How to Make a Small Business Successful From Launch

While launching a small business or self-employment, one of the areas you're worried about is making the business successful right from day one.

Who will not want that, of course?


At least, you want to get the words about your products or services across to the public. Through this, people visit to buy and return for more.


We all know opening the office or that local shop is not enough. If you expect people to start coming in, as soon as you launch, it's a lie. You have to rely, mostly, on words of mouth and some budget-friendly techniques to get more sales.


Especially at the early stage of your operations, even though marketing is a continual undertaking, you must work out mediums to communicate what you're selling to your potential customers.


In this post, I will not be repeating the general methods of advertising your products at the launch of the business but some unorthodox but working methods that have worked for me and many others.


Your First Marketing Technique is the Feasibility Study

Don't underestimate the power of a feasibility study no matter how small your project is.


A feasibility study is an assessment of the practicality of a proposed plan or project. A feasibility study analyzes the viability of a project to determine whether the project or venture is likely to succeed.


A feasibility study shouldn't take the whole year from you as a small-sized business or self-employment. You don't need a book about writing feasibility studies. A questionnaire is enough. Your priorities here should include:


  1. where best to situate your business?
  2. who are your potential customers?
  3. how much are they willing to pay?
  4. how exactly do they want to be served?


If using the word "feasibility study" is too scary, let's go for "ask questions".


Answers to the list of questions above should be given by your customers. Don't assume for them because you're not buying your products and services yourself.


Techie Computer College Started With Asking the Right People the Right Questions 

After working for a few months as a computer tutor, I quit to start my education consulting service. 


Though the business aims to consult for prospective admission seekers and parents, I also wanted to continue the computer training.


To launch the computer training center, I had to first ask parents and potential students the right questions.


Having acquired practical knowledge of education consulting from my former employer, that was possible to start without asking more questions.


But for the computer training section, I needed answers to the questions above. 


I engaged three secondary school leavers. They went out to give people questionnaires. Among the questions were those above. The questions were reframed in different words to be sure of consistency among the people.


Our Findings!


I'd wanted to charge N10,000 for the training, but through the answers to our questions, we went for N15,000.


I had wanted to go for six-month training, it was their answers we learned that many didn't have that long period for the training. Hence, we went for 3 months.


I'd wanted to accept part payment, it's their answers that showed us that people were ready to pay the whole fees before joining us.


I'd wanted to write handouts for the students, it's their answers that showed that people majorly prefer going for practical exposures.


I'd wanted to be using the same apartment for both the education consulting and computer training, it's their answers that showed us we needed a separate building for the training.


The Summary!


This is the power of "asking for answers" from people. If you locate rightly, set your price right, and serve right, you don't know what you'd won before you even started.


Most businesses had wounded up and some are, right now, packing because they didn't ask questions before starting.


Customers tell us what to sell, businesses don't tell them what to buy. They tell us where to locate our office. They tell us the prices they're willing to pay.


And most importantly, while asking questions, you're already marketing your potential business to those people, which they will be willing to market to others.


Set a Different Standard that will Market Your Business

You need words of mouth to reach the four corners of your town. Though the quality of your products and services should be the priority here, if you can set other certain standards positively differently, you will attract prospects free and you will be favored by being talked about around others.


When I started Techie Konsult, a dozen other education and computer consults would set offices just like any other office. To stand out, we set the office differently. Ranging from the foreign chairs, tables, computer tables, clients' long seats, and a few stools around, we hit the town from another angle.


Techie was the first here that would collect customers' numbers even if all they'd come for was photocopies or inquiries. Before we went home daily, I would send SMS to thank them for patronizing me for that day.


Before long, people started talking about our standard being different from others.


It's Techie that would collect candidates' numbers when they come to buy UTME forms and check WAEC results. And when there were updates about admissions, related job vacancies, and more, they got SMS from us.


This, though may not be new elsewhere, here, I set the pace.


Making Customers Feel at Home is an Advertisement on Its Own

Though you're not a bank, it's no offense to have a 12-inch plasma TV on the office wall. Customers will talk about this difference when they get home.


Having your handbills around your office is a great way to speak to educated customers. 


We have all these available at the launch of Techie Konsult. And if you're on a limited budget, you can introduce that as time passes.


I had some brochures of about 32 pages given to every waiting customer. The first page was a welcoming message from me as the manager, the second contain my trainer's and students' pictures while other pages showed our services in words and pictures.


This brochure remains on my table to date. It's meant to be gone through while waiting. We don't have to tell you what we do if we don't have the time and staff to. You can read that yourself.


Conclusion

Although you must have come across exactly what I discussed in this piece elsewhere, you should believe them now if you'd not.


They work like magic.


I'd personally experimented and experienced this. 

Post a Comment

0 Comments