Have you created a business plan?
Starting a business can be an exciting and daunting task, and one of the most important tools for entrepreneurs is a well-crafted business plan. A business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the goals, strategies, and action plans for a new or existing business. It typically includes details such as an executive summary, market analysis, company description, financial projections, and marketing and sales strategies. A business plan enables entrepreneurs to evaluate the feasibility of their business idea, develop a roadmap for success, secure financing, and stay focused on their goals. By taking the time to create a comprehensive business plan, entrepreneurs can increase their chances of success and ensure that their business is built on a strong foundation.
Who is your target audience?
- Identifying a target audience is a crucial step in developing a successful business strategy that entrepreneurs often forget. It involves creating a detailed profile of the customers who are most likely to benefit from and engage with your product or service. Who is your business for? Despite our very best wishes, I promise it isn’t for everyone; look into ways you can narrow down your Ideal Client Profile (ICP) so that you have a clear direction for marketing yourself! Be careful, becoming too niche can limit your marketability.
- Outlining a target audience is an essential step for any entrepreneur who wants to develop a successful business strategy, but there is another question you should be asking as well. Do you have a large enough target audience? We’ve encountered countless ingenious business ideas that would be incredible to work on, unfortunately not every great idea has enough buyers to sustain a business. Does yours? Outlining an ICP enables entrepreneurs to create tailored marketing messages, differentiate their business from competitors, and allocate their resources more effectively. By understanding your customers’ needs and preferences, you can create products and services that truly resonate with your target audience.
Is your product or service marketable online? (community guidelines)
Marketing a product or service online can be challenging for any business, but there are some factors we encounter that can make it particularly difficult for certain products or services. Here are some of those factors:
- Niche products or services: If a product or service is highly specialized or caters to a small, niche audience, it can be difficult to reach potential customers through traditional online marketing channels. For example, if a business sells products that are only of interest to a very specific group of people, it can be challenging to identify and target those individuals through online advertising. In such cases, businesses may need to explore alternative marketing channels or get creative with their targeting strategies.
- High price points: Products or services with high price points can be challenging to market online because they often require a significant investment from customers. Convincing customers to make a large purchase online can be difficult, particularly if they have not had the opportunity to see or try the product in person. In such cases, businesses may need to develop targeted marketing strategies that focus on building trust and credibility with potential customers, or explore alternative sales channels, such as in-person events or retail partnerships.
- Complex products or services: Products or services that are complex or difficult to understand can be difficult to market online because customers may have trouble grasping the value proposition. If a product or service requires a lot of explanation or education, it can be challenging to communicate that information effectively through online marketing channels. In such cases, businesses may need to invest in creating high-quality educational content or product demos that can help customers understand the benefits of the product or service, or explore alternative marketing channels that enable them to provide more detailed explanations.
- Taboo products or services: Marketing a taboo product or service online can be more difficult than marketing their more mainstream counterparts because they may not be accepted by traditional advertising platforms and may be seen as controversial or offensive. This can make it challenging to promote these products or services through digital marketing channels such as TikTok and Instagram, as businesses may be limited by the platform’s community guidelines in the types of ads they can create or where they can place them. Additionally, there may be a negative stigma attached to these products or services if they do make it to the customer’s attention, which can make it difficult to gain traction with potential customers.
What is your budget?
- I’m sure one of the biggest stressors on your mind right now is money. Isn’t it for all of us? Financial management is one of the most important elements that contribute to the success of any enterprise. For entrepreneurs, having a budget put together is crucial in getting off the ground and staying afloat in the crazy market of 2023. A budget is a financial plan that outlines how much money is available and how it will be allocated for specific purposes, but how do you know which specific purposes to prioritize?
- Entrepreneurs should have a sizable marketing budget within their company’s main budget as marketing is a critical component of any successful business. How else are your customers going to find you? Marketing may be a broader area than you have in mind; everything from TikTok to the metadata of your most basic pictures is a part of marketing, and it is essential for entrepreneurs to allocate a budget to this area of their business. A marketing budget can help entrepreneurs to set realistic goals and make informed decisions on how much to invest in various marketing channels such as social media, email marketing, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and more. Without a marketing budget, entrepreneurs may struggle to reach their target audience or generate sufficient leads, which can result in decreased stunted business growth and potentially going under. Working with a local digital marketing agency can make prioritizing and maximizing your efforts much easier. It can be really hard to make all of it happen alone. A marketing budget also allows entrepreneurs to measure the return on investment (ROI) for their marketing efforts, enabling them to determine the most effective strategies and adjust their budget accordingly. In today’s competitive market, having a well-planned and executed marketing strategy is essential, and allocating a budget for marketing is an investment in the success of an entrepreneur’s business.
Has your product or service been named and branded?
- It can be so exciting to launch a new product or service, especially if it is your first time–even if it’s your hundredth time you’ll likely still have the rush. We have seen time and time again an excited entrepreneur jumping into things before the time is right. Before you begin working with a creative marketing agency on your brand’s marketing strategy it is important to first have a brand at all. What is the name of your company? Why did you choose that name? A good creative vendor will work with you to understand the background and history of your company, and can help you with the naming and branding process.
- Branding a new company is critical for its success as it establishes the company’s identity and sets it apart from the competition. Branding is the process of creating a unique name, design, and message that reflects the company’s values, mission, and vision. A well-crafted brand can communicate the company’s personality, culture, and offerings to potential customers, building trust and loyalty. A strong brand can also help to increase recognition, differentiate the company from competitors, and create a positive perception in the market. Without a clear brand identity, a new company may struggle to gain traction, generate leads, and establish a loyal customer base. A consistent brand message across all touchpoints can also help to create a memorable and consistent customer experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat business and referrals. In today’s competitive business landscape, branding is an essential element of any successful company, and entrepreneurs should prioritize it from the outset to build a strong foundation for their business’s growth and success.
- Ask your creative agency about a brand guidelines or a brand deck to learn more.
What is the status of your manufacturing process?
Having inventory ready to sell when launching a company is crucial for an entrepreneur’s success. Too often do we run down the rabbit-hole with a new brand only to find out they’re 6 months away from seeing inventory. The main goal of marketing is to generate leads, and if your company does not have inventory to sell, it can create a negative customer experience, reduce trust, and hinder your long-term success. Additionally, if your brand’s marketing efforts generate significant interest, but there is no inventory available, it can result in missed sales opportunities and damage to the company’s reputation–especially in the modern world of instant gratification. Furthermore, having inventory ready to sell from the launch of the company can provide a foundation for its growth, enabling entrepreneurs to generate revenue, cover costs, and reinvest in the business. To ensure a successful launch, new business owners should prioritize securing manufacturing and having inventory on US soil before starting any marketing efforts, and try to be transparent with your customers about inventory availability. Having inventory ready to sell is critical for a company’s success, and entrepreneurs must prioritize this element of their business plan to achieve their goals.
Do you have visual assets for your product or service?
- Using videos and images to promote a product or service is crucial in today’s digital age. I’m not sure I could name a company off the top of my head that isn’t utilizing visual assets somehow. Visual content is engaging, memorable, and can help to convey complex messages quickly and effectively. By creating high-quality videos and images, your business can communicate your brand message, demonstrate product features and benefits, and showcase the customer experience. This visual content can also be shared across various marketing channels, including social media, email marketing, and websites, providing an opportunity to reach an even wider audience. Especially in 2023, videos and images are more likely to be shared and go viral, creating further exposure for your product or service. Visual content can also help to build trust and credibility with potential customers, enabling them to visualize the product or service and feel more confident in their purchasing decision. In a crowded and competitive market, using videos and images to promote a product or service is a powerful tool for businesses looking to stand out and increase their chances of success.
- If you don’t have any visual assets yet, don’t stress–that is to be expected. A local creative agency can help build these kinds of assets up through a branding deck, photoshoot, or any other kind of visual asset.
How is your target audience finding your product or service?
Sometimes we get caught up in how great our business idea is, that we assume everyone in the world will want to make a purchase right away. Then the harsh reality hits that nobody knows you exist yet. That sucks. Luckily there are people here to help with that part. A local creative agency is the perfect group to kickstart your brand awareness. Many of our clients have gotten a head start with their sales to test their market through word of mouth, a free website, and/or social media. This can be priceless information for the agency you decide to work with; understanding how customers are reacting to your product early on is invaluable for ongoing marketing efforts.
Is your product or service legal?
This is definitely a job for a legal professional, but ensuring that your product or service is legal before launching your company is essential for long-term success. Conducting research on legal requirements and regulations applicable to your business can help prevent legal disputes, fines, and other potential legal consequences. Failure to comply with regulations can lead to negative publicity, loss of customer trust, and financial penalties, which can be detrimental to the company’s reputation and viability. Additionally, legal issues can distract entrepreneurs from focusing on their core business activities and ultimately hinder their ability to grow and succeed. Moreover, legal issues can also lead to long and expensive legal battles that may be difficult to recover from, causing significant financial and emotional stress. Therefore, entrepreneurs must ensure that their products or services comply with all applicable laws and regulations before launching their companies to protect their long-term prospects and maintain a positive reputation. Legal compliance is a fundamental aspect of any business, and entrepreneurs should make sure to prioritize this element in their business plan.
Do you have the time and dedication to this product or service?
Ensuring that you have the time and dedication to start a business before launching it is crucial for success. Starting a business requires a significant investment of time, effort, and resources that might come as a surprise. We have had clients in the past who already have full-time corporate jobs, who could simply not dedicate the time necessary to deliver things to us. Entrepreneurs must be willing to commit their time and energy to their business, often sacrificing their personal time and other priorities. Without a strong dedication, entrepreneurs may struggle to overcome the inevitable challenges and setbacks that arise, which can lead to a lack of progress and eventual failure. Moreover, starting a business is a long-term commitment, and entrepreneurs must be prepared to dedicate themselves to their business for an extended period. Failing to prioritize the business may result in missed opportunities and slow progress, which can impede success. Additionally, starting a business is often an emotional rollercoaster, and entrepreneurs must be prepared to handle stress, anxiety, and uncertainty while maintaining a positive outlook. So before you start your business, before you get financing, and before you hire any vendor please ask yourself:
- Do I already work 40 hours? Can I commit to 40 more?
Work with us
At TwentyThree.Five, we believe that working with a local marketing agency is the best way to achieve your marketing goals and grow your business. With our expertise in digital marketing, creative services, and community involvement, we can help you to reach new customers, build your brand, and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. With our expertise and commitment to providing personalized service, TwentyThree.Five is the perfect marketing partner for businesses of all sizes. If you’re ready to start a project and take your marketing efforts to the next level, contact us today. We look forward to helping you achieve your marketing goals and grow your business!