The statistics behind starting up a new small business are astounding. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20 percent of small businesses fail within their first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50 percent of small businesses fail. After 10 years, the survival rate drops to approximately 35 percent.
Do I still have you? Ok great. Let’s get started.
An Effective Brand.
There’s nothing more important in marketing than a memorable brand. You can have the best product in the world but if your brand is lacking in value and recognition, you won’t be able to work through the low points in your first few years. A great brand is memorable, emotional and impactful. Branding is more than just a nice logo — it’s your tone, your voice, your 24/7 salesperson when you aren’t there to sell your business to your customers. If there’s one thing I don’t want you to skimp on, it is your brand.
A Consistent Social Media Experience.
Gone are the days of billboards promoting businesses on the main streets of your town — your customers nowadays will look you up online before doing anything else. Following Google, the number two search engine in the world is YouTube. Is your business currently on YouTube? Many people are scared of creating video content. Let me break it down quickly for you. It’s nothing more than you talking about something that you are already an expert on. Talk to the camera like it’s a customer and you will quickly get comfortable with your surroundings.
Facebook is still, to this day, (May 16, 2019) the largest social media network in existence according to a recent article by statista. Don’t listen to the doubters — it’s relevant, and it drives traffic and eyeballs to your business. Maintaining an engaging Facebook business page take a lot of work and a lot of time, but ultimately your customers see the work you put into it. Owning a small business is an arms race for attention. Not gaining the attention of your customers/clients/partners means that somebody else in your field is.
If you have a physical product, you need to be on Instagram. If you are a food brand and you are not currently running an Instagram business page, you are a crazy person. Here’s the kicker…the Instagram community will weed out the weak and promote the strong. What do I mean? Don’t assume that every photo will get a lot of likes. Don’t assume that any photo will get a lot of likes. The key is good styling and consistency. You can stuff hashtags into your posts to get some likes, but are you actually producing engagements on your channel? If you run a restaurant or own a food brand you need to get onboard today. Stop what you are doing and create an Instagram account for your business. It’s as easy as counting to three: 1) people take photos of food; 2) people like photos of food; 3) people share photos of food. This is how we grew a pickle company’s audience by 21% in just 90 days. Get creative, get a few pieces of good hardware, and get to work.
A User-Friendly Website.
A great website shows that you are serious about the way your brand is perceived. Many people have a great product/idea. Many people have a great brand. Many people run a great social media ecosystem — but the real winners have a great website. Demanding excellence out of your website is one of the most important ways to turn your fence-sitters into brand ambassadors. It’s 2019 — your website should be responsive, it should load quickly, and it should look great. As much as it pains me to say this, we live in a world of free website builders, open source CMSs, low-cost monthly plans and website DIYers. A great website is one of the most effective ways to get new clients.
Growing a small business from an idea to success requires a lot of work. One of the best ways you can show your clients/customers that you care is by showing them consistency in your work. Do this by creating a consistent, well-thought out experience between your brand, your social media, and your website. And focus on the details. Details matter. Sloppy work leads to sloppy results. Give your business the time and energy it needs to flourish, and you will reap the benefits!