Published on October 17th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi0
Entrepreneur’s Guide – From Zero to Getting Your First Sale in a Month
The rise of e-commerce and the growing popularity of mobile shopping have significantly lowered many of the barriers that traditional wholesale and distribution businesses would usually face when entering a new market. Things like the new entrant’s scale, high capital requirements and access to relevant distribution channels are a thing of the past.
Other aspects have improved as well, with product offering being one of the biggest issues. Today, wholesalers can build and distribute as diverse an inventory as they want – from electronics to wearable devices, to clothing, to cosmetics and so on – provided such diversity makes good business sense.
Ready, Set? Go!
As soon as all imposed legal formalities and administrative details are settled, you can switch focus to boosting sales. Don’t spend too much time trying to un-blur the line of separation between sales and marketing. At this early stage, they are more co-dependent than you think. Concentrate on business planning and map each step you need to take to reach your sales goals. Set all milestones against reasonable deadlines and aim to stay the course despite contingencies.
If you need to zoom into the specifics of the first operational month, then this article will surely provide some very useful insights.
First Week: Online First Impression is Paramount
As one of the most important business differentiators, your online presence needs to stand its ground when it comes to first impressions. Avoid “under construction” and/or unresponsive pages at all costs and pay close attention to the overall design. Choose a nifty domain name to start with and make sure the site is mobile friendly and easy to navigate. Stay away from things like hovering menus or organizational structures that require multiple clicks.
If you can avoid having a collapsed menu controls, then this might be a good idea as well. Users often refer to stacked lists on mobile sites as hamburger buttons, and they don’t do so fondly. Do your best to reduce what business planning experts refer to as interaction cost. This is the overall amount of effort that a user has to put into interacting with your site before they can make a purchase.
Always populate your site with relevant SEO-friendly information, if you want to ensure high rankings in organic search results. A blog section will add nicely to your content strategy and be absolutely instrumental for building email lists and, later on, online advertising including PPC and Adwords campaigns. Should it be useful, also make room for a Media section to host your press releases, events video and/or briefs etc. Remember, though, that content is king. Google, Bing, Baidu, and most other search engines have all switched their algorithms to rate down keyword-stuffed material and look for posts that are written naturally.
Take assumption out of the equation and base any site-related decisions on concrete data; use the information provided by Google Analytics Dashboard to evaluate online performance and identify any potential pain points in due time. You might also want to look into Microsoft’s Bing Web Analytics platform. Don’t forget that many B2B buyers are now searching the web with Cortana-enabled devices.
Week Two: Flex Your Social Muscles
Social media platforms have become pretty much the norm for businesses; no serious digital marketing strategy can be set in place without considering them as well. However, proceed with care – any and all 100% collective formats (such as these) can make or break your reputation in a jiffy.
No matter if we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, themed forums or reviews sites, know that there are some Do’s and Don’ts that you need to take into account in order to avoid unwanted consequences.
Since we’re now living the heyday of marketing strategies meant to pull customers closer to a specific product or service, figure out how you can leverage the benefits of influencers marketing to consolidate your credibility and brand voice. They can be very effective if employed correctly, though you’ll want to be capable of generating a huge amount of valid usable content to properly influence people’s decision-making processes on social media.
Third Week: Work on Your Offline Business Presence
There’s no denying that online visibility is critical to running your business today. However, face-to-face interactions remain a valuable ingredient for any type of commercial enterprise. After all, the phrases ‘out of sight out of mind’ and ‘it’s not what have you done, it’s what have you done for me lately’ very often apply to the overall customer interaction process. When your business is no longer visible, then potential clients are apt to work with other companies even if the service they provide isn’t anywhere near as good as yours.
A well-designed business card or an eye-catching flyer can go the distance, on occasion. These traditional techniques can still be useful today. There are many other options that you can put to good business use. Participating in trade shows, ramping up sponsorship efforts and organizing PR or social responsibility events are but a few examples. In exchange for the costs they incur, you’ll get to harness additional marketing opportunities. You might also help consumers to associate your brand with a positive image.
Week Four: Time to Scale Up Your Business Network
Business networks play a very important support role since they contribute to establishing your position as a trustworthy industry actor. They also help you to form new commercial relationships inside and outside your niche. Local business groups or chapters facilitate regular offline meetings which serve as a means to present and promote their members’ businesses and source potentially new revenue.
For the same purpose, you might also consider online solutions such as wholesale affiliate marketing which works to expand your reseller network in particular. You might consider it the 21st-century version of a chamber of commerce since it strives to achieve a much higher rate of market penetration than you might currently enjoy.
Just as Mark Twain once said, the secret of getting ahead is getting started. Though very brief, the guidelines above contain all the essentials you might need to help you do just that. Get yourself into gear and kick-start that challenging the first month into a real opportunity to drum up business. Roll up your sleeves and trust you can do it! As long as you keep your nose to the grindstone, you’ll be enjoying success in no time.