More and more Australians are embarking on small business ventures than ever before. But starting a successful business takes more than just a great idea.  YBI reports.

While it’s tempting to jump in headfirst, if you’re contemplating taking the plunge it’s important to plan your efforts to achieve the best outcome. After all, you want your small business to be a success.

Understand your product
What are you selling and how relevant is it to your market? These are two very important questions for any small business. Whether you’re selling a single product or multiple product lines you need to be a product expert. This means not only understanding your product but also that of your competitors. What are your competitors doing well and how can you do it better? Have you considered developing a premium version of your product?  Are there any ways in which you can improve your product? Is there anything customers want from your product that you aren’t offering. Do you stock imported products? Why not explore the options of importing these products directly, or building relationships with wholesalers to identify new products you could offer?

What makes your business different?
As individuals, it is our differences that make us unique. The same homily goes for small business. What can your business do that no-one else can? Find your unique service proposition (USP). Often successful businesses have seen a hole in the market and stepped in to fill it. Don’t forget to set up your shop where there is a market. If an online store would work better for you than a bricks and mortar retailer, then that should be your first option.

Understand your Customer

You’ve got your product in mind – but who is your customer? Knowing your customer is imperative if you want to have a successful business or brand. Once you have a complete picture of your customer profile you will be better prepared to launch a strategy that will target them accurately. By understanding what is important to your customers, their buying behaviour, interests and attitudes, it is easier to develop opportunities to grow your relationship with them and your business. A customer profile should be an essential part of any marketing strategy you develop.

Develop a marketing strategy
Whether it’s digital marketing, direct marketing of a social media strategy, your new business needs a marketing campaign to raise awareness.  A website and digital presence are increasingly important no matter what type of business you are in. Social media can have an enormous impact on establishing awareness of a new product or service so make sure to set up key social media such as Facebook and Instagram and use them to your advantage. However, there is no point setting up an account if you don’t intend to keep it updated. Engagement is key. Communicate with your followers every day and really hone your tone of voice to make sure your key messaging is authentic. Ensure consistent branding across your digital assets and social media accounts for greater impact.

Launching a new business can be incredibly exciting, but don’t forget to have your bases covered. The better you understand your customer and product, the more likely you are to have a business success.