When you decide to set sail to your venture there is so much to do, but the question is when you are up and running what should you continue to prioritise?
Whilst you will be required to manage and operate the daily tasks of your business, remembering to stay focused on your customer should always be at the top of your list. There is nothing more important than your community because without them how will your business continue to grow?
So what are the three sea’s (excuse the pun!) that you should focus on when you are starting a business?
If there is one thing that a new business should focus on, it is being consistent. It can be said that ‘consistency is key’ when you are wanting to achieve results and we couldn’t agree more.
So how do you integrate consistency into your business?
Our advice would be to start with a couple of areas first, making sure they are being integrated and actioned at a high standard before continuing to add more to your list.
What do you start with first?
We believe that establishing a strong online presence whether this be Instagram, Facebook or a website is the ideal starting point. Whatever platform you choose to begin with, do it properly. That means establishing patterns to build trust with your community from the very start. If you plan to post twice a week on Instagram then make sure you do this. If you are promising to deliver a blog once a week then be sure to deliver on that promise.
How do I create consistency?
Our philosophy is that everything starts with a plan. If you don’t have a plan then how do you know what you are wanting to achieve?
Once you establish your tasks, actively plan to complete them and make sure you are turning up to deliver what you are promising.
So what if your plan changes?
This is totally ok, but you need to communicate your changes with your audience.
When you are building a brand you want to be building a connection and relationship with your audience and this means letting them know what is going on – well as much as you can without telling them everything!
One of the hardest things in business is accepting that not everything works perfectly all the time, so you have to be willing to adapt and remember to communicate with your community about change when required.
There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, but the one thing that should be a number one priority is your customer.
So how do I communicate with my audience?
The number one thing that you can do for your customer is be there and with social media, it’s almost impossible not to show up. Respond to comments, connect via messages and most importantly use stories and/or posts to share what you are doing behind the scenes. You don’t have to create large format content like blogs or emails every day to connect. Focus on value content and use social media on a daily basis to let your community know you’re there. If you are going through a change or know you won’t be active on your social media for a while – let them know. The worst thing you can do is just disappear.
Lastly, if a customer sends you a message or email make sure you reply and make sure you reply within a timely manner (not days or weeks later!) Communicating with your customers should be your top priority and if it doesn’t excite you when someone wants to connect with you then maybe you need to re-think what you are doing!
Networking and collaboration is key for businesses in general, however for small businesses we believe it is one of the most important things that you can do.
The great thing is that there are so many businesses around that would love to hear from you – after all they are also wanting to grow!
So which brands should I reach out to?
It is important that you don’t just reach out to any business, but instead think about which ones align with your values and will connect with both your audiences.
We would recommend creating a list of the type of collaborations you would like to be part of. You can then find businesses that suit your idea, rather than creating an idea based on a business you love, as this may not always represent your brand’s vision.
Ready to take action? These are your next steps:
- Review your three sea’s and determine which areas you could potentially be doing better in.
- Make a plan for how you will implement any new changes.
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Ash + Lauren