Congratulations! You have poured your heart and soul into starting your dream: running your own business. Now that your business is up and running, what’s next? Finding a way to grow. Taking your business to the “next level” in sales, profit, and success.
Introducing a new idea, such as a new product, a new website feature or a new promotion, is a great way to do this because it can attract new customers and lead to increased profits.
Before taking that step, carefully consider all aspects of your idea to ensure it’s the best fit for your company. Review your goals and the best way to achieve them. Thoroughly plan, and then plan some more. There’s a lot to study before diving in. Below are some key tips to consider:
- Make sure to perform your due diligence before getting too deep into the testing and development phase of your new idea. Research to understand the competition. Glean what you can from the successes and failures of others who have developed similar ideas to set yourself up for success as well as differentiate your offering from what is already available. Doing this protects your reputation and the success your company has experienced so far.
- Talk with your current customers, potential customers and trusted advisors. These interactions provide fresh insight into possibilities or concerns you might not have considered on your own. By asking questions and encouraging those with whom you speak with to also ask questions, you will learn more about your market and begin to fine-tune your idea to suit your customers’ needs and likes.
- Take your time to fully develop your new idea. Doing so can drastically influence your success or failure. Resist any urge to rush to market. Instead, dedicate the necessary time to fully develop your idea and foresee as many potential challenges as possible. While delaying launch can be just as dangerous, especially as technology advances and changes every year, the investment of proper planning is one that will pay off in spades.
- Keep abreast of the news cycle in your industry to properly time your launch. You may have already noticed “noisy” times throughout the year. It’s best to launch during a quieter time to help your idea make a bigger splash. If a competitor, especially a larger competitor, launches news around the same time as yours, it may be hard to get the airtime you need with the media. Of course, it’s impossible to predict news, so it’s best to be flexible if needed.
- Getting your idea in front of the right people is just as important as correctly timing your launch. Know which media outlets and social networks your customers (and potential customers) prefer. Take advantage of any free exposure you can get by building your follower base on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram as your launch approaches. As your followers get used to seeing interesting, regular content from your business, they will be receptive to your news.
The upcoming new year is a great time to start developing that new idea you’ve been thinking about. By conducting the proper research, understanding your customers’ needs, and timing and distributing your news in the most effective way, you will be on the right path to grow your business.
By Connie Certusi
Connie Certusi is Executive Vice President and General Manager of Small Business Solutions at Sage North America.
This post was provided with support from Sage North America.