1. Don’t blow money on advertising
Take advantage of all the free marketing out there, including email, social networks, websites and blogs. Think Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and incorporate these into your website via links and feeds.
2. Put yourself out there
In addition, don’t be afraid to get out there yourself and sell your brand at start-up events and networking socials in your area. Become a familiar face in the local entrepreneur/networking scene. Meetup.com is a good place to start if you’ve not done this before. Not only are you likely to meet more experienced individuals who can offer you advice, support and perhaps help you catch a break by introducing you to the right person at the right time, but you’ll also meet people at the same stage as you with whom you can brainstorm and plan together.
3. Don’t blow money on unnecessary ‘overheads’ and luxury goods
Start small. You don’t need a fancy car or luxury company stationery or an office with an ocean view. You need a steady cashflow before you think about these things. Of course, you want to appear successful but until you are, it’s best to appear hard-working and trustworthy. A fledgling company with no turnover but with a CEO sporting a Rolex does not spell reliable to potential investors or clients.
4. Assemble a good team
Hire really well. Surround yourself with people who believe in you, the brand and themselves. Work with individuals who take pride and pleasure in completing a job well and will see it through to the end. Work will people who want to advance and succeed with you. Show the door to the naysayers, negative Nancys and ‘no’-ers.
5. Write a business plan
Write a solid, realistic business plan. This will go a long way to impressing investors and clients. If you don’t know how, take a free online course, visit a library or ask around in local the entrepreneur community. You can never really know whether your business is going to succeed, but you can make a reasoned gamble or throw caution to the wind. Guess which is more likely to work out better in the long run?
6. Write an industry report
Breaking into an industry on your own is hard. Really, really hard. Write a report to make sure you know absolutely all there is about the field. Crunch numbers, research the key players, the rising stars, the up-and-comers. Figure out where you fit into this and what your niche will be. Work out the trends in the industry at the moment, the main threats to the industry and everything in between. You don’t know how much you know until you put pen to paper.
Faith in yourself and your business will take you far, as long as it is sprinkled with a healthy dose of realism, knowledge and common sense!