January is often associated with setting goals and making resolutions for the next year. But, unfortunately, nothing has changed in the corporate world.
January is a popular time for companies to set their goals for the next year. Improve, learn from others, have great ideas. Now is the time to do so.
If you want to create your own company, you need to learn from the best. So January is a great time of year for you to refine your company plan. We’ve created a four-week marketing plan to assist you in getting started. Then you may submit it to prospective investors and get your firm off to a good start.
Week One: Get to know your intended audience
To begin, you need to see what’s currently out there.
Find out how your rivals do business by going inside their environments. Look at direct and indirect rivals (e.g., those who offer the same product or service). Visit their websites and look at any current advertising campaigns or studies they’ve produced to get an idea of what they’re capable of. To tell a company apart, you need to know both what it is and what it is not. Keeping up with this over four weeks is a huge undertaking, and corporations often do this all year long to stay current.
Look for three commonalities amongst the most popular companies in your field. A powerful name, eye-catching colours, and a well-known parent confectionery firm might be some of the factors in the chocolate industry. It is possible to better understand what it takes to achieve by investigating what it looks like.
Be aware of your USP (unique selling proposition) and how you’re going to win over your competitor’s consumers. Then, when you’ve figured this out, it’s time to make some adjustments to your original plan.
See whether your clients believe you’re unique enough for them to want to buy from you. Spend a few days polling your loved ones, friends, and neighbours to find out. Survey Monkey, for example, offers free online poll services that allow you to survey your social network connections. Set up a market stand or local contact organisations to get input.
Based on the comments you get, make any final adjustments to your concept. A business plan is all about preparedness, so be ready to modify your initial ideas. Remember, the customer is always right. Perform a SWOT analysis to discover your company’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential opportunities and threats.
Review the legal requirements for beginning a company as a last piece of advice. Because legal rights and requirements aren’t widely publicised, it’s easy to be caught out on seemingly innocuous matters like not possessing a patent or a food licence certificate. Even a sole proprietorship must register at Companies House and file annual reports.
Find out whether you’d be personally responsible for company losses, how much insurance you’ll need, and what kind of tax you’ll have to pay. Corporation tax, Pay As You Earn (PAYE), capital gains tax, company rates, personal income tax, national insurance, and value-added tax (VAT) are common business taxes. Check the deadline for submitting a self-assessment tax return as well. The Start-Up Loans Company website, the Business Support Helpline, or Gov.uk may provide more assistance and information.
Week 2: Get your finances in order.
Week two is all about getting your finances in order. First, establish your financial stability before beginning a new firm. There are dangers involved, so figure out how much money you’ll need to get by for the first year. Almost every new firm has difficulties when it gets off the ground.
To assist, rate your financial well-being on a scale of 1 to 10 by completing the following exercise: If you need more funds, this will show your where you are and if you can manage to spend money down.
Make sure that you acquire the correct financing source for your company concept before you start looking for money. Choose wisely from a wide range of options. For example, small businesses may get low-interest loans and training from companies like ours. However, there are many different options for raising money for your concept. There is a helpful online tool to assist you in identifying the financing that is best for you on the Government of the United Kingdom website.
In addition to securing the initial capital, you’ll need to keep an eye on your cash flow. Since many small-business owners do not employ an accountant, they are solely responsible for daily overseeing their company’s finances. Make sure you know how much money is coming in and going out and how much is being made and how much is being sold. When starting a company, you need to know how it will produce money and whether or not it will be profitable.
Think about your pricing strategy and the sales volume you plan to achieve next (you can come back to this in the second week). Then, prepare a budget based on what you would spend if you were already up and running. To obtain an idea of how much money you’ll need to earn and your profit margin, you need to put up a sales forecast that estimates how many units you’ll sell each day, week, or month.
Week 3: Stepping up your company’s activity
Knowing your market, financial status, and legal rights is all you need to do business. The question is, though, how are you going to get the word out about your new venture?
Starting a company from scratch might seem a lot like yelling in a room full of people who don’t care. A timetable for marketing activities should be included in your company strategy so that you may show off exactly how fantastic you are.
Decide whether or not you want an online presence, and then think about how your website will seem to clients. This will be their initial impression of your company, so make it professional. Next, ask your pals if they have any IT talents you might use. Finally, create just a few mock-up slides to obtain a feel of the final product’s appearance.
Having a Facebook page, Twitter handles, and Instagram account is a great way to get your name there. Once you’ve got your site up and running, develop a few ideas for future postings. See what other start-ups have done to get their ideas. For example, it was a natural fit when a new children’s hair shop started using Instagram to show off their pleased clients.
Then, you may begin to think of different methods by which you might reach out to your consumers. Consider calling your newspaper or radio show to inquire about any clues they may have. During your first year in business, come up with a shortlist of tales you might pitch to the press.
The debut of your firm, introducing your 1000th client, establishing a store or launching a new website are all possibilities for this kind of announcement. After launching your company, you’ll be able to approach the newspaper with some ideas and images. It’s also beneficial to have a launch party or meet-and-greet.
At the end of the week, spend some time looking for new ways to promote your company in the following year. Are there any local markets or events that might be of interest? If so, you should include them in your company strategy. ‘
Week four: Growing your business
In your company strategy, it’s critical to consider the future. For example, you’ll need to be ready to react fast if sales increase up and you’re having trouble filling orders. Knowing when to do so is critical when it comes to expanding your company.
Make a list of the first things you’d do if your company was a success and you had more money on hand based on your business objectives. Then, make a list of the next steps to ensure that you’re ready to take advantage of any opportunities that may emerge, rather than being caught off guard.
You must consider how you will get more funds to support your expansion. As a general rule, it’s a good idea to stick with the lenders who have previously helped you out. However, your initial supporters should know how you’re doing and keep a strong connection with you so that when you seek financial assistance in the future, they’ll be more inclined to aid you.
Crowdfunding is a solution for those who have difficulty securing cash from their initial supporters or other investors. However, bear in mind this is a competitive sector, so budget carefully and plan ahead of time.
A business plan has to lay out every aspect of the company’s future, even if it’s only beginning to take shape. Then, when the time comes to grow your company, you’ll already have a solid platform to work from home.