So, you started a small business during a pandemic – now what?
First off, a massive shout-out if you took the leap and started a small business during a global pandemic. Go you!
Starting a small business is a huge undertaking at the best of times, let alone in a time of so much uncertainty. But, with numerous lockdowns and changes to how most of us work, it’s been a time for many of us to take stock and decide to finally take that leap. That’s probably why the number of small businesses jumped by 15.2 per cent over the last financial year.
If you are one of Australia’s newly minted small business owners, you are probably wondering what’s next for you in your business journey. This is particularly apt if you launched your business to address a shortfall or a gap in the market brought on by the pandemic.
While being able to quickly respond to consumer demand is a requirement for modern businesses, getting up and running without the key business foundations in place can lead to issues down the track.
If you’ve started a small business during the last two years, it’s time to step back and ensure your business foundations are sound before we all move to Covid-normal (whatever that is!).
5 foundations for starting your small business
There’s a good chance that in the rush to get up and running, you didn’t have the opportunity to write a business plan. With only 3 to 5 percent of small businesses starting out with a business plan, if this is you, you are not alone. However, without a business plan, you risk being among the 1 in 3 businesses that don’t last beyond their first year in business (and no one wants that).
A business plan sets out your goals for the business, states your financial position and helps identify your priorities. By understanding why you operate, who you serve (your customers) and how you deliver your products and services, you’ll be in a better position to pivot your business and build a solid base for growth in a post-pandemic world.
TIP: Head to www.business.gov.au to download a free business plan template.
Yes, we are going there! As much as we’d all like to ignore the numbers, they are crucial to your business success. If you don’t track your income and expenses, how do you know if your small business is even feasible? While you don’t have to head out and hire an accountant right away, it’s a good idea to at least start tracking the numbers so you get a grip on your finances.
Another consideration is taxation. Do you need to be registered for GST? What about PAYG (Pay As You Go) for your income tax? This is where talking to a registered tax agent or bookkeeper would be handy to ensure you have all your financial and taxation bases covered for the future. If your finances are sound, you have a greater chance of securing small business success.
Have you reviewed your products and services since launch? Are you sure you are meeting the needs of your target market? With so many businesses popping up in response to the pandemic, you need to be sure that your offering can meet the current and future needs of your market. If it’s not a good fit, then you’ll struggle to get your small business off the ground beyond Covid.
The best way to understand whether your products or services are meeting the needs of your customers is to talk to them. Post a social media poll or reach out to repeat customers via messenger or email to get their thoughts. To ensure business viability and to position yourself for future growth, you need to listen to your audience and adjust your offering accordingly.
TIP: Use Google Forms to send out a survey to your customers to find out why they think about your offerings.
Stop relying on paid advertising to bring traffic back to your website.
Our handy guide contains actionable tips you can implement so that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising. Download the Organic Marketing Essentials Workbook and enjoy!
As the gateway to your business, your website should be optimised to provide the best possible experience for your customers. An optimised website allows visitors on all different devices to view your content and interact easily with your site. The aim is to make it easy for potential customers to find the information they need so they can take action (i.e. buy from you).
An optimised website will include the following features:
- Fast page loading
- Clean design
- Mobile responsive
- Clear menu and navigation
- Easy to read content
- Relevant keywords
- Onpage SEO
With an optimised website you will draw more traffic, convert more sales and create a valuable business asset that will help your business grow now and well into the future. You can have a go at optimising your website yourself or find a website designer to take care of it for you.
TIP: Update your website with Naked Digital and get more traffic and conversions.
The final foundational element to review is your marketing strategy. To avoid wasting money on ineffective marketing tactics, you need to have a strategy so you get the most bang for your buck. Ideally, you should get your organic marketing in order before starting with paid ads, which involves leveraging your website, social media pages and emails to market your offering.
While most people believe they have to ‘pay to play’ to be seen on social media, organic marketing offers the opportunity to increase your reach and create relationships with your customers without having to pay for ads. If you’re looking to grow your business and find a new audience beyond the pandemic, this is one of the most important things you can do.
TIP: Join our Organic Digital Marketing Facebook group to get started with organic marketing.
Update your website with Naked Digital
Are you a relatively new small business owner who’s ready to update your website to unlock future growth? Now that you’ve started your small business is it time to take the next step towards lasting success? If that’s you (yay!), Naked Digital is here to help.
Our website redesign services will zhoosh your site and help you connect with your ideal audience while boosting conversions. Combine that with our organic marketing services and we’ll make sure your business has the right foundations for lasting success.