So far this year, there have been nearly 700,000 start ups launched. In fact, almost 8,000 businesses have been launched so far this month. This data alone certainly tells you one thing – the competition to succeed is steep and there are no signs of these figures relenting.
Regardless of how innovative your new business idea is, if you are not equipped with the right resources, funding and knowledge, your start up will soon fade into obscurity.
Given that SMEs are vital for the global economic ecosystem, it’s important that they are given every possible chance to succeed. The good news is that a report by UK government owned British Business Bank found that credit conditions are improving for small businesses.
The bad news? According to recent research, 9 out of 10 start ups fail, meaning you have an uphill struggle ahead of you if you want succeed and have a start up that is genuinely profitable. But when you reach the finish line, it’s worth every moment of difficulty you may have faced along the way, so don’t let that deter you.
So, you have decided that you are ready to put the hard work in that is required to get your start up off the ground. What next?
Explore Your Funding Options
Funding for start ups is not always easy to come by, but that certainly does not mean that there are no viable options out there. For lenders, granting a loan to start ups comes with a huge risk factor, as there is no proven business model to “justify” the loan.
However, that does not mean that funding for start ups does not exist. Whilst the banks are likely to reject business loan applications from start ups, the alternative finance sector might be the answer you’re looking for.
At Nucleus Commercial Finance, we provide secured business loans to start ups that are backed by residential or commercial property. Property Finance is a funding product that start ups often utilise as it means you can borrow large amounts at competitive rates.
Our interest only property finance loans have terms lasting up to five years and businesses only need to pay monthly interest, with a final one-off repayment at the end of the term. This is a fantastic lifeline for businesses that need a cash injection to get their start up off the ground.
Put an Emphasis on Marketing Your Start up
Marketing is the holy grail for the success of your start up and without it, you will likely struggle to create awareness around your brand.
If you have your doubts about how effective marketing your business truly is, check out these statistics below:
So, it’s evident that marketing is important, but it’s such a monumental task to engage with that it’s difficult to know where to start. You’re perhaps wondering which type of marketing is best?
Content marketing is a fantastic place to start and the best part about this kind of marketing is that it’s free! Who else is better equipped to create engaging, genuinely useful content about a specific industry than those who currently operate within it? For pointers on where to begin, check out our article on how to take your content strategy to the next level.
If you don’t have the time or resources, don’t worry as you can work with external providers to produce the content you require. In fact, your start up would be joining the 62% of other companies who outsource their content marketing. Understandably, as a start up, your budget might not allow for outsourcing – but it is wise to consider the bigger picture.
Accessing a business loan in the early days of your venture can help you to launch your start up successfully and the extra capital will give your start up the opportunity to grow at a faster rate too.
Given that content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing, yet generates around 3 times as many leads, ignoring this extremely effective marketing technique will likely cost your start up in the long run. To add to those stats, 78% of CMO’s see custom content as the future of marketing and 80% of people claim they appreciate learning about a company through content.
If you have the budget to put aside for paid advertising, it’s certainly worth investing in a Pay Per Click (PPC) campaign. If you want fast results that can be easily measured, PPC is a power tool that you should utilise where possible.
65% of all clicks made by users who intend to go ahead and make a purchase go to paid ads on Google - and if the return on investment is your main concern, remember that for every £1 spent on Google AdWords, businesses tend to earn an average revenue of £2.
Measuring the results you achieve from marketing is almost as important as the actual marketing campaigns themselves. Marketers who invest more than 10% of their budget on measurement are 3x more likely to beat sales targets by 25%.
By measuring how effective your marketing efforts are, you can rework and improve your campaigns to get better results moving forward, which should in turn increase your return on investment and subsequently, profit margin over time.
Do Your Research
How can you possibly be sure that your product or service is in demand if you haven’t taken the time to conduct thorough research on what your audience want or even need?
Top marketers that consistently get results are 242% more likely to conduct audience research at least once per quarter. Knowing what your customer base wants is the only way you can truly solve a market need and the ability to solve a market need is practically a sure-fire way to guarantee success.
Once you understand exactly what your potential customers want, you then need to scope out your competition. In-depth competitor analysis is the key to standing out from the crowd, so work out what your competition is doing and then learn to do it better.
Create and Adhere to a Business Plan
As the old adage goes, failing to plan is essentially planning to fail. Every start up should have a detailed business plan that is regularly consulted and adhered to. Not only will a business plan help you lock in investors or additional business funding, but it will also serve as a reminder for your vision and provide direction for your organisation.
Establish Your Social Media Presence
Social media is here to stay, so if your start up is going to thrive, you need to get involved in the digital hype surrounding businesses and start building your own presence online.
Set up business accounts on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter as a starting point and try to post as regularly as possible. A strong social media strategy is the reason behind the success of many start ups.
Location, Location, Location
This is often one of the most important factors that have to be considered when starting a business. If your start up relies on huge amounts of footfall, your ability to find and secure the perfect location for your business will make or break your venture.
Opting for the cheaper location is often a mistake that many business owners regret. So if renting or buying the perfect premises is not possible due to a lack of funds, consider additional funding for your business so that your start up can operate in a location that will help it thrive.
For more SME advice and tips, read our related posts below. If you are experiencing cash flow challenges or want to realise your business growth plans, get in touch with our team of Funding Specialists today on 020 7839 9451 or email [email protected]