New Business Check List

A New Business Checklist

So you are going into business for yourself? Good for you. Way to go. Do you have everything you need? I bet when you ask yourself that question you your mind goes to all of the specifics to your particular business. If you are starting a retail store you are probably thinking about your inventory, your employees (if you are hiring), your tax paperwork, the name of the company, the payment processing, i.e. the real nuts and bolts of the business. Let me ask. Did you think about the signage? How is your name going to look to the world? There are so many times that people forget about the appearance of their business. Oh sure they hired someone to come in and hang some lights, or to paint. They take the time to plan the inner appearance but forget about what will actually get people to visit their store, the outer appearance.

Here are some things that seem like an after-thought to so many businesses.

  • Logo
  • Signage
  • Business Cards
  • Website
  • Facebook/Social Media
  • Advertising
  • Email Marketing

Now not all of these things are for everyone, but all should be considered before opening your doors. There is no such thing as “if you build it, they will come.” You need to tell people who you are, where you are, and what you do. Everyone is passing by is going to judge you on your outward appearance before they ever come in to see how cool your store or restaurant or business looks. THESE SHOULD BE COMPLETED BEFORE YOU OPEN.

Logo
I cannot stress this enough. DO NOT SKIMP ON A LOGO! The logo is the heart of your brand. You should have something created that represents you. It is what everyone is going to recognize. If you use comics sans as a typeface because you think it is different, well you are doomed to fail. You put a lot of time into planning your business don’t skimp on this.

Signage
This goes along with the logo. If this is how people will see you, don’t hand paint a sign and slap it up. Get a sign professionally done. Once you have that cool new logo, seeing it on a large sign will make you smile every time you see it.

Online
If I go by a new store and am a bit curious about what they offer, the first thing I will do is jump on line to check out their site. The second thing I may do is ask around Facebook to see if anyone has had any experience with the company or if they know anything about it. I have already had two opportunities to judge you without walking into your business. If there is no Facebook page for certain types of businesses I would wonder why? All formulating opinions about you. If you open a restaurant and do not have a website, how will people know what type of food you offer? Or what type of atmosphere your establishment is?

Advertising
I already stated if you build it they may or may not come, so how are you going to get them in? Advertising does not me just radio or tv or billboards. There are simple things you can do. Put signs out front, big signs, telling people you are open. If you have specials to offer or are having a grand opening sale, get a sign. Hand out flyers. Do some direct mail. There are lots of options for direct mail that won’t break your bank. Have a plan though. If you open your doors and no one walks through then that is only your fault. I often hear I cannot compete with X. Well then don’t try. But if you do nothing to get your name out then no one else will either.

Email
This is typically something you do after you have been open for business. Email marketing is a great way to retain customers by offering specials and discounts directly to them. It helps you stay top of mind by simply sending out a message once or twice a month. Emails should be collected at check out and should never be bought.

I’m not going to lie. These cost money. These are the tools of business though. You should hire a professional to help you through all of this. Do you have to spend tens of thousands of dollars? No. There are a lot of solutions to get you off and running and still look like you actually thought about these outlets.  If you would like more information give us a call and we would be happy to help. 419.215.9578

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