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Starting a business can be a daunting task, especially when you consider all the items on your to‐do list. Legal entity setup, cash flow management, brand reputation, online marketing, sales prospecting; and the list goes on.
Studies conducted by leading sources reveal the uninviting statistics regarding new businesses. Some 50 per cent of small businesses won’t make it past the first year.
This failure rate climbs to a whopping 95 per cent at the five‐year mark. This is all according to data from the US Small Business Administration, packaged into a handy infographic by a site called Top Business Degrees.
On the other hand, for those of us who are entrepreneurs at heart, starting a company is more of a need than a calculated idea. Given the dire failure rate stats, why start a new business?
While there are many reasons, many entrepreneurs can identify with some of the following points:
- The desire to solve a problem
- Dissatisfaction with a current solution to a problem
- Getting sick of working for someone else
- Potential for massive (and passive) income
Before you start chasing that entrepreneurial drive, here are five tools to help spearhead your new business launch:
New businesses can learn a lot from exploring the concept of social selling. Today’s buyers engage with brands via multiple interactions across social media channels and other touch points. One study found that nearly 73 per cent of salespeople who incorporate social media into their process outperform those who don’t.
Essentially, what these and similar statistics show is that more and more companies are seeing the value of social for more than the top of the funnel.
But seeing the value of social is only the first step. To succeed, companies need to actually forge relationships, which ultimately depends on identifying and engaging with actual leads.
For new businesses, tools such as Leadfeeder can be extremely useful for customer acquisition, as they present actionable information about the leads interested and engaged in your product offering. By seeing this data, marketers can better prepare their pitches and move towards closing sales.
Hopscratch offers an all‐in‐one solution for first‐time entrepreneurs, from helping you to incorporate your company to ensuring that your business cards look sharp.
For many first‐timers, just getting set up is the most challenging aspect. With new business ventures, the backend to‐do task list can often be overwhelming enough to deter you from working on your actual product or service. Rather than do all of this work on your own, Hopscratch enables you to outsource some of these initial functions to professionals.
Without a good business name, customer acquisition is an uphill battle. You need a brand name that’s memorable and easy to convey verbally. Thus, doing extensive name research beforehand, especially to check specific availability across domain registration sites and the most widely used social media channels, is a must in this highly competitive digital age.
Thankfully, tools such as Namecheckr allow budding entrepreneurs to check if a given brand name is available, all using one search platform, thus streamlining the overall selection process.
For business owners, this means one less (major) headache early on the development process, saving you from the need to undergo any rebranding later on.
Even if you don’t end up using all of the domain names and account handles that Namecheckr searches for you, you can register just to squat on them, just to make sure no one else does.
Today, one of the main pain points faced by new companies is cash flow. New companies often fail to send invoices and collect payments from customers, directly impacting their ability to continue operations.
Therefore, new businesses should use e‐invoice apps such as Wave to optimize this critical part of running a business effectively.
This and similar solutions integrate the invoice process into your workflow, making it easier to bill clients and to stay up‐to‐date regarding both past and upcoming transactions.
For new companies, amplifying discoverability in the digital landscape is a must, especially in competitive industries.
Whether you are in the business of selling a product or service, you need to be equipped with an arsenal of visual tools that will adequately present what your company actually does.
After all, businesses need to have a strong visual, emotional brand in order to attract prospective customers and to stay ahead of competitors.
Few will bother to take you seriously if your digital presence is generic or drab. Strikingly’s user‐friendly website and landing page creator platform is a great starting point when looking to launch your new company.
Of course, determining which template best defines your company’s product offering and culture will be up to you decide.
The road for new entrepreneurs is fraught with unexpected bumps and sudden turns, but the five tools mentioned above can help with essential setup, management and operational functions.
Everyone needs branding, design, legal, invoicing, social selling and marketing. These are great solutions for getting your company off the ground, allowing you to focus on actually doing business.
Victor G Snyder has served as a consulting business coach since 2003. He founded BossMakers.co in 2014, empowering entrepreneurs to filter out the noise, to achieve flow, to tackle the challenges that will actually get them where they want to be – ultimately, to own success. Victor can be reached via Twitter @victorgsnyder.