Starting a new business takes patience. In order to get things up and running on time, you need to start early. You are bound to spend most of your time waiting on suppliers and service providers to deliver on what you need. You’ve likely spent ample time trying to find the right office space and sorting out your paperwork to ensure your business is legit, so your tolerance levels might be at an all time low. But you can mitigate your annoyance by making contact with those who can give you what you need, right from the start.
You need to make lists. This will help you tick off what you’ve sorted out, remind you to follow up with the service providers you’ve chosen and follow up on orders placed for the things you need. This is an admin-heavy period of time in any new business owner’s life but it’s oh-so necessary. The last thing you want or need is to open your doors for business and find yourself disappointing new customers because you aren’t armed with what you need. Starting your business by under delivering to clients is less than ideal and incredibly frustrating.
Your checklist is bound to be extensive. You’re likely to sit night after night adding and removing things, but it’s a worthwhile activity. You’re going to feel a lot more organised and you may even feel a sense of accomplishment as you tick the boxes. This is the beginning of a much needed papertrail that’ll stand you in good stead should you end up in unpleasant arguments with suppliers and the like.
Here are some of the top three things to add to the checklist and get cracking on acquiring, early in the game.
Website and hosting
Honestly, nowadays if you don’t have a company website and you’re not online with your business, you’re going nowhere slowly. The world has gone digital. Smartphones and connectivity are high on the priority list of everyone no matter their social standing or economic circumstance. Therefore, no matter who your target market is, you’ll find them easier and quicker online. What’s more, the average consumer expects you to have an online presence. They won’t trust you if they can’t find you on the internet.
So you need a website and in order to have a website, you need a proper hosting service provider. You want to look at the likes of HOSTAFRICA which is a premium provider of web hosting. South African hosting services abound online but as a new business owner who needs to get the most bang for your buck, you need to look at a company who can offer you an all-inclusive package. The bouquet of services from Host Africa is well suited to a new business as they will manage your setup and maintain the website at a nominal monthly fee. This is ideal as you can ask them what you need and then sit back and watch them deliver.
Build a database
Because you have a digital presence, your business needs to operate with a keen understanding of data and how it can help to forge a successful enterprise. Tracking your data and using it to make informed decisions is crucial to your success. This means you need to invest in software and tools that will assist you with pulling reports on how your data is performing. Understanding its behaviour will give you insight into your consumer’s needs and draw a comparison with your competitors. You can educate yourself on the usage of Google Analytics which won’t cost you money but will cost you time or, of course, you can always employ the services of a data analyst or SEO specialist to assist you.
You will need staff. Whether it’s someone to answer the phone or a bookkeeper or a sales person. You are not going to be able to operate like a one-man show for very long and so a recruitment strategy is key. If you need highly skilled, technical people, it’d be a wise decision to contact a recruitment agency who specialises in placing the types of candidates you need. But this will cost you and this will take some time. You need to set this up as soon as you know who you need and what skill set you’re looking for. It’s best to start up a relationship with your chosen recruitment agency quickly so you can begin looking at CVs while you have the time. Once the business is in full swing, recruitment can prove a difficult task to find time for.
Of course, there are many other things that must also be prioritised. But having a strategy for these three in particular, makes for lighter work when you’re about to launch.