The beginning stages of any business and how well you sustain and execute your operations are what separate a startup from being just another run-of-the-mill company.
Practically every business out there has competition. That's nothing new. How you define your business model and to what extent you build the foundation from the get-go can take a business, and in this case, a family-owned one, towards long-term scalability.
Leveraging your success on product alone is not enough. You need the right staff, proper training and an eye for unique marketing techniques to really set yourself apart. That said, let's look at a few tips on how to establish your brand in the beginning.
The Early Bird Gets The Worm - Exert the confidence and pride you have with your brand by putting in the extra hours to make sure not just the establishment, but the employees, product and marketing strategy is well under way. Every company is a no-name face in the beginning. And word-of-mouth marketing, while still viable, doesn't have nearly as great of an impact in the short term as say, branding through social media and finding creative ways via contests, charitable events and other community-centric strategies that get your name out there in a wholesome, honest manner.
Don't Limit Staff Numbers In The Face of Success - As profit margins start to turn in your favor, you must be willing to have an ace in the hole by interviewing a number of potential new hires in tandem. The old adage, "success is but a fleeting moment", can be just that if you don't prepare and have enough employees to take on swift, but short, spikes in revenue and brand recognition. Whether you're a local grocery store or a family restaurant, customer service is about cultivating the here and now so that your future recognition doesn't go by the wayside. Online reviews and first-impressions carry much more weight now with the advent of online reviews being just as big of a trust signal for future consumer eyes.
Which is why you must properly hire and train employees, whether it's doing the interview process and having an established training method in place, a la some shortened form of e-learning training, where you can customize your efforts and expectations around what your business model is all about.
Never Rest On Your Laurels - Don't be content with the small business label. Never consider moderate to great success as being the only targets. You want immense, not great. And that's not to say you must dream of being full-boar corporate...and if you do, that's great. You can still run your business with the same family-oriented methods that helped lay the first bricks, but simply being content can over time diminish the determination to want more. Doesn't matter if it's dreaming of expansion or just putting updates to the current establishment. Always dream of breaking through any and all possibilities out there.
Kevin is a freelance writer covering a number of topics related to business, from small business startup tips to corporate structure methods and more and has consulted for a performance improvement company, ej4, which specialize in helping businesses and employees grow an even more solid foundation through e-learning.