Are all customers created equal? When you’re a cash starved start-up, it’s very easy to…
Start Out Right. 5 Things You Should Do in Your First Week in Business
Congratulations, you’ve got through the pre-launch period, and the doors to your new business are open today.
In this article, I want to share 5 things you absolutely should do in the first week your business opens:
1. Find someone you can promote to.
There’s an important code embedded in this first tip – it is ‘some’one not ‘any’one. Many businesses make the mistake of going far too broad with their marketing and promotion early on in their business.
Every business has to start with its first customer, and it is an excellent use of your resources to focus all your energy on getting that first prospect closed on your product or services, and then putting all your energies into delivering an amazing experience to that one customer.
Imagine a laser beam versus torchlight. Don’t spread your resources any thinner than you need to, to ‘light up’ that prospect, and close them.
2. Get organised.
Many business owners get very disorganised very quickly in business; they leave tasks half done jumping from one thing to the next, and the next moment they’re too busy to scratch themselves. They find their desk piled up with paper, their inbox overflowing with unread messages, and calls they haven’t returned.
While you promote to your ‘very small’ list of high potential targets, you should also get yourself organised at the same time. Get files set up on your computer, files set up in your office/workspace, organise the tools in your trailer or whatever you have to do to sort stuff out early on in the system that suits your work style.
3. Say, “No”.
You won’t believe the number of people who will want to sell stuff to your new business. If you’re in an office, you’ll get the media calling, salespeople turning up to sell you the latest printer, and all manner of other calls.
You must keep a tight rein on any expenses that do not directly result in generating revenue for your business early on. Saying no, and keeping a tight budget early on, will show you that you actually don’t need to spend money on everything you want to.
4. Service the customer in front of you.
When you’ve closed your first customer, service the pants off them. Look after them with the kind of white glove, gold standard service they could only dream of.
From day one, you want advocates of your business as this builds referrals, word of mouth and good public relations (PR) for your business. PR is very important; not the sort of PR like getting an article in a national newspaper but the kind of PR that is defined as ‘others saying good things about you’.
As they say, “A smile costs nothing.” Likewise, delivering early, taking time to check everything was to their satisfaction, and quickly fixing anything that wasn’t, costs nothing.
5. Form partnerships.
There can be no better marketing tool, than forming partnerships with other businesses who are targeting the same customer. Referring customers back and forth between like-minded businesses or helping another business add value to their service or product to a customer is an awesome and very effective marketing tool.
It doesn’t have to be one where each gets income from the referral; it could simply be combining your two offers to deliver a better, faster, easier, smoother experience for the customer.
I recently formed a collaboration with five other businesses, one of whom will see my customers before I do. And because my service is a natural extension of theirs for a percentage of their customers, they will refer these to me.
Here are some other examples you might have seen of collaboration:
- Credit card companies working with retailers to offer interest-free terms.
- A car wash operating next to a petrol station.
- A dog shampoo maker collaborating with a local dog wash.
Another collaboration you can create very quickly is with local community groups. As a business if you give a small percentage of your sales to a club anytime their members buy from you, you can set up an almost automatic lead funnel for your business, with no upfront cost, only a marketing levy/donation once you’ve already got the customer.
These are five things you could do in the first week of your business. If you are a few months down the track since opening, and finding yourself spending too much on unimportant things, or too much time catching up on half done tasks, or not talking directly to an individual prospect, it’s never too late to consider these five things.
Best wishes with your first week in business.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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