SCORE

4 STEPS TO START A NEW BUSINESS

You have a business that opened 6 months ago. It was a great moment of celebration. You told your family and your friends about it. You are offering a great service that you are passionate about. There is a definite need. You have developed a business plan, and it looks great. There is only one problem, and it’s pretty major, how do you bring in customers to serve? Have you experienced this dilemma? It happens with most businesses, and it is the major reason why they fail or at least fail to grow. How big is this problem for you? There is a very old saying. It goes something like this, “if you are not growing, you are falling behind.”

A group of small business owners having a meeting in a conference room.

How much would it help if you had the ability to bring in new customers on a consistent basis? It would probably relieve some stress. But if it was easy, you would not be having such a problem in the first place. In this blog, we are going to share some ideas on growing your business. It is a step-by-step process that will require lots of work, commitment, belief, and much more.

1. DEVELOP A BUSINESS PLAN THAT INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING;

A) A WHY statement. Why are you starting the business? What is its purpose? “At my company, we believe that …”
B) A MISSION statement – define the company’s business, its goal, its approach. Each employee should know the mission statement of an organization. “My company assists companies ……”
C) A VISION statement – describes what the company is going to achieve over the next 5 to 10 years. “In 10 years, my company will achieve……”
D) A UNIQUE VALUE PROPOSITION. Why should a customer purchase my product/service? What makes my product/service better than the competitor?
E) Projected financial statements for 3 to 5 years. On the SCORE website is an Excel spreadsheet which makes this task a lot easier, and it is FREE.
F) A description of how you are going to achieve what is set forth in the financial plan. See the business plan template on www.score.org.
G) Be prepared to revise it periodically because as time goes on and as you learn more about the market or as the market changes it will be necessary. Be adaptable.

3 people developing a business plan

2. DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A MARKETING/SALES ACTION PLAN

A) Develop a website that describes a problem and how your product/service solves the problem. It is recommended that the website tells it in a story format. Clarity is king. Do not talk about yourself. Talk about the client’s problem. Challenge customers to take action.
B) Develop INBOUND and OUTBOUND postings and email messages about the product or service. Be consistent in how you use them. Do not talk about yourself.
C) Develop an email mailing list. The larger, the better. Network, Network.
D) Target customers you want to do business with. Develop a plan on how and what message you are going to reach out to these potential customers. Always include a “CALL TO ACTION”.
E) Develop a presence on social media. Utilize social media that allows you to interact with potential customers.
F) Plan your day so that you are working on business development daily for a part of each day. It could be one hour. Set clear goals for these activities. This will save you from peaks and valleys in earning revenue.

3. MAKE IT EASY FOR A CUSTOMER TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU.

A) Develop a process for new customers to easily use your service.
B) Be transparent with the customer.
C) If there is a problem, talk directly with the customer affected by it.
D) Develop a relationship with customers. Inspire trust. One way to accomplish this is to develop a newsletter about the problem you solve and how it assisted customers in solving the problem. Be a guide to your customer, who should ALWAYS be the hero.

4. FIND A SCORE MENTOR TO HELP YOU.

A) Go to www.score.org.
B) Click on Find a Mentor.
C) Fill out the form.
D) A Certified SCORE Mentor will reach out to you in a few days. Certified SCORE Mentors have experienced business executives who volunteer with SCORE and offer FREE mentoring services to SCORE clients.

About the Author(s)

Charles Schrauth

I have experience working for a small business, starting and owning a small business. This background gives me the experience on how to make a business meet the specific needs of the owner. I emphasize the need for goal setting and action planning to assist in meeting owners needs and customer requirements.

SCORE Mentor
Diverse business team developing a business plan