Starting a business this year? Here are a few things to consider before taking that leap of faith.
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In this pandemic economy, building a business takes resilience and tenacity more than ever before. Nevertheless, building a business is an exciting quest and one that deserves congratulations. Here are five things you must define to build a business that stands the test of time, from branding, marketing to scale-up plan. Take a look.Define a unique brand identityA brand identity can be defined as how well you deliver your brand’s core values to customers. I’ve written previously that a brand identity is important because aligning your brand communications to deliver the company’s core values helps build trust. Examine your target audience, your business’s core values and how to connect the two. There you have it: your unique brand identity.Build a culture of collaboration If you’re a solo entrepreneur, prioritize and outsource your tasks to make time for the most important tasks. If you have collaborators, assign tasks and create an accountability system to move the project forward as smoothly as possible. If you have employees, keep in mind that it’s good to make a habit of talking to your employees in the early stages of a startup. Once the startup grows rapidly and you reach the C-suite, the daily operations matter less than leadership skills. Inundated by your new responsibilities, you might be missing an important sign from your employees that could either make or break your company. The executives and team members should get together to discuss the case in point, and the outcomes of the talk should be reflected in the final decision. Democratic decision making helps the executives understand the employers’ challenges, and the employers understand the executives’ pain points. Ultimately, it helps build a culture of collaboration. Related: 5 Things to Know Before Launching An Ecommerce BusinessSolidify your product’s competitive advantageLet’s get into the nitty-gritty of the product. Will you be selling a product or a service? What is the production cost and selling price? Who are the target customers, and where is your market? What are the values your product delivers to customers? What is your elevator pitch for the product? How would you describe it to someone who’s never seen it? Answering these questions will help you define the core of your product, brand identity and marketing strategy. Fine tune your product’s competitive advantage, and work on your product’s strengths. Related: 50 Steps Every Entrepreneur Must Take to Build a BusinessExplore keyword-based marketing strategyWith the world of the internet becoming more segmented than ever, you need good keywords, and long-tail keywords, to reach customers. How do customers find your business? Do they tend to come across your business on social media? Or do they almost exclusively land on your site through online search? If it’s the former, you should spend most of your marketing budget on social advertising. And also broaden your storefronts to include Facebook and Instagram Shops. If it’s the latter, you should spend much more on paid search. Related: The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a BusinessBuild with growth in mindTo expand a business over time, you need a growth strategy. How do you plan to grow your business? What are the key innovations your business brings to your community? What’s your competitive advantage and how would that contribute to your business accelerating the market? Some things to consider in the early stages of building a business is to define a growth strategy in your own words. Then consider whether you envision the business to scale up vertically, adding more features to your product, or horizontally, replicating your business model in a new location or to launch a completely different product. Begin with building up in mind so that when the time comes, your growth strategy is on point and streamlined.