Ivan Popov is the CEO of VIP studiothat creates and maintains WordPress websites for enterprises, SMEs and e-commerce platforms.
People who jump into “company ownership” training usually know their own professional standards and goals they want to live up to. But in my experience, one step that no aspiring entrepreneur should skip before entering the business world is doing their homework.
The truth is that running a business is not easy even if the entrepreneur has done his best in the preparation department. Knowing current trends and people’s perceptions of ventures in your industry is helpful for any aspiring entrepreneur, and understanding the basic guidelines can help ensure a smoother start and a better level of preparation for what comes next.
Keeping the bigger picture in mind
An entrepreneurial mentor of mine once told me that when starting a business, entrepreneurs should have the bigger picture in mind, rather than focusing on all the smaller details from the start. These broader fundamentals are important in the beginning because they help highlight your company’s original goals, whether product-based or service-based.
It’s important to be fully aware of what your business will represent, as well as all the directions and approaches it needs to take to get there in the first place. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you should have a better sense of stability and a clear direction in terms of leveling up. That said, let’s take a look at some of the most important business fundamentals that aspiring entrepreneurs should consider from the start.
1. Set up a website.
Having a website is one of the most relevant aspects of successful businesses. Today, almost every potential audience is online, so businesses need to follow suit. By providing your audience with a place where they can easily get to know the brand as well as the products and services, you can increase public awareness and demonstrate your credibility, exclusivity and availability. To achieve this, add features such as customer testimonials, product reviews, any relevant certifications you may have, and access to 24/7 customer support, just to name a few.
2. Opt for a personalized approach.
Personalization makes customers feel that they are taken care of and that their needs are met. Focus on showcasing products and services relevant to each customer to increase sales and profits. Fortunately, there are several ways to collect the data needed to effectively personalize your content and marketing.
As a business, research your customers’ behavior: the type of products they buy, the content they interact with, and the price range they’re interested in. You can then use product recommendations and personalized discounts or promo codes to further drive people’s purchase intent. You can also collaborate with professionals. Third-party services typically include content personalization through machine learning, targeted social media advertising, precise landing page construction, and personalized email marketing campaigns. (Full disclosure: My company offers this kind of service just like others.)
3. Provide reliable customer support.
Customers appreciate knowing that their needs, struggles and problems can be resolved quickly and effortlessly with the help of professional customer support. Good customer service can vastly improve that of any brand reliability and dependability in the eyes of customers. I recommend having a dedicated team of customer support experts, but more companies are also using AI-powered chatbots to provide faster service for more basic requests and to boost their reputation for overall helpfulness and credibility to improve.
4. Know your audience.
Our attention span as a society has been decreasing more and more lately – we all consume shorter content that is more visual and filled with to-the-point types of explanation and direction. Knowing your company’s potential audience in great detail is critical as it can help you come up with the best communication strategies to get your message out there. The second people feel a lack of relevance, they go to a more relevant source. Doing your homework to thoroughly learn what matters to your target audience will help you keep customers engaged in the long run.
5. Learn from both best And the worst examples.
Paying close attention to your company’s competitors will give you a completely different perspective. From the best examples, you can gain insightful experience about what they do well. From the bad examples you can learn what not to do and how to persevere. Therefore, researching what other companies are doing and how they are doing can take you to the next level of business awareness and development.
I hope these guidelines can serve as a focus for anyone just entering the business world looking for ways to jumpstart a successful entrepreneurial journey. Sure, we all experience difficulties along the way; but having a solid foundation to build on can greatly facilitate the whole process.