1. Write and update your Business Plan
When you decided to start your business, you probably started with a Business Plan. For example, maybe you decided which products or services to offer. You identified your customer base and chose your co-owners. You may have already listed goals for your business too.
But following a Business Plan does not stop at the launch of your business. Your Business Plan should be a living document, meaning it changes as your business matures and grows. If you did not create one before opening your business, it is not too late.
Making and updating your Business Plan can lead to many benefits, including:
- Making better business decisions, both now and in the future. It helps you focus on your business's goals.
- Identifying and managing your resources. This helps you make better decisions about hiring employees, getting new technology, and spending money on marketing and sales.
- Spotting potential gaps or weaknesses in your business. Gathering feedback and guidance from mentors, customers, employees, co-owners, or investors may help you adjust your business idea and offerings.
- Setting and reviewing goals and milestones for short-term and long-term targets. This may help you correct your course to meet your goals as your business grows.
- Raising money for your business, through financial planning, investors, or banks. A detailed road map to success helps you show investors and bankers who and what they are investing in.
2. Decide how and where to sell your products or services
With 72% of people using some type of social media channel, new business owners might add social media to their marketing and sales processes. For example, you can use social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook (now Meta) to engage, educate, and sell to your ideal customer.
If you understand how your ideal customer uses social media, you may be able to build a marketing and sales campaign that attracts and retains customers.
When deciding how to sell on social media channels, you may need to find out which platforms your target customer uses. For example, research shows that 95% of 18- to 29-year-olds use YouTube, while only 49% of consumers 65 years of age and older enjoy the popular video site.
3. Become a thought leader in your industry
Another way to engage your ideal customer is to share and comment on content that relates to your business on your website and on social media. Not only can this content teach your potential customers, but it can also help you become a thought leader in your industry and drive sales.
For example, many users enjoy "how to" or "why" posts, lists or listicles, videos, and industry updates. Also, think about featuring guests and engaging in meaningful partnerships. These should relate to your business, but they can cover a wider audience to help you expand your market reach.
It is smart to be careful about how you sell or self-promote and to stay on topic. Making a mistake in these areas can turn off your audience. Instead, it is usually best to focus on adding value to the conversation.
4. Write and update your legal contracts
As you grow your business, you may need to write and update your legal contracts. Your company and its structure and industry often govern which documents you might need. These are some standard contracts, legal documents, and agreements many businesses use:
- Partnership Agreement.
- Incorporation documents.
- LLC Operating Agreement.
- Buy-Sell Agreement.
- Service contracts.
- Noncompete Agreement.
- Confidentiality Agreement.
- Employee Handbook.
- Employment agreements.
- Terms of Service and Privacy Policies.
Having these documents, and other company policies, can be critical, but updating them can be just as important. You may want to schedule an annual review of your contracts each year to see if any agreements should be revised or updated, or if you need new contracts. At the same time, schedule the renewal for your business licenses and permits. You may also want to register new Trademarks and review your copyrights. If you are not sure what type of legal contracts or updates you need, a lawyer can help guide you through this process.
5. Measure your success regularly
Finally, it is important to measure your new business's success regularly. There are a few ways you can do this. For example, you can review your company's financial statements, such as your Profit and Loss statement. Also, you can check in with your customers to see what they think and how happy they are with your business.
But you can also make your own key performance indicators (KPIs) specific to your business. KPIs are numbers that help you measure your actions, results, and goals. For example, you can measure your marketing efforts and the actual sales resulting from those efforts. How many people who visit your website become customers (a number called the conversion rate)? What is the average price of your orders? What about your revenue growth over a certain time, such as a quarter or year?
By understanding your financial statements, KPIs, and customer feedback, you may see the big picture of your new business's success today and as it grows.
Just launched your own business and have legal questions? Reach out to a Rocket Lawyer network attorney for affordable legal advice.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.