and pocket the profits. Choosing and exit strategy is only fair to the employees and the business itself. If the owner wants to sell, they need to be prepared. If they want to stay forever, they must plan to run this business for the rest of their life.
Being a small business owner means wearing a lot of hats ranging from a customer service representative, accountant, and project manager. This leaves little room to focus on marketing. One of the best ways to market your business is through local press coverage. The primary goal is to attain new customers and make your business known. While media coverage is a goal of many businesses, it is a tedious task.
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