You know that you want to start your own business, but do you have the enthusiasm to do the work that’s essential to your success, and the passion to succeed.
Success depends on the existence of a potential market of consumers, who need and would love to have either the products of your business or the services that you want to provide, or possibly both. The presence of this target group or niche and the ability to grow it is crucial to your success.
Research your niche
Start with the necessary research. You may think that a need exists for a house cleaning service in your town, because demographics show that most mothers now work outside the home. This is true, but adequate child care is essential, and will the family income cover the cost of child care and cleaning. Maybe grandmother, the competition, lives close and is happy to do the cleaning for much less than the cost of your cleaning service.
How can you provide a value-added, unique service to keep ahead of your competitors? Possibly, several micro-niches may be available within your niche. Some people only want to have their windows cleaned on a regular basis. They don’t require a cleaner for the whole house. There are many demographic variables, which is why an adequate level of research is essential for any business. More information on finding and researching a niche is available at http://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/blog/how-to-find-your-business-niche
Online marketing is useful to determine the level of competition or to market your business. Potential customers have to be able to find you either through recommendations from friends who are already customers, the telephone directory or the internet. A well-designed website with appropriate keywords that describe your products or services is important to success. Your choice of keywords for website content needs to reflect what your potential customers think you do, what you think you do, and how customers will search for you.
For example, a prospective customer in Liverpool has several large items that need removing from his home and garden as the result of extensive renovations to his property. He does a Google search using the keywords waste disposal Liverpool. He’s actually looking for a company that removes waste or junk, but he’s forgotten the name of the company and his first Google search does not bring up the right result, because AnyJunk (http://www.anyjunk.co.uk) involves itself in bulky waste collection. Waste collection implies that someone else will collect and remove the waste, which is what the consumer actually wants.
AnyJunk has found a niche and markets itself accordingly as “the easy and eco-friendly alternative to skip hire.” The company appeals to individuals interested in the environment, who want a simple, fast solution to their waste or junk disposal problem. Everything the consumer needs to know about the business is on the company’s website, including prices, and testimonials from happy users of the service. A useful website marketing checklist is available at http://webmarketingtoday.com/articles/checklist/.
A company’s Facebook page, also useful for marketing purposes, is more informal than the website and has information on staff, social activities and corporate events with the idea of presenting the human dynamics of the company to the public.